Ultimate Guide On How To Use An Air Purifier

Christine Herrington

Christine is our Chief Editor and a contributing writer to the site.

Last Updated on June 8, 2021

Air purifiers are a great way to improve the air quality in your home. There are different air purifiers, and each one has slightly different capabilities.

When learning how to use an air purifier, it’s essential to know the different types of filters they come with. HEPA filters are some of the most common, and they do an excellent job at eliminating dust, pollen, or allergens from the air. However, they don’t eliminate odors or viruses.

Choosing the correct type can help you solve your specific air quality problem effectively. Also, there are some factors to consider when choosing a place for an air purifier in your home.

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Table of Contents

Why Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are devices that clean the air in your home and improve your overall quality of life. They have various uses and are especially convenient to have in urban areas with a lot of pollution.

Benefits of Air Purifiers

An air purifier can improve your health for a variety of reasons. They can eliminate bacteria and viruses from the air, as well as small chemical particles and pollutants. Also, they can capture and remove allergens from the air, helping you experience fewer seasonal allergies.

Air purifiers are also convenient because they keep your home fresh and clean. They absorb dust from the air, reducing the amount of time you have to spend cleaning dust from surfaces. Some air purifiers eliminate odors, keeping your home smelling fresh.

Finally, by reducing particles, allergens, and dust from the air, air purifiers can help you sleep better as you are less likely to experience sinus and respiratory irritation at night. Overall, they can provide high-quality air for you and your family to breathe.

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How to Choose an Air Purifier

Different air purifiers work better for eliminating certain types of particles. For example, a HEPA filter can’t eliminate viruses, but an ultraviolet light air purifier can. However, an ultraviolet air purifier doesn’t work with a filter, so it can’t eliminate dust, pollen, smoke, and other airborne substances.

To find the right air purifier for your home, you need to consider the kind of problem you are trying to solve. Perhaps you live in an area with a lot of pollution? Or maybe you live in an older building and need to remove mold spores, viruses, and bacteria? When learning how to use an air purifier, you have to know what you will use it for.

Choosing an Air Purifier for the Right Room Size

You should also think about the size of the room or space where you will place the air purifier. An air purifier that isn’t powerful enough for a room won’t deliver excellent results.

Be wary of brands that mark the “surface area” on the label. The surface area isn’t the floor area; it’s the total area of the space in a room. If the manual says the purifier covers a 1,000 ft of surface area, it means it covers a room that’s 1,000 ft³. That’s less than 170 ft².

The easiest way to determine the right air purifier for a room is with the CADR rating. Apply the following formula, CADR x 1.55 (this is just a constant) = square footage of your room. This gives you the ideal purifier size for your space.

How Does an Air Purifier Work

You can clean your indoor air in four different ways using air purifiers. These methods include HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, ionizers, and UV light. Most air purifiers work using one or more of these methods.

  • HEPA Filters

These air purifiers work with an interior fan to clean air. The fan sucks air into the appliance and passes it through a filter. As air enters the HEPA filter, pollutants are caught inside the filter’s indoor air quality, and pure air flows out on the other side.

HEPA filters can capture air-polluting particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger. This provides a wide range of particles the HEPA filter can catch, including dust, allergens, pollen, mold spores, bacteria and smoke.

When learning how to use an air filter, it’s crucial to know what they can and can’t do. A HEPA filter isn’t effective at getting rid of smog and smoke. Smog is a mix of different substances with different-sized particles. It contains soot and other relatively large particles, which the filter has no problem trapping.

However, smog also contains many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals that have been evaporated into the air. These particles are too small for the filter to capture them. Anything that contains VOCs, such as odors or paint fumes, can’t be eliminated with HEPA filters.

Wildfire, cigarette, and marihuana smoke have both large particles that HEPA filters can trap and VOCs. The filter can’t capture the small VOCs, but it will still clean the air quite a bit. Having a HEPA filter during a wildfire will make a massive difference in your quality of life, even if it can’t eliminate those small VOCs.

  • Activated Carbon Filters

These types of air filters also work with an internal fan that pulls air. As the air passes through the air purifier, a filter traps contaminants. However, the filter material is completely different from a HEPA filter.

A carbon filter is made of a very porous material that can absorb things like odors and chemicals in the air.  This kind of filter can trap the smaller types of particles that a HEPA filter can’t capture.

  • Ionizer

This air purifier is different from the previous two because it doesn’t use a filter. It works by emitting negative ions into the air that bond with contaminants. This causes the contaminated substances to become heavy and fall. The particles remain on the surface until you vacuum or wipe them away.

  • Ultraviolet light

This air cleaner uses short-wave UV light to eliminate airborne pathogens and microorganisms. As air passes near an ultraviolet light in a room, the light kills bacteria and viruses. This is the only type of air cleaning technology that can effectively eliminate pathogens in your home’s air.

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Understand When to Change the Filters

On average, the time a filter lasts depends on the type of filter, the frequency of use, and the quality of indoor air. Some models have washable filters, and in this case the quality of your tap water also affects the filter’s durability. Always check the instructions for your specific model. In general, you can use these guidelines for changing the filters:

  • HEPA filters: every 12-18 months.
  • Cabron filters: every 3-6 months.
  • Pre-filters: some models have a pre-filter before the HEPA or carbon filter. Clean these filters every 30 days and replace them with new ones when they show signs of wear.
  • Permanent filters: should be cleaned every 3 months and immediately replaced if they sustain damage.

Check the filter regularly and look for signs of dust or dirt buildup. Other signs could be if you are experiencing more allergies than usual or start to notice odors and smells in your home.

Determine Where to Install an Air purifier

Placing an air purifier in the correct location is important to increase its efficacy. The main thing to consider is your reason for using an air purifier. If you want to eliminate a specific odor or fume, place the air purifier right next to the source.

If you want to improve the overall quality of your air, place it in rooms where people spend most of their time, such as the living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Think about the size of the room and the power of the device. Don’t use a small device in a very large room or a very powerful machine in a small room. Finally, don’t place air purifiers near corners or tight spaces. An air purifier needs open space to pull and release air.

Enjoy Cleaner Air in Your Home

Start using an air purifier in your home and enjoy a much higher quality of air. Cities are becoming more polluted worldwide, and an air purifier eliminates many different types of contaminants from the air you breathe. They are small, efficient machines continuously improving the air quality in your home while keeping the rooms fresh and clean.

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