what does an air purifier do

Many people know air purifiers as powerful tools for improving air quality in a home. However, many homeowners still don’t fully understand how an air purifier works or how it influences indoor air quality.

We’re living in a time when indoor air pollution represents a significant problem for many people around the world. All kinds of things can influence your air quality, from poor ventilation in your home to exposure to allergens like pet dander and volatile organic compounds.

So, what does an air purifier do? An air purifier is essentially an air cleaner, capable of capturing various forms of indoor air pollution and removing them from your air so that you can breathe easier in your home. Air purifiers filter everything from dust mites to smoke particles depending on the air purification system you choose.

Today, we’re going to look at the facts about what air purifiers can do to protect you against dangerous airborne particles and how these tools work.

What Is an Air Purifier? The Basics

device used to remove airborne contaminants from enclosed spaces

Having an air purifier is an amazing way to improve the quality of air in your home. The average home is filled with various airborne contaminants, which can cause health and wellness issues.

Your quality of life may be significantly impacted by indoor pollution, which cause everything from allergies and respiratory issues to weariness.

An air purifier or air cleaner creates cleaner air by using various forms of filters and tools to pull mould spores, bacteria, and viruses out of your indoor environment. Depending on your chosen air purifier type, you can remove all kinds of dangerous substances from your filtered air, including bacteria, dust, odours, and toxins.

There are numerous different air filters on the market, each with its own distinct capabilities. For instance, HEPA air filters and active carbon filters work differently. However, all air purification systems are specifically designed to neutralise pollutants and improve your health.

Although installing a high-efficiency air filter in your home won’t guarantee that you won’t experience asthma symptoms or as many allergic responses, you can still access many of these advantages with the correct system. The right air purifiers can deliver advantages like better sleep, an improved immune system, and fewer allergy issues.

How Does an Air Purifier Work?

When seeking to answer the question “What does an air purifier do?” you should understand how the device works. If you’re thinking of purchasing an air purifier for your home, you might want to first investigate how one of these systems will work. As mentioned above, there are different kinds of air purifiers on the market today, and each one has different abilities. Most of the time, air purifiers will work in many ways to neutralise contaminants in the air, trap molecules in filters, and break pollutants apart.

Here are some of the most common kinds of air filters and how they work to improve your indoor air quality.

HEPA Air Purifiers

A HEPA air purifier is one of the most common tools for improving indoor air quality. These filters come with HEPA filters built-in, which are designed to pull the indoor air through dense woven filters, which can trap dangerous particles inside.

A HEPA filter is a professionally designed tool for enhancing indoor air quality. The average HEPA filter can capture up to 99.97% of the particles in your air, down to the smallest size. In many cases, air purification fans suggest HEPA filters are the best choice for cleaner air if you have asthma and allergy symptoms.

Activated Carbon Filters

HEPA and carbon dust filters

Like HEPA filtration, an activated carbon filter air filter will pull air through a set of filters to trap larger particles that might harm your indoor air quality. These filters can remove substances that might trigger asthma attacks, like a HEPA air filter. Similarly, these tools can also neutralise pollutants like volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

Whereas a HEPA filter only captures solid particles, an activated carbon filter is more likely to capture airborne pollutants and chemical vapours in your indoor air.

Ioniser Air Filter

If true HEPA filters and carbon filters aren’t suitable for your needs, you could consider an ioniser for your home air purification instead. These air purifiers use electrical charges to eliminate all kinds of pollutants, from mould spores to carbon monoxide, bacteria, and viruses.

Ionisers work by sending negatively charged ions into the air, which latch onto the particles in your atmosphere. The bond causes the pollutants to fall to the floor. Drawing air through the unit allows you to apply negatively charged ions to specific areas of the atmosphere, to capture indoor pollutants more effectively.

UV Light Filters

Similar to an ioniser, UV light filters use scientific methods to improve the quality of air in your home. With UV light, you create a non-lethal form of radiation emitted from a light within the unit to kill viruses and bacteria as they pass through the system.

UV lights work by breaking apart the molecular structure of various pathogens and microbes, which might be harmful to your health. Other air pollutants aren’t nearly as effective at fighting back against viral infections, which might cause illness and disease.

What Are the Benefits of an Air Purifier?

If you’re wondering, “Why use an air purifier in the first place?” there are a number of potential answers. Although an air purifier does cost money to purchase and run, the potential air purifier benefits you can access are incredible.

The exact advantages you leverage will depend on the exact particles your air purifier can capture. As mentioned above, various types of air purifiers can deliver different results. If you want to remove airborne pollutants like solid allergens, a standard HEPA filter can help to reduce the symptoms of various allergic reactions. Here are some of the benefits of having air purifiers in your home.

Reduce Bacteria

Although the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t recommend using an air filter as your only form of protection against viruses, the right tools can be extremely effective at reducing exposure to infectious agents. If you want to avoid contaminants from the outdoor air getting into your home, an air purifier could be a great way to improve indoor air quality.

Minimise Dust

woman's hands holding filthy filty

Air purifiers are great at reducing exposure to airborne allergens like dust. This not only improves your quality of life when you’re using an air purifier, but it can also mean you don’t have to clean your home as often too.

Air purifiers with a good rating can help to keep your home clean from harmful contaminants.

Additionally, they also trap particles you don’t want to end up on the surfaces around your room.

Reduce Odours

When giving you clean air, your air purifiers may even help to reduce various odours and unwanted scents. Usually, odours are caused by volatile organic compounds. While not all air purifiers capture VOCs, tools like activated carbon filters can trap these unwanted scents and keep your home smelling fresh.

Reduce Smoke

Most air purifiers can capture various harmful particles from smoke that might make their way into your home from the outdoors. This can help to reduce your exposure to pollution and second-hand smoke, which might be invisible to the naked eye.

Many air purifiers can also help with removing other dangerous substances from the air around you and your family. As air passes through an air purifier, the system captures a multitude of dangerous chemicals and substances you would otherwise be breathing directly into your lungs. Though some air purifiers are more effective than others, most can make a difference to your air quality.

Does an Air Purifier Help with Covid-19?

In recent years, the concern around the global pandemic has increased the interest many homeowners have shown in creating clean air at home. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and similar substances are no longer the most dangerous thing we have to worry about in our homes. An air purifier could potentially help get rid of dangerous bacteria and viruses.

According to some research, the right air purifier could slightly reduce the presence of the dangerous viruses and bacteria responsible for transmitting the Covid-19 virus. However, experts suggest homeowners shouldn’t rely on air purifiers alone for clean air. Ultimately, washing your hands is still going to protect you more than using an air purifier, even if you use a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) or UV system.

Air cleaners aren’t the most effective tool against the pandemic, but they could help to protect your health and improve your peace of mind in other ways. Air purifiers help remove allergens, control asthma triggers, and reduce airborne chemicals while improving your sleep quality.

With fewer allergy symptoms to worry about and a stronger sleeping schedule, you might find your immune system is more effective with the help of the right home air purifiers. It’s important to remember different air purifiers work differently here, however. For instance, a HEPA filter will only protect against solid particles in the air.

If you’re unsure about how air purifiers work and you’re wondering if they might help you to live a better quality of life, it might be worth speaking to a doctor.

Are Air Purifiers a Waste of Money?

Air purifiers come in a range of different sizes and designs to suit different needs. Some air purifiers work specifically to remove dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens from the air. Other air cleaners or air purifiers are ideal for minimising dust and reducing odours in your home.

Keep in mind that a high-efficiency particulate air or UV filter may not completely transform your life overnight. Though these tools can help to give you access to fresh air and reduce your exposure to substances that create adverse immune responses, they’re not a cure-all solution.

Air purifiers are generally more beneficial to people who are extremely sensitive to substances throughout their homes and even in the great outdoors. Studies suggest that continued use of an air purifier can reduce allergic reactions and asthma symptoms. However, these products are not a direct replacement for medications and medical care.

Since air purifiers are often quite affordable these days, the best way to determine whether one of these products might be worthwhile for you could be to test the functionality for yourself. If you notice a benefit in your sleeping patterns or an improvement in allergy symptoms, you’ll know your air purifier is worth it.

Is an Air Purifier Really Necessary?

An air purifier won’t be a must-have purchase for every home. Air purifiers remove a range of different substances from the air in your house, but they won’t accomplish everything. Some contaminants will continue to sit on surfaces like furniture and carpeting, and the air purifier won’t be able to remove them from the room unless they move through the air.

Air purifiers won’t eliminate the side effects caused by dust that has already gathered on hard or soft surfaces. These products also won’t eliminate mould from your home or neutralise the bacteria and viruses being constantly spread by a sick individual in your house.


If you really want to improve indoor air quality, an air purifier can be an excellent choice. However, it’s best to make sure you’re taking steps to make the most out of your device. For instance, do your research into the efficiency of particulate air HEPA products and UV light purifiers to see which one is right for you. You might even look into ozone generators, although ozone generators are a particular kind of purifier that may not be recommended for everyone.

Next, make sure you clean your home before using your air purifier to get rid of any contaminants your air purifier won’t be able to reach.

Improve the Air in Your Home

After reading this article, you hopefully have an answer to our initial question, “What does an air purifier do?”‘

As you might have gathered, an air purifier might not be as important as a carbon monoxide detector or HVAC system in your home, but it can be a valuable way to improve the air quality in your property for yourself and your loved ones. The best time to use these products is when you want to remove certain particles from the air, like mould spores, viruses, pet dander, and allergens.

You’ll also get the best results when you run your air purifier all day, so make sure you’re aware of how much energy your purifier is likely to use before you invest. You’ll need to ensure you can afford to run your air purifier effectively to get the right outcomes.

Do you already own an air purifier, or are you going to purchase one? Let us know your thoughts on this appliance by leaving a comment below.

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