Do Air Purifiers Really Help Improve Air Quality?

Portable air purifiers and HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollution, but they cannot remove all air pollutants. Wood-burning fireplaces, cakes that bubble up during cooking, and even burning candles can generate smoke in the home and cause allergy symptoms. Air purifiers can remove smoke from the air, but this takes time and some are better at this task than others. To eliminate the smell of smoke, look for an air purifier that contains an activated carbon filter.

If common allergies or asthma symptoms have a negative impact on your life, evidence that a HEPA filter improves respiratory health may encourage you to buy an air purifier. AHAM standards are designed to ensure the safety, efficiency, and performance of many home care appliances, including air purifiers. New particles are constantly appearing, so the air may not actually be as filtered as the claims would lead you to believe. Air purifiers usually consist of a filter, or several filters, and a fan that sucks and circulates air.

If you want an air purifier to remove particles such as dust, dirt, and soot, check the packaging or product description for the Clean Air Supply Rate (CADR). Experts explain how air purifiers can filter out harmful germs and viruses, as well as dust, smoke, mold, and more. A small-scale study conducted in China found that air purifiers reduced fine particles in the air (dust, pollen, dandruff) and improved participants' blood pressure levels and lung function. However, the actual effectiveness of an air purifier in preventing a person from contracting the virus is still unknown, since the transmission rate may be faster than the air purifier can capture the particles.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a portable air filter is one of the most effective ways to improve indoor air quality in a single room or area. In fact, EPA agents warn that the functionality of air purifiers is limited in terms of gas filtration and that filters must be replaced frequently to achieve optimal operation, usually approximately every three months. Sometimes, non-organic air pollutants, such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), can originate outside your home. This means that in addition to the purchase price of an air purifier, you must also consider operating costs and filter replacement costs.

Working to reduce common sources of pollutants and increase the flow of fresh air into the home are crucial strategies when it comes to reducing air pollution risks. According to materials published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a good air purifier can handle the rest. Every model included in the Good Housekeeping Institute's rigorous guide to the best air purifiers you can buy has an authentic HEPA filter. For filters used in residential air purifiers, MERV values range from 7 to 12; the higher number indicates a more effective capture of pollutants.

Ultimately, if you're looking for an effective way to improve your indoor air quality and reduce your exposure to airborne pollutants, investing in an air purifier is a great option.

Ashleigh Yballe
Ashleigh Yballe

Amateur internet ninja. Hipster-friendly tv fanatic. General pop culture buff. Subtly charming beer buff. Wannabe burrito evangelist. Award-winning internet practitioner.