benefits of air purifiers

22 Cool Benefits of Air Purifiers You Need to Know

Air purifiers have so many benefits. I learned and stumbled across many of them from my personal experience and research. Out of over 14 different types of air purifiers, each of them provides some form of unique benefit.

Air purifier benefits can be broken down into 2 main categories. The 2 benefits categories of air purifiers include health and wellness, and home care and cleanliness. Ultimately the main benefit of all air purifiers is improved air quality. These benefits vary depending on the type of air purifier being used.

Once you understand the benefits under each of the 2 categories, you can then see how they apply across different use cases and situations. The benefits are crosscutting whether you want to use an air purifier for your baby, skin improvement, in your bedroom or at the office.

That said because the various types of air purifiers are designed for different use cases you need to take note of your scenario and find the appropriate purifier for your situation to get the maximum benefit out of it. There are several things you can do to ensure you get the full benefit of your air purifier.

Let me start with my comprehensive list of benefits and then elaborate on how to you can get the most out of your air purifier. I have split the list into 2 major categories and together they make up 22 benefits in total. Without further ado here is my ultimate list of air purifier benefits.

Health & Wellness Benefits of Air Purifiers

1. Prevent Respiratory & Skin Allergies

If you find yourself sneezing when you enter a room, or your nose clogs up often and is always congested during certain seasons, you might be allergic to some airborne particles. Exposure to airborne allergens can also result in unexplained skin rashes and breakouts.

Out of nowhere while sitting at home or at your desk at work your skin could just start getting itchy or dry and this could just be because of allergens in the air. If any of these scenarios describe your experience, then air purifiers could help you.

Most air purifiers are designed to remove tiny particles in the air that are as small as 0.3 microns. A lot of these air particles include allergen particles the most common of which include pollen, dust and pet dander.

To deal with allergens, you can either go for a true HEPA air purifier or a Photocatalytic Oxidation air purifier (PCO). Just to be sure that you are allergic to air particles before going out and getting an air purifier, you can also get yourself tested for allergies. A good place to do this is at Personal Labs and you can get your test results within 34 hours depending on which test you take.

Should your allergy tests come back positive for any airborne particles, then its time to get an air purifier. HEPA air purifiers will get rid of allergens in the air by pushing air through a strainer like material which lets air through and traps ultrafine contaminant air particles. On the other hand, instead of trapping particles PCO air purifiers completely destroy allergen air particles turning them into water and carbon dioxide.

2. Improve Skin Health & Promotes Anti-Aging

As mentioned in the allergens section, air purifiers can help you minimize skin allergies by getting rid of allergens in the air. Air purifiers also contribute to reducing blemishes on your skin and keeping you looking young. This is achieved by air purifiers cleaning free radicals out of the air. How this works is that free radicals attack our cells and DNA and accelerate our aging process.

Free radicals are found in polluted air and many other sources. Once you place an air purifier in your home or office, it substantially reduces the number of free radicals in your air and with frequent use over time reduces your skins exposure and aging process. I talk about the skin health benefits of air in more depth here if you want to learn more.

3. Increase Life Expectancy

As air purifiers prevent the many harmful effects of poor air quality on your body you can expect to live longer. Our high school teacher often told us that every cigarette you smoke takes away 5 minutes from your life expectancy.

Now imagine all the nasty contaminants in the air some which are worse than second hand cigarette smoke. Once you start using an air purifier you can rest assured you breathe considerably less of all these harmful contaminants in the air that can cause you various fatal illnesses.

4. Lower Stress & Blood Pressure

Scientific studies show that air purifiers decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. The studies show that indoor particle concentrations can be controlled favorably by air purifiers to improve endothelial function.

The endothelium is a thin membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessel which contribute significantly to your blood pressure. If you are exposed to polluting particulate matter in the air long enough research shows that they increase your risk of cardiovascular events such as high blood pressure and stroke.

Higher blood pressure in your body occurs as a consequence of oxidative stress and systemic inflammation caused by pollutants in the air which lead to the dysfunction of the endothelium. Not only can air purifiers get rid of pollutants and subsequently lower your blood pressure, but they can also lower your stress levels.

5. Prevent Cancer & Other Diseases From Smoke Pollution

It is common knowledge that smoke from cigarettes can cause cancer. However, you will find that fewer people know that all other types of smoke such as smoke from cooking, wildfires e.t.c. also contain carcinogens. Besides cancer, smoke worsens preexisting conditions such as asthma and COPD.

Smoke can also cause nausea, dizziness, eye irritations, headaches, and fainting. Reports also show that long-term exposure to smoke can affect your mental health.

Most smoke particles are bigger than 0.3 microns and well within the range of what most air purifiers can filter. Taking this into account, it is easy to understand that air purifiers are very effective in dealing with all kinds of smoke particles.

Regardless, in addition to air purifiers, you need to take other measures such as smoke proofing your home or office environment to minimize the amount of smoke seeping into your home. Smoke proofing is not as complicated as it sounds.

It involves identifying areas of your house where smoke seeps through such as the underneath of your doors, around your windows and vents separating your home from your neighbors home.

You then seal the holes and gaps with insulation or sealant and add activated carbon filter screens for your vents and next to your windows and under your door so that smoke particles are trapped before getting into your home. By smoke proofing your house, you minimize the amount contaminants in your indoor air and enable your air purifier to give you clean and carcinogen-free air faster.

6. Preventing Bacterial And Viral Infections

Another benefit of air purifiers is that they take germs, bacteria, and viruses out of your indoor air. They can get rid of particles in the air that cause the SARS virus, the common cold, measles, or flu.

Air purifiers can get rid of viruses in the air using various technologies. Some come with an ultraviolet light component that destroys germs just like ultraviolet light from normal sunlight rays while other purifiers use more advanced technologies like thermodynamic sterilization (TSS) or PCO which completely burn viruses and bacteria in the air.

HEPA air purifiers are however not so effective at removing viruses and bacteria from the air because they are either too small to get trapped in a HEPA filter or those that do get trapped release endotoxins back into the air as they die on the air filter surface.

Endotoxins cause inflammation and to avoid their harmful effects, either replace your filter often, get a washable HEPA filter or get a combo air purifier that comes with both HEPA and ultraviolet light.

The other types of air purifiers that will get rid of airborne germs include ionic and ozone air purifiers. The problem with these purifiers is that they produce ozone which has harmful effects on your body and I generally recommend that you stay away from such types of air purifiers especially if you have children or people and pets with respiratory problems in your home.

7. Harmful Effects Of Asbestos And Radon Gas

Next to smoking, radon and asbestos are also leading causes of lung cancer. Asbestos causes two types of cancer namely, cancer of the lung tissue and mesothelioma, a cancer of the membrane that surrounds the lung and other internal organs.

Lung cancer and mesothelioma from asbestos do not occur immediately after initial exposure but appear after many years. Whats more, certain levels of asbestos may also result in a slow buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs and in the membrane that surrounds the lungs.

As for radon, it is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that is almost everywhere outside and indoors. Enough research has shown and proven its carcinogenic impact on humans.

With asbestos, a standard HEPA air purifier can easily remove it from the air while for radon, you will need a HEPA air purifier with an activated carbon filter to absorb the gas.

For more complete removal of radon gas from indoor air, your air purifier needs to be accompanied by extra measures such as Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) or Active Soil Depressurization (ASD).

8. Reduce Static Electricity

Have you ever gotten randomly electrocuted when you touch someone or something? This effect is called static electricity and it happens because the air is dry. If you are able to safely use an ionic air purifier in your room, such a purifier can help reduce the level of static electricity indoors.

When the air is dry electrons (negatively charged particles) easily build up on your skin and clothes creating an imbalance of positive and negative ions and then when you touch something with a high opposite ionic charge you get shocked as the ionic balance is restored.

Once you put in place an ionic air purifier, it releases a large number of positive and negative ions into the air. Then a large number of these ions bond with the built-up static electricity ions and these ions, in turn, suppress the static build up on your skin and clothes.

One brand of ionic air purifiers I know for sure you can get that gets rid of static electricity is Sharp’s Plasmacluster Air Purifier range. I have inserted a video below for you to a get a clearer picture of how it works. It's like magic.

Sharp Plasmacluster air purifiers include both portable car and desk air purifiers and larger units for your home and workplace. I generally do not recommend ionic air purifiers but if I were to get one, I would go with the Sharp Plasmacluster.

9. Boost Your Mood

Just as air purifiers reduce blood pressure and stress they clean chemicals out of the air that leave you in a dull mood. Having an air purifier in your home creates the same effect as when you go into the countryside and walk into the fresh unpolluted summer outdoor air.

Enough studies have shown how air pollution causes depression. Accordingly, all air purifiers types will more likely than not improve your mood by improving your indoor air quality. I have had no experience with this, but the type of air purifiers that I have found commonly recommended for boosting one's mood are ionic air purifiers.

Ionic air purifiers boost your mood by releasing negative ions into the air that help balance positive ions emitted by appliances such as microwaves and televisions in your home and general air pollution. Negative ions cause biochemical reactions in the air which produce chemicals in the air that increase your serotonin levels which in turn boost your energy.

10. Increase Productivity

Once you install an air purifier in your home, you minimize the amount of time spent treating allergic reactions to airborne allergens. You can then use this time on more productive activities.

Besides this, a number of studies show that poor air quality has a negative impact on worker performance. Various air contaminants have been found to cause nausea, fatigue, and dizziness and these symptoms simply make you lose focus on your work.

This is where air purifiers come to the rescue. They get rid of fatigue causing pollutants in the air and subsequently boost your energy level allowing you to perform at your optimal level of productivity.

11. Improves Cognitive Function By Reducing

I found an interesting study from Harvard which shows that if you spend a day working in a space with improved air quality your cognitive function improves. The main air contaminants in your air  that inhibit cognitive function and even cause neural damage are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Not all air purifiers can completely get rid of VOCs as they have are mostly ultrafine particles and gaseous. So what you need is either a HEPA air purifier with an activated carbon filter or a PCO air purifier which actually completely destroys VOCs.

12. Improves Your Sleep

There are two ways air purifiers improve your sleep. The first is through their soft humming sound, and the second is through getting rid of airborne allergens. The soothing humming sound of an air purifier can block out sounds from outside that would otherwise wake you up.

As for allergens, these can cause nasal congestion during your sleep and entirely disrupt your sleep.

As you have seen earlier, air purifiers can get rid of allergens and by so doing reduce your adverse reactions to air pollutants and enabling you to sleep comfortably.

13. Improves Immune System Performance

Finally, when it comes to health benefits of air purifiers to me the most important benefit is that by providing cleaner air, they create an environment that enables you to have a stronger immune system. The causal effect between air pollution and the strength of your immune system is complex.

What is clear though is that our cells and immune system need oxygen to function well. Now if your indoor air is polluted according to the EPA, it becomes harder for you to breathe.

The harder it is for you to breathe the less oxygen your body can take in with detrimental implications for your immune system and a higher risk of you getting sick. With this in mind, the benefit of air purifiers is clear. They minimize pollution in your home making it easier for you to breathe and supply your body and immune system with sufficient oxygen for its proper function in protecting you from sickness.

Home Care & Cleanliness Benefits of Air Purifiers

14. Clean Indoor Air

When it comes to home care and cleanliness a major challenge with air quality is visible indoor air pollution. Have you ever walked into a room with tiny particles floating all around in the air or thrown yourself on a sofa and dust comes right out of it into the air? This is what I call visible air pollution.

Visible air pollution can come from various sources and result in thin films of dust settling on surfaces around your home. If you have this kind of air quality problem it can be rather unpleasant not just for you but also your guest and pets.

A lot of people will draw the conclusion that your home is unhygienic. There is a lot you can do to fix this kind of indoor air pollution but on top of all the other measures, air purifiers really go a long way in ensuring you don’t have so much dust on your surfaces and particles floating around your home.

The type of air purifiers that will deal with floaters in your home and give you visibly clean air include HEPA air purifiers and PCO air purifiers. With the exception of a few devices like the Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifier, I generally stay away from ionic air purifiers because they produce an irritant called ozone.

Most ionic air purifiers also result in extra layers of filth on surfaces around you because of the way they remove harmful contaminants from the air. An important point to remember with air purifiers in keeping the air in  your home clean is that you still need to maintain general cleaning of your home. You cannot just let filth build up because you have an air purifier, this will defeat the whole purpose of your air purifier. 

15. Prevent & Get Rid Of Bed Bugs, Dust Mite & Small Insects

Another form of visible indoor air pollution is insects. Your home could be faced with mosquitoes and gnats flying around or less visible but irritating bed bugs or dust mites. The good news is that air purifiers can help. They won’t get rid of large bugs but they can deal with the tiny ones.

Most HEPA air purifiers can trap bed bugs and dust mite but only if these bugs are airborne. Air purifiers more directly clean your air of fecal matter released by dust mites into the air which is the main cause of allergic reactions to dust mites. Indirectly, air purifiers clean the air of your dead skin flakes and pet dander which dust mite feed and thrive on and thereby creating unfavorable conditions for dust mite to proliferate in your home.

For gnats and mosquitos, HEPA and PCO air purifiers can be quite effective at clearing them out of your home. In fact, some air purifiers are designed with an additional feature to specifically catch insects. These purifiers contain a UV light that draws insects close enough to their air extraction vents and sucks them up and kills them within their filter compartment.

If you need an air purifier that doubles as an insect catcher, check out the Sancusto Air Purifier or the Sharp Plasma Cluster Air Purifier.

16. Prevent Mold And Mildew Growth On Walls

Mold and mildew are one of the few instances whereby you can use an ozone purifier. However, you need to know how to use ozone air purifiers. Because of the dangers of ozone, you have to run an ozone purifier while no one is at home and turn it off an hour before anyone gets back home.

Despite its dangers to human health, ozone is a powerful cleaning agent and very effective against mold and mildew. Other types of purifiers that can get rid of airborne mold and mildew before it grows on your wall include PCO and HEPA. PCO air purifiers will completely destroy mold and mildew in the air. HEPA air purifiers capture spores that are as small as 0.3 microns which is more than enough for mold and mildew spores.

For best results with HEPA air purifiers go for true HEPA air purifiers rather than other types of HEPA purifiers. Also look for HEPA air purifiers with antimicrobial filters for killing mold spores once they hit the filter and HEPA filters combined with activated carbon filters to neutralize the musty odor caused by mold.

17. Improves Air Circulation

Not all air purifiers will improve air circulation. To get improved air circulation you will need air purifiers that operate using a fan to suck in and blow out air. You will get fans that will improve air circulation in HEPA, PCO, UV light and ozone air purifiers.

However, other types of air purifiers such as ionic purifiers are fanless and purify the air by using a process of convection. So if you want the added benefit of improved air circulation while purifying your air an air purifier with a fan will be your best bet.

18. Gets Rid Of Odors

Another great function of air purifiers is in the removal of odors. If you get the right air purifier, you can get rid of fragrance, cooking, weed, mold, tobacco, wildfire, pet odor,  and vaping smells among others. When dealing with odors HEPA air purifiers alone will not really help you as they fare poorly when it comes to capturing gases.

HEPA purifiers alone are pretty much useless and what you will need is a HEPA air purifier that comes combined with an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon is very good at absorbing gases which is the form that odors are normally in and hence its strong ability at removing odors.

Another very effective type of air purifier for odors is a PCO air purifier. Like it does with other air contaminants it outright incinerates gas and odor particulate, freeing your house of odors. Finally, with strong precautions not to use it when pets and people are in your home, you can use an ozone air purifier to get rid of all sorts of odors.

As I pointed out for mold and mildew, ozone also works for odors because of its strong antibacterial and cleaning agent properties. It will leave a fresh smell in your home.

19. Extends HVAC Filter Life

Air purifiers can be a great supplementary tool if you have an HVAC. HVAC filters are not necessarily designed to purify air and their filters wear out faster when outdoor air quality is really poor.

By placing an air purifier at the point where air enters your HVAC you reduce the burden on your HVAC by your air purifier filtering out a lot of particulates before they hit your HVAC’s filter. In this way, your HVAC filter life is prolonged as it has fewer particulates to filter out, reducing its wear and tear over a given period. 

You can also get an air purifier add-on for your HVAC like the Aprilaire 5000 Air Cleaner.  Check the video below for more detail. HVAC air purifiers are actually called whole house air purifiers. You can find out more about HVAC air purifiers here.

20. Get Rid of Filth Created By Pets

As a dog and cat owner, I know how much filth pet dander and hair can live in a house. Moreover, with cats, you also get odors and cat litter dust pollution from cat litter boxes.

Personally, I think the worst pets when it comes to pet dander are birds, especially parrots. Whatever pet you own an air purifier will serve you well and many companies now manufacture air purifiers specifically for pets. When it comes to pets you will do well with either a HEPA or PCO air purifier.

21. Slow Down Dust Build Up

Perhaps I should have mentioned this with benefit number 15 but I felt this deserves its own mention. All types of air purifiers are able to deal with dust and slow down dust build up in your home.

This means your home stays clean for much longer before you have to pull out your dusting equipment and clean up. Keeping this in mind, do not buy an air purifier or send it back  immediately if you find that the one you bought cannot capture dust. This a basic benefit every proper air purifier comes with.

22. Minimize Office & Workshop Pollution

Both white collar and blue collar workers are at risk of facing poor air quality in their work spaces. If you work in an open office there are all kinds of air contaminants you can get exposed to.

To mention a few, if your office space has carpeting, with enough foot traffic all kinds of dirt gets trapped in there and can easily become airborne before anyone cleans the carpet. A lot of printing also goes on in corporate offices and the dangerous dust produced by paper going through printing machines goes unnoticed.

If you are blue collar worker working in an environment like a workshop, ventilation and air purification is even more important. You could be in a woodworking shop where you face a lot of sawdust or in body shop facing paint fumes and asbestos pollution. Whatever the case if your work environment is indoors, in addition to your mask and other protection an air purifier will significantly improve the quality of the air you breathe.

For blue-collar workers working indoors look for a heavy-duty air purifier that covers over 3000 sq ft. On the other hand, if you are a white collar worker and your office cannot provide office-wide air purification, a desk or table air purifier will really go a long way in preventing you from inhaling the various air contaminants in your office space.

How to Get The Most Out of Your Air Purifier

Now that you know all the benefits of air purifiers, to get the maximum of these benefits, the first and foremost thing you have to do is to ensure you have the right sized air purifier for your home. Some homes may be extremely large and will need multiple air purifiers for better room coverage.

If your room is too big for your air purifier it will not clean your room entirely and you will continue to breathe poor air. My rule of thumb is to have an air purifier that covers at least 300 sq ft more than your actual room size.

I have found that air purifiers that use Photocatalytic Oxidation to purify air purifiers air do the best if you have a room size greater than 1000 sq ft. For rooms smaller than 100 sq ft, wither a PCO air purifier or a true HEPA air purifier can give you the maximum benefits of clean air.

In addition to room size, you also want to position your air purifier properly. Don’t place an air purifier where its air vents are obstructed by walls, furniture, and other objects. Place your air purifier in a place where it can easily and freely blow and suck air without anyone or anything tempering with it.

Another mistake people make is to think that once they get an air purifier they no longer need to clean their home as much. Don’t make this mistake, your air purifier is supplementary to cleaning your home and you have to continue cleaning your home and keeping it clutter-free. By doing this, your air purifier has less work to do and will provide you with much cleaner air faster.

Besides cleaning your home, you should regularly maintain your air purifier. Clean your air purifier and replace your air filter regularly as per your device's manual. This will not only ensure your device is performing optimally but also prolong its life.

Finally, close all windows when your air purifier is running and where possible run your air purifiers 24 hours a day. If you cannot run your air purifier 24/7 get one that has an automated switch you can program to turn your device on or lower its circulation speed as and when you leave your home and come back.

There are many more things you can do to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your air purifier. Nonetheless, if you follow the above general tips your device should perform sufficiently for you to realize all the critical benefits. If you would like to see some air purifiers I highly recommend for use in rooms, have a look at my post here

About the Author

Jean-Baptiste

Jean is a research economist by profession and he runs Fresh Air Genie. He is enthusiastic about maintaining good air quality at home and on the go and he shares his knowledge about this here at Fresh Air Genie.

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