Whether you already own an air purifier or you are on the hunt for a new one, just like you, many people wonder how much electricity these appliances actually consume. I think the main concern, well at least for me, is whether I am adding another power-hungry device to my electricity bill.
So, briefly put, how much electricity do air purifiers consume? Air purifiers use anywhere between 10 to 900 watts. Household air purifiers consume up to around 300 watts while industrial air purifiers consume up to 900 watts. The electricity usage of an air purifier varies based mainly on the technology being used and the size of the appliance.
Having looked at specifications for over 500 air purifiers, when it comes to household air purifiers, I have found for most of them you won’t really notice the impact on your electricity bill. That said, there are some odd household purifiers that can run up a cost large enough that you will think twice about if you add your daily cost over a year.
To give you a clear picture of what to expect when it comes to air purifiers and power consumption, I am going to walk you through pretty much everything you should think about when it comes to air purifiers and power consumption.
I will start with factors that affect your air purifiers consumption, then take you through how to know exactly how much electricity an air purifier is using and a list of common air purifiers. I will also show you how much power they consume and finally, I will give you some useful tips on minimizing an air purifier’s power consumption.
I take you through all these things because this will help you deepen your understanding of why an air purifier consumes as much energy as it does and also help you better manage your purifier’s power consumption.
Factors That Determine Your Air Purifier’s Electricity Usage
In my research on this topic, I found there are five main factors behind how much electricity your air purifier will consume. These can be summarized as external (from outside the purifier) and direct factors (factors to do with components on or within your purifier).
Type Of Air Purifier Technology
The type of air purifier technology refers to the kind of system your air purifier uses to clean your air. The common air purifier uses air filters however you also have air purifiers that produce chemicals or ions to clean the air or use UV light or heat to incinerate air pollutants.
Some air purifiers also simply pass air through water stored in a tank in their core to remove pollutants. These different approaches consume different amounts of energy.
With air purifiers that use filters, usually, the smaller the airborne particulates your filter can filter out the more energy your purifier will have to use as you need more effort to pass the air through your air filter.
With UV based air purifiers, the wider the spectrum of UV light of the bulb in your purifier the more electricity your air purifier is going to use. Then when you compare like for like in terms of cleaning capacity and air changes, air purifiers that use air filters normally consume more electricity than filterless air purifiers.
Lastly, you have air purifiers that use multiple types of cleaning technologies at once. Like for like, these air purifiers, more often than not consume more electricity than single cleaning technology-based air purifiers.
Running Speed & Environment
Running speed is the speed at which your air purifier draws and releases air into your house. Generally, your air purifier will use more energy the faster it can pull and release air. A lot of air purifiers come with various speed settings ranging from low to high and for all air purifiers, electricity consumption is much higher when your air purifier is set on high.
Some purifiers also come with some automation that enables your device to switch speed settings according to the level of pollution in your home. Accordingly, if the environment your air purifier has to operate in is highly polluted, the faster it operates to get rid of pollutants the more electricity it will use.
If you leave your windows or doors open, you also create a much bigger coverage area for your air purifier and if it has the automated speed function, it will operate on its most intensive power consumption mode.
For air purifiers that operate on 1 speed, a more polluted environment means more pollutants clogging their cleaning core and more resistance for your purifiers fan or more work for your air purifiers cleaning chamber in the case of UV based purifiers. This increased level of activity means your air purifier has to push its limits in terms of energy consumption.
For devices that release cleaning chemicals that neutralize pollutants, the story is different. With a more polluted environment, they have to work for longer periods to clean your air and accordingly consume more electricity.
Size Of Air Purifier Fan
There are very few types of air purifiers that do not have a fan and of those that do, they come in different shapes and sizes.
The physics when it comes to fans is that the bigger and heavier the propeller of your fan, the more energy you will need to spin it. So naturally, the bigger your air purifier fan the more electricity it will consume.
Area Coverage Capacity
Area coverage capacity is just a fancy way of saying how much room your air purifier has to cover. This is a no brainer, the larger the space your air purifier can cover, the larger your air purifier has to be, the larger its cleaning system and the more electricity it will use. This may not always be the case but anecdotally I have found this to be the case most of the time.
The watt rating of your air purifier is the amount of electricity it consumes per hour. So if you have a 300 W air purifier, this means it consumes 300 watts per hour. Usually, your air purifier can consume less electricity than its watt rating.
So what the watt rating tells you is the highest amount of electricity your air purifier can possibly consume per hour at its full operating capacity.
All the other factors I have mentioned can only ultimately drive your air purifier to use as much electricity per hour as its watt rating. If you find your air purifier using at least 10 watts more energy than its rating, then your air purifier could be faulty and you may have to get an electrician to check it out.
These are key factors determining whether your air purifier will consume more or less electricity. With these in mind, lets now look at how to calculate your air purifier’s electricity usage.
How To Calculate Your Air Purifier’s Electricity Usage
An important part of the puzzle when determining how much electricity your air purifier consumes is how much it translates to in monetary terms in addition to the actual quantity of electricity it consumes. Here is how you calculate all this from scratch.
The units to measure the amount of electricity being used are known as watts. Watts (W) can also be expressed as kilowatts (kW) by dividing the amount in watts by 1000.
This means 1000 W is equivalent to 1 kW. When someone tells you, your appliance's power consumption is 10 W it means every hour your appliance uses 10 W of electricity.
Now, say you run your air purifiers 24 hours each day. To work out your electricity usage in a day, you simply multiply 10 W by 24 hours and this means you use 240 W or 0.24 kW per day when you run your air purifier.
Then if you want to know your air purifier’s usage per month, simply multiply 240 W by 30 days to get 7200 W or 7.2 kW per month. You can further multiply the monthly figure by 12 months to find out your usage per year which will be 86.4 kW.
The importance of converting your usage in watts to kilowatts is that it makes it easy to convert your usage to monetary terms. This is because our electricity cost is normally quoted in kilowatts. For example, your local electricity rate will usually be quoted in the following format: 10c/kWh (10 cents per kilowatt-hours).
If you already converted your usage to kilowatts as we did above then to work out our yearly air purifier electricity usage we would simply multiply 86.4 kW by 10c/kWh to get an annual usage cost of 864 cents or if you divide by 100 to convert cents to dollars, then that is US$8.6 per year.
To simplify everything all the calculations above can be done using the following simple formula:
Total Air Purifier Kilowatt Usage Per Day = (Energy Consumption (watts per hour of your air purifier) × Hours your unit is used) ÷ 1000
Total Daily Air Purifier Electricity Cost = Total Air Purifier Kilowatt Usage Per Day × Electricity Cost (dollars or cents Per kWh)
Total Annual Air Purifier Electricity Cost = Total Air Purifier Kilowatt Usage Per Day × Electricity Cost (dollars or cents Per kWh) × 365 Days
You will notice for the annual cost I multiplied the daily cost by 365 days as opposed to 12 months multiplied by the monthly cost. I did this as 365 days is more accurate but if you just want a rough estimate you can use the monthly calculation approach.
One other thing you might be wondering about is where you can find the Energy Consumption rate of an air purifier. Usually, this is written on the appliance’s packaging or you can look for the specifications of your specific appliance online on the manufacturer’s website.
Worst case scenario if you already own the air purifier that you are trying to calculate the power consumption for and cannot determine its wattage by any other means, you can use an energy consumption monitoring device like the Sense or Kill A Watt P3 P4400 energy monitoring devices.
Let us now look at some actual air purifier usage figures.
How Much Electricity Air Purifiers Actually Use & How Much This Will Cost You
As you have seen earlier the key variables you need to know how much electricity your air purifier uses and how much it will cost you are your air purifier’s power rating and your area’s electricity cost per kilowatt-hour. If you live in the US, to make your life easy below is an interactive map with average electricity cost figures per state.
If you want more accurate costs, you can see your electricity cost down to your Zip Code on this website. As for power consumption figures, in the table below are power consumption figures for some common air purifiers.
I have also included the monthly and annual electricity bills you can expect for each purifier model based on the U.S average electricity rate of 13.19 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Air Purifier Model
Power Consumption Rate - Watts
Monthly Electricity Cost - US$
Annual Electricity Cost - US$
IQAir HealthPro Plus
Honeywell 50250-S HEPA Round Air Purifier
Blueair Pro L
Austin Air Healthmate
Field Controls TRIO
Amaircare 3000 VOC
Rabbit Air MinusA2
Whirlpool Whispure 510
Looking at the amount of electricity some air purifiers consume yearly, you could potentially buy another air purifier at an annual cost of US$240. However, remember that some air purifiers will consume a lot more energy because they are doing a better job cleaning your house.
So, you have to weigh the results you are getting for the amount of energy consumed to see if your investment was worthwhile from an energy perspective.
If you happen to be going for an air purifier that is not on the list, following the formula I gave you above, below is a calculator to help you know the rough amount of electricity your exact air purifier is using.
All you need to enter in the calculator is your electricity rate for your area and your air purifier watt rating and you are good to go. You can change the calculator results to reflect your daily, monthly and annual electricity consumption and cost.
How Air Purifier Electricity Consumption Compares To Other Appliances
Once you know how much your air purifier consumes, to put things into perspective, and gauge if your air purifier is heavy on electricity, it helps to compare your usage statistics to other appliances in your home.
So looking at other appliances, you will find on average a computer consumes around 365 watts of electricity, while fridges range between 200 and 300 watts. Your light bulb will do anywhere between 60W and 120W, an air conditioner 600W and your washing machine is the most draining at 2000W.
Looking at the average electricity consumption rate of other common household appliances I think a household air purifier is generally on the low to mid-range of power consumption, depending on what brand you go for.
Based on the comparison with other appliances, I personally would not stress so much about my air purifiers’ power consumption unless I was adding multiple units in my home. Otherwise, your electricity cost from adding a single air purifier to your home should not really break the bank.
How To Minimize Your Air Purifier’s Electricity Consumption
Having determined how much electricity your air purifier consumes, should you find yourself in a situation whereby you need to minimize your air purifiers consumption level for whatever reason, then here are some steps you can try.
To reduce the amount of energy your air purifier uses, you can start by keeping your windows closed. This will keep out outdoor pollutants, and reduce the intensity at which your air purifier needs to work and subsequently how much electricity it consumes.
In addition to keeping your windows and doors closed, weatherizing your home can also help minimize the level of pollutants from outdoor air coming into your home. Weatherizing also generally improves your energy efficiency.
That said, if you are weatherizing make sure you have air purifiers in your home because by weatherizing you increase the concentration of air pollutants produced from within your home.
The next thing you can try in efforts to minimize your purifier’s power consumption is to get a smart air purifier. There are quite a number of smart purifier models on the market now and these devices can be programmed to switch off or run at different speeds over certain periods of time.
There are some devices you can also control remotely with an app. You can just imagine what you can do with such functionality from an energy-saving perspective.
Lastly, go for devices that have an eco-friendly mode and are energy star rated. With an energy star rated device, you can save up to 40% on your appliances' annual power consumption as compared to a similar device that is not energy rated.
With all these measures in mind, you should really be able to make a considerable reduction in your air purifiers’ electricity consumption.
I think I have yapped on enough now and if you have read through the whole post you should now be absolutely clear on what you're doing when it comes to air purifiers and energy consumption. If you have any questions or anything you would like to add, feel free to comment below.