Placement of Air Purifiers

10 Crucial Points On Where To Position An Air Purifier For Best Results

Placement of Air Purifiers

As you may already know, air purifiers are quite helpful devices to have in your home, especially if you or anyone in your home is prone to air pollution or you just need to minimize your exposure to dangerous air contaminants.

However, once you have an air purifier you won’t get the most protection out of it unless you position or place it correctly in your given room. If you know me, then you know how concerned I am about optimizing the quality of my air, and here I share the 10 most important things I have learned about where best to position an air purifier.

In a nutshell, where should you position an air purifier? Air purifiers should be placed in an obstruction free area. To ensure optimal airflow and air purification, they should have a clearance of at least  2 feet from other objects on all sides where they extract and release air. Air purifiers are best placed in the most polluted and occupied rooms of a home.

Once you understand the need for clearance and tackling air pollution by placing your air purifier as close to the source of pollution as possible , then you can start to consider all the other factors entailed in positioning your air purifier for best results.

There are various factors at play when it comes to positioning your air purifier well. These factors  include your safety, the type of air purifier you have and also the physical structure of your home among other things.

Out of the many factors you can consider I found 10 that you should really focus on. Accordingly, I start this post by discussing device clearance in more detail and then I go on to talk about positioning your purifier near your source of pollution.

Thereafter I touch on noise levels,  the type of room, safety, the type of device and whether your air purifier will work best on the floor or above ground. Without wasting any more of your time here are the 10 important points.

1. Position Your Air Purifier for the Best Airflow

As highlighted earlier the most important thing to consider when positioning air purifiers is air flow. This also applies to air purifiers  like ionizers and electrostatic precipitators that don’t rely fans as part of their purification processes. All air purifiers need to place in area where they have good airflow to work effectively.

So how do you get good air flow? The trick with air flow is to place your air purifier far enough from walls and large objects, especially furniture. You need to avoid placing your air purifier in corners, under tables, or under shelves.

If you place your air purifier to close to anything that obstructs its vents and airways, it won't suck air and release it effectively. There will be less bad air going in through your device and subsequently less clean air coming out into your home every hour.

To avoid this I keep any type of air purifier 2 feet away from anything on all the sides where it has an inlet and outlet. The exception to the rule here may be wall mounted air purifiers. However, even these need to be positioned in a way that their air inlet and outlet are not obstructed by anything. They need to be positioned so that their airflow is maximized.

2. Place Your Air Purifier at the Source of Pollution

The next thing you need to ensure is that you have identified where pollution in your home is coming from. Pollution can come into your home through walls or vents from your neighbors' place if you stay in apartments (very annoying).

Speaking of this, I had the worst experience ever, in my old apartment. The apartment was built such that everything the neighbor below me smoked, came right up through the building's vents into my bedroom.

This is one of the things that drove my interest in air purifiers. I just could not stand waking up to my home filled with cigarette odor and in desperation struggled to find a solution and I ended moving out of the place. In hindsight, if I had just placed an air purifier next to the vents this would have really helped my situation.

Other sources of pollution in your home could be carpet fumes, your cat litter box, off-gassing from various products especially in your storeroom, your pets living area, or dust and pollen coming in through windows and doors. Your air could also be getting polluted by mold build up in your home and odors from the kitchen.

Keeping in mind your purifier's air flow, once you identify where your pollution is coming from, place your air purifier in the same room and as close as possible to the source. This allows your air purifier to neutralize or trap contaminants before they spread all around your home.

Finally, if you have an HVAC system installed in your home, a useful tip is to place an air purifier right at the place where the system draws in air. This will help you reduce the volume of air contaminants like dust and ultra-fine particles being sucked into your house through your HVAC system. 

On its own your HVAC is not effective filtering air pollutants but with an air purifier positioned near its inlet, your HVAC will pump much cleaner air all around your home. An alternative to this is to get an air purifier that can be built into your HVAC system.

3. Position Your Purifier According to Noise Level

My third point should really concern you if you enjoy having silence in a room while you are reading, studying or sleeping. Some air purifiers are just outright noisy. If you are sensitive to noise, you will need to get a silent air purifier.

You may also need to have multiple air purifiers. This will allow you to choose between pricier quieter devices which you can place in rooms where you don’t want any noise and nosier devices which you can position in rooms where you don't mind some constant humming sound from an appliance.

Normally I would place a nosier device in the living room and kitchen area and a silent device in my room or study. Otherwise, if I could afford to get only silent devices to cover my entire home then I would go that route. For cleaner air without sacrificing the peace and silence in my home, I would go for the Airocide Air Purifier as shown here at Amazon.

4. Position Your Device To Deal With Kitchen Pollution

If you cook at home or have a full-blown kitchen that you use frequently you will understand how much pollution can come from your kitchen. You not only get pollution and odors from your cooking but also from household chemicals, detergents, your bin, under sink odor, and from all kinds of things in your kitchen storage.

So there is no question how useful an air purifier can be in your kitchen. However,  big or small, your kitchen can be quite a busy area. Finding a good spot for your air purifier can be a challenge because you likely have many other appliances (see point number 8) stationed around your counter. You also have water and all sorts of things splashing around.

Taking this into account, in my opinion, the best place for an air purifier in the kitchen is on the wall. So ideally for the kitchen you would have to go with a a wall mountable air purifier.

If you go for a table top or floor air purifier,  you have to clear some space for it on your counter and make sure you place it away from a spot where it could wet or splashed on with oil or gravy from your cooking. You can make space on the floor in the kitchen area but depending  your air purifier size, you would rather have it on top on your kitchen counter.

That said, your life becomes much easier if you have an open plan kitchen. In this situation, placing your air purifier anywhere in the living room or dining room should cover your kitchen as well. You just have to make sure your device is big enough for your room size.

5. Put Your Air Purifier in the Most Polluted Room

Besides your kitchen, just as you want to place an air purifier at the source of your pollution, you will significantly improve the quality of your air if you place your devices in the most polluted room in your house in addition to your kitchen. Usually, the most polluted room in your home will cause pollution in the rest of your home. This could be where your pets sleep, or your basement, a room that’s facing a busy street or a room where mold is building up.

If you live in a house with 3 bedrooms or more it can be tricky to determine which room is most polluted. This is where tools like air quality monitoring devices and test kits come in handy.

Use an air quality monitoring device like the IQAIR  Air Visual Pro Air Quality Monitor (which is available at Amazon) to determine the air quality in each room and once you find the most polluted room you will know exactly where you have to put an air purifier in your home. 

An air quality monitoring tool is the quickest way forward here. Also, the beauty of having one is that you can continuously use it to ensure you are maintaining good indoor air quality across your home.

6. Position Your Air Purifier  in The Bedroom

The bedroom is a very important place to have an air purifier. When you place an air purifier in your bedroom, make sure the end that releases the clean air is facing your head. However, don’t put your air purifier too close to your head in case it causes a draft which can be bad for your health.

To avoid any health problems, a safe distance to place your air purifier from your bed and your head is about 6 to 10 feet. Closer than 6 feet then you risk getting sick, further than 10 feet, then you do not get the full benefit of your air purifier while you sleep.

Regardless of putting your air purifier at a safe distance, having an air purifier in your rooms goes a long way in not only ensuring you are breathing well but also that you are getting a peaceful nap. Air purifiers have been shown to give you a good night's rest as they help you breathe more easily by ensuring you breathing in clean air while you sleep.

7. Place Your Device in A Safe Space

I touched on my first point in regards to safety earlier when I talked about where to place your air purifier in the kitchen. I cannot stress this enough.  Unless of course you don't mind getting electrocuted, when positioning your air purifier, you need to completely avoid wet surfaces and busy areas of your home .

Place your air purifier away from your pets' and kids' common path in case they stumble over it or get tempted to tamper with it. Additionally keep it away from your own busy areas in the home in case you trip over it.

Also, avoid putting your air purifier in extremely hot environments like right next to a heater or in direct sunlight. Like any device, air purifiers can malfunction by overheating. My final thought  here is to read the safety precautions in your air purifier's manual. Many people ignore but read it and you will avoid many dangerous mistakes with your purifier.

8. Position Your Purifier Next To Other Appliances

Do not put your air purifier next to other appliances like your microwave, fridge, cooker, stereo system or near your TV. Your air purifier operates at around the same wavelength as these devices and they can interfere with each others operation while you use them simultaneously.

You also do not want to put your air purifier next to a furnace in case it overheats. With this in mind, you only need to worry about larger appliances that generate heat or produce a significant electromagnetic field.  So  don't  worry about leaving your phone or laptop next to your air purifier.

9. Position Your Air Purifier By Type and Brand of Air Purifier

When it comes to positioning your air purifier by brand type, the best thing you can do is to consult your manufacturer’s manual or usage guidelines. Placement rules will generally be the same for most air purifier brands.

Nonetheless, there are some brand models out there that have unique placement instructions. To avoid mistakes and messing up your air  purifier, the key is to read your appliance's manual before setting it up and turning it on for the first time. You will save yourself a lot of headaches down the line.

As for different types of air purifiers, my general rule of thumb is that I can place ionizer air purifiers and photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) air purifiers, pretty much anywhere in a room provided I have taken into account air flow. However, my reservations increase with air purifiers that have a fan and filter such as HEPA air purifiers. 

Unless they are designed to be mounted I would avoid putting such a device on an uneven or slanted surface. Always try to have a HEPA purifier placed on a flat surface. When all is said and done, just as devices come in different shapes and sizes, their position by type and brand also vary alike. This leads us to our final point.

10. Position Your Air Purifier On The Floor, On The Table Or On The Wall

Whether an air purifier can be placed on the floor, on the table or on the wall strongly depends on how it was designed. Some devices are heavy and big and some even come with wheels to move them around and it does not make any sense at all putting them on top of a table.

Some devices are portable and they can be put on pretty much any surface. Some manufacturers even design their air purifiers for multiple placements including placement on the wall. I mean, you also get air purifiers you can mount on your ceiling such as the Healthy Air Ceiling Mount Air Purifier.

Again. My advice here is to follow your devices instruction manual. You can easily find this online by typing your Device Name + Instruction Manual when you search on google or any search engine. If you do not find anything, my suggestion is to only place portable air purifiers on a surface above ground and leave large and heavy devices on the ground.

So this is everything I managed to find and I believe you should know about positioning air purifiers well. The only other thing I have left to say and that you may have picked up as you read through this post is that, depending on the size of your home, you may need an air purifier in multiple rooms across your house.

My typical positioning when it comes to having multiple air purifiers in a home is to have one in each bedroom, one in the leaving room, and one in the kitchen if you have a separate kitchen. Lastly if your house has a basement, I also strongly suggest putting an air purifier in the basement.

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.

Comments

  1. Jean,

    thanks for the article, very useful but its hard to read because your use of English [in many places] is absolutely terrible and requires several readings

    mark

    1. Author

      Thanks for your input mark. Very important. I will try fix this. Could you please give me 1 or 2 examples for guidance.

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