How Do Air Purifiers Work

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Updated February 4, 2023

If you are thinking about purchasing the best air purifier or upgrading a pre-existing model, you may be wondering how do air purifiers work. Air purifiers work by drawing in air, filtering it through a filtering mechanism, and releasing the filtered air back into the room. The exact filtration process can vary, as there are multiple designs and technologies available when it comes to air purifier products.

One factor to keep top of mind is that air purifiers improve indoor air quality, thus helping to improve your health, especially concerning lung health. Airborne pollutants such as contaminants, cleaning solvents, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter are removed from the air using an air purifier. This reduces the severity of asthma attacks for asthma sufferers and lowers your chances of respiratory diseases. 


  • Air purifiers are machines that have been purpose-built to filter and freshen the air.
  • These appliances operate by drawing air in, filtering it, and then releasing it back into the environment, though the exact methods can vary.
  • If you regularly use an air purifier, expect a reduction in common allergens and a severe reduction in nasty odors.

Air Purifier Operation

HEPA-based air purifiers draw in air and run it through an advanced HEPA filter. Advanced carbon filters work similarly, whereas electrostatic filters use an electric charge to neutralize potentially harmful particles in the air. If noise is a concern, don’t worry. Air purifiers are generally very quiet.

Insider Tip

An air purifier is a home or office appliance that freshens and purifies the air in its immediate surroundings.

Benefits of an Air Purifier

An air purifier is a home or office appliance that freshens and purifies the air in its immediate surroundings. There are several benefits to look forward to once you have a high-quality air purifier running in your home.

Reduced Allergens

If you suffer from allergies, an air purifier that works for allergens could be your new best friend. These machines are highly capable when it comes to reducing the number of allergens floating in the air. Modern air purifiers are adept at filtering common allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and more. If eliminating allergens is your primary concern, you should consider buying a purifier with a genuine HEPA filter.

Insider Tip

HEPA-based air purifiers draw in air and run it through an advanced HEPA filter.

Using a HEPA filter will ensure that larger particles and indoor pollutants will be effectively removed from the air, thus relieving asthma symptoms. 

Alleviated Respiratory Symptoms

If you suffer from respiratory ailments such as asthma or COPD, an easy-to-clean air purifier could reduce the severity of your symptoms. The reason? Air purifiers, like the Filtrete Fap02, filter out impurities from the air, making it easier to breathe. Please note, that air purifiers will not cure these ailments, but they could reduce the frequency of some of the symptoms when used correctly.

Many consumers may be wondering which unit is best for them. This depends on your needs, like if you need an air cleaner for tobacco smoke or germicidal irradiation. You might want to have a look at ionic air purifiers or those equipped with UV light. 


If eliminating allergens is your primary concern, you should think about buying a purifier equipped with a genuine HEPA filter.

Eliminated Odors

Encountering an unpleasant and mysterious smell in the home is one of the most frustrating things imaginable. Luckily, air purifiers are here to help. These machines reduce and eliminate foul odors from the home or office. Modern air purifiers are great with a variety of nasty smells, including smoke, mold, mildew, food aroma, pet urine, and more. To maximize the purifier’s odor-reducing capabilities, be sure to leave it running continuously until the smell has been noticeably reduced.

Although, if you’re still noticing odors lingering, you might not have an effective air purifier. Or, the space is too large for the unit, which means it’s unable to catch all smoke particles, thus leaving traces of odor behind. 

In fact, for larger homes and commercial spaces, you might also want to check out how commercial air purifiers differ from standard models.

STAT: High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are the benchmark for air purifier filters, which are guaranteed to trap 99.97% of airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns in size. (source)


Are there any types of air purifiers that I should avoid?

Maybe, depending on personal preference and certain sensitivities. Ozone generators, for instance, could be a risk factor for developing some ailments.

Do air purifiers really help people with allergies?

Yes. It’s simple science. The allergens are drawn into the purifier and either trapped or destroyed. It may take a while for your symptoms to become reduced and these air purifiers are by no means a miracle cure.

How can I tell whether an air purifier is any good?

We recommend that you read reviews, use trusted media sources, and stick to purifiers made by reputable companies. Just take your time with it and only purchase once you are sure.

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