What Does a Red Light Mean on an Air Purifier?

If you have been using a high-performing air purifier for a while, you may have noticed a worrying red light popping up. What does a red light mean on an air purifier? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A red light on an air purifier usually indicates that the air filter has become clogged and needs to be cleaned or replaced.
  • This red light can also mean that your local air pollution is simply too great for the purifier to adequately handle.
  • You can reset the red light by holding down on the button for several seconds, though this process may vary depending on your model.

What is a Red Light on an Air Purifier?

Each air purifier model may have different uses for a red light, but in most cases, a red light will indicate some kind of maintenance issue like taking long before you clean your air purifier.

Insider Tip

In most cases, a red light will indicate some kind of maintenance issue like taking long before you clean your air purifier.

How to Troubleshoot a Red Light

As previously mentioned, each air purifier features a different design, so the troubleshooting steps to fix a red light will vary. Here are a few universal tips to think about as you troubleshoot your air purifier.

Check on the Air Filter

The primary reason an air purifier will emit a red light is when the air filter has become clogged and needs cleaning or replacement. You can troubleshoot this by opening up the housing of the air purifier and taking a look at the filter. If it appears extraordinarily dirty or clogged, it is time to clean it or replace it. As a note, the HEPA filter works best when replaced every six months to one year. You can find out what true hepa means. Electrostatic filters and activated carbon filters, on the other hand, should be cleaned every month with gently running water and a microfiber cloth.

Some air purifiers will emit a red light when the filter needs to be replaced or cleaned, but an orange light when the filter is close to needing some maintenance. This is why you should know what a dirty filter on an air purifier looks like.

Insider Tip

The primary reason an air purifier will emit a red light is when the air filter has become clogged and needs cleaning or replacement.

Move the Purifier

In some cases, a red light will indicate an extraordinarily high amount of air pollutants floating around. If you live near an active wildfire, for instance, the red light will act as a warning that the air purifier is struggling to purify all of that smoke. You can troubleshoot this issue by moving the air purifier around to different rooms of your room, as some rooms may be less polluted than others.

Reset the Sensors

In rare cases, the red light could be shining for no real reason. Sometimes the sensors get overwhelmed and think that the filter is too dirty or that your atmosphere is too polluted when neither is true. In this case, you will want to hold down the red button for a number of seconds until it resets.

Warning

Some air purifiers will emit a red light when the filter needs to be replaced or cleaned, but an orange light when the filter is close to needing some maintenance.

F.A.Q.S

How often should I clean or replace the filters?

This will vary depending on your filter and purifier, so check the instructions for details. However, HEPA filters tend to need replacement once every six months to one year, while other kinds of filters should usually be cleaned once a month.


How do I clean the filters?

When it comes to electrostatic and activated carbon filters, clean them with gently running water and a microfiber cloth. Be sure to give them adequate time to dry before reinserting into the air purifier.


How do I reset the filter replacement indicator?

The process to reset a filter replacement light is usually done by holding down on the light itself for several seconds before you see it fade. This will vary depending on the make and model of your air purifier.



STAT: HEPA filters will eliminate up to 99.97 percent of airborne pollutants that are 0.3 microns in diameter and above. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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