Are air purifiers a waste of money? — Dispelling the myth

“As we begin to plan for a new human society, we need to foster common values about clean air, water, and other elements of self-sustenance.”
Jacque Fresco

An air purifier is a device for air cleaning as it provides fresh clean air, avoids harmful chemicals and indoor pollutants, preventing allergies. Some specifications seem too good to be true, as no device can make you healthy and wealthy, so, typically, most people are curious if an air purifier is a waste of money.

Buying an air purifier we consider its price, properties, design, and presence of HEPA filters, but we rarely chose an air purifier with a capacity advised to our room size which leads to small efficiency and a waste of money.

But if you buy the right air purifier with good air filters, an air purifier will save you from dust pollen, tobacco smoke and even cooking smells in less than an hour.

✅ It is a myth that air purifiers are a waste of money, we try to certain you.

An air purifier or air cleaner?

More people become conscious about the air they breathe and consider buying devices to protect themselves at home and while working.

Thanks to modern buildings, indoor air quality depends on the “climate” inside the room. Invisible pollutants such as cigarette smokemold sporesdust pollen, viruses, and bacteria weaken our immune systems. So, we are looking for the best home air purifier or any other device to protect our health.

An air purifier is not just cleaner as some people may think, they have different services but are responsible for the same: avoiding indoor air pollution.

While air cleaners get rid of pollutants, remove dust and increase air quality as they only must clean air, air purifiers work as sanitizers, collecting a wide range of airborne contaminants that affect your comfort and health.

A good HEPA air purifier traps allergens from pets (pet dander), pet fur, dust mites, hair, mold, chemical fumes, and bacteria and even may capture airborne particles and viruses.

Which is better air cleaner or air purifier?

An air cleaner is a simple device, but it also can be a waste of funds if you don’t know its working principle. It can be built into the HVAC, which leads to decreasing expenses, but filter replacements are expensive.

An air cleaner proposes a silent operation and good dust filtration to make the indoor air fresher, but it doesn’t provide you sufficient bacteria or virus protection.

This issue was significant during the COVID-19 pandemic, as customers and employees wanted more rigorous health and safety measures. Indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. An air purifier protects the inner air, as its filters catch small parts of bacteria and even some viruses.

How do air purifiers work?

Typically, an air purifier uses a fan that forces air to go through one or more filters and catch airborne pathogens before they can circulate once again.

The recommended air purifiers contain activated carbon filters or true HEPA filters for indoor air quality. The charcoal filter removes Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as chemicals, air fresheners, personal care products, and other odors. The pores of the activated carbon filter absorb VOCs leaving the inhaled cleaner air inside the room.

The HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) captures the smallest particles, including dust, smoke, pollen, and pet dander. HEPA filters effectively remove more than 99.7% of particles up to the size of 0.3 microns such as dust, pollen, mold, and some bacteria.

An air purifier can be compact to be plugged in somewhere else if needed and used both in living rooms and offices for healthy indoor air. A portable air purifier is very convenient to use at the cause, as you may replace them from one room to another.

Large air purifiers can also be added to your home’s HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) to support proper filtration for your entire home instead of portable air purifiers in each room.

According to the EPA, built-in air purifiers can’t absorb every contaminant from your room, but they can reduce air pollutants when used as a part of an HVAC system. 

It may also be useful for you to read the article Do air purifiers use a lot of electricity?

Differences between activated carbon filter and true HEPA filter

HEPA filters eliminate most contaminants up to 0.2 mils of air particles. This filters out various organisms like bacteria, mold, dust pollen, and mites.

A carbon and charcoal filter is also typically used to remove odors, smoke fumes, and the smell of cleaning products and chemicals in indoor areas. These are generally pollutants that have minimus size. It is achieved by activating carbon’s highly porous surface.

Air purifier serves you the best if you use HEPA filters in your rooms, offices, classrooms, or other areas.

The UV air purifier uses rays emitted by the Sun (UVA and UVB). Disinfecting ultraviolet light kills microorganisms like molds, bacteria, and some viruses. Metal air purifiers use ionic or electrostatic technologies to catch airborne particles to metal plates, allowing better overall airflow. They serve the best with a regular air filter to provide maximum efficiency.

Ozone air purifiers work thanks to three oxygen molecules bonded together. Ozone generators are extremely powerful and are not used often as their gas is toxic in large quantities. It is not the best air purifier for you, either for a room or for the entire home.

Not all air purifiers are the same good. Moreover, using any purifier requires maintenance such as replacement filters for the proper work.

Advantages of air purifiers

Home Appliance Manufacturers demand to count the developed indicator to calculate the volume of filtered air by an air purifier. The CADR (clean air delivery rate) accepts purifiers to avoid pollen, smoke, and dust.

The CADR number tells you the size of the room (in cubic feet) that the purifier will cover. So, it is better to follow their recommendations. Air purification has some health benefits.

It reduces other issues related to poor indoor air quality

Even if someone at home does not suffer from allergies and asthma, filtration may help eliminate the possibility of other problems related to poor indoor air quality. However, you may notice an improvement in breathing before leaving the house.

It removes odors

At home, we always face odors coming from cigarettes or the kitchen. If you have difficulty removing odors from your home, we suggest purchasing a purifier that has charcoal filters. Air cleaner also serves the best for this issue.

It protects from pet danger

Pet fur and dander contain several allergens which can harm immune systems. These particles are pretty small and can easily be removed by a purifier with HEPA filters.

It solves other issues related to poor air quality

Not enough clean environment may cause not just allergies but other diseases such as itchy throat, eyes, nose or skin, headaches, sneezing and coughing fatigue dizziness nausea. An indoor air quality monitoring device can give specific information that you can trust.

It protects against airborne germs

Air purifiers with activated carbon filters can be used to remove bacteria and viruses.

What are the disadvantages of air purifiers?

There is nothing inherently bad about an inner environmental cleaner. There are some minor facts about them, including expensive filter replacement and their price.

Before buying, you need some calculations of your room area to get the most efficient cleaning and protection. A small and poor-powered device cannot complete the proper absorption of harmful elements in ample accommodation.

Devices of good power and several good filters cost a lot. But if you follow recommendations in purchasing, you won’t waste your money on the best air purifier.

Are air purifiers worth the money? Which ones are bad?

Yes – air cleaners will save you time and money. HEPA purifiers are good buys, and you do not need any investment to have clean air. It will cost around 80 to 100 dollars for an ideal size room, for example.

There are several tips to benefit from your purchase.

  1. Do not buy ionic or ozone generators

An ionizer is also used as a purifying device. Ionizers and ozone generators are identical in their function; however, a typical ionizer produces charged atoms in the air for airborne particles to attach to the metal plates. They usually do not emit high levels of pollution and tend to be safe.

  1. The problem with ozone generators

An O2 Generator works by breaking oxygen molecules from the air around it. They create ozone with charge-forming particles in the air. Low smog is not harmful to the health of humans — or at least less efficient for them than filters. Ozone has only one long lifespan and can then be recombined into oxygen molecules.

Do air purifiers actually make a difference?

Researchers say filtering air helps eliminate pollutants from indoors, primarily dust mites, smoke, and mold. The air purifier can, however, be combined with appropriate filtration or home cleaners.

Is there a downside to air purifiers?

The only downside of a purifier is its cost.

Do doctors recommend air purifiers?

A large number of healthcare providers recommend using a filtered air purifier at work and at home.

Are air purifiers worth the investment?

Air purification is effective for filtering dust from your air, leaving the room healthier. A purifier can be a great investment if a pet owner has a pet.


Are air purifiers a waste of money, and is using an air purifier worth it? The answer is yes. According to the EPA, air purifiers improve indoor air quality. Our apartments are equipped with modern materials that are great for energy efficiency, but not so great for indoor air quality.

We don’t get as much outside air as we should, but pollutants such as dust, pet dander, and cleaning products may lead to respiratory irritation. So, to protect our health, we should buy a good purifier and benefit from it.


1 comment

You need to look beyond manufacturers claims to be able to determine which ones deserve space in your home, and which ones are better not to buy. For example, portable air purifiers are often a waste of money in the long term.

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