The Benefits of Air Purifiers: How Much of a Difference Do They Make?

Air purifiers are a great way to improve air quality and health in your home. Research has shown that they are effective at reducing particulate matter in the air, and some types can even have health benefits for people with allergies, asthma, and other conditions. However, it is important to understand that an air purifier will not remove all harmful particles from your home, and it is best used in conjunction with a filter and regular house cleaning. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cautions that studies do not always point to significant improvements or a reduction in all allergy symptoms.

But will you feel different? A small-scale study in China found that air purifiers reduced fine particles in the air (dust, pollen, dander) and improved participants' blood pressure levels and lung function. When choosing an air purifier, you should look for one that uses a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, the standard recommended by the EPA and the American Lung Association. HEPA filters are very effective at removing fungus, mold and other allergens from indoor air. Theoretically, they can remove 99.97% of dust, bacteria, mold, pollen and other airborne particles, although their effectiveness will depend on factors such as the age of the filter.

In addition to the type of filter used, you should also consider the size of the interior space, the MERV rating, and how often you will need to change the filter. A CADR of 200 for pollen means that the air purifier can reduce pollen concentration to the equivalent of adding 200 cubic feet of fresh air per minute. An air purifier will essentially filter any airborne pollutants from the air, such as smoke, pollen and dust, and it has also been announced that some may capture particles that carry the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, they cannot remove larger allergens, dust mites and pet hair that settle on furniture and carpets unless they are altered and redistributed in the air.

The best ways to improve indoor air quality are to remove pollutants and ventilate with fresh, clean outdoor air. While an air purifier can help with this process, it is important to remember that there are many factors that can affect its effectiveness. Therefore, if you have the best HEPA air filter on the market, you are not credited with removing the smallest particles since they are not part of the test.