Do Air Purifiers Really Work: The Big Guide

Clean indoor air is a basic physiological need. If you do not live in a rural suburb or at least around a city park, chances are you need an air purifier for your home. 


When looking for a truly effective device, you have to study a lot of comparative reviews and articles. Among a variety of devices, trust is placed on those that are reliable and clean the air well.

A variety of functions is added on top of already existing ones in air purification machines. Options of ultrasound, ionization, humidification can be found in many of the contemporary models. Let's see what does air purifier do and how effective are air purifiers.

If the task at hand is cleaning the air from fluff, pollen, dander, and unwanted smells, an air purifier is an effective solution for that. The devices differ in size, performance, design, and most importantly, filters 

for air purification.


Air purifiers generally include several types of filters for the best possible performance and result:

  • Rough air filter

It usually looks like a mesh or porous material that can trap large pollutants, such as dust or animal hair.

  • Fine-drawn filters

These look like a pleated skirt or accordion. The filter material is very porous, providing an entrapment for dust and other allergens.

  • HEPA filters

Nowadays HEPA filters are considered to be the most effective for air purification. They catch even the tiny airborne particles, PM 2.5 for instance. They are tiny VOC particles  (dust mite secretions, pollen, excessive perfume, pet fluff, dander remains). A HEPA filter is an absolutely necessary component of a reliable indoor air purifier.

  • AK filter (adsorption-catalytic filter)

You also want to protect yourself from unpleasant odors in your household. Specific materials in the filter literally draw gas molecules inside and lock them in. The same function is performed by two complementary filters: carbon and photocatalytic.

Additional Functions in Air Purifiers

Some air purifiers possess additional features. Let’s look closer at some of them.


It is good for you if the air is saturated with negatively and positively charged ions. Or so say the ionizer manufacturers. Ionization benefits are still under discussion though. There is no medical or scientific evidence on the subject yet. Some claim ions being a practical panacea, others call them dangerous. 


Filling the air with aromas using aromatic liquids. Aromatization happens due to the dispersing process. An air freshener or an aroma oil is sprayed into the air. Air purification devices often include odor-removing parts and filters, which means that the air purifier may work against any aroma. Adding scents to the indoor air would be pointless.


Saturation of air with water vapor. Humidification is one of the most popular optional features in air purifiers. On one hand, humidity is very important for the human body. On the other hand, creating a humid environment would sustain harmful microorganisms inside the filters. That will turn the air cleaner into a source of infection.

Air Disinfection and Decontamination. How does it work?

Air disinfection is most often confused with its purification. It represents the destruction of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Air disinfection is most relevant in the field of medicine, but can also be very useful in everyday life. Even the highest quality air filter can capture harmful microorganisms, but it does not destroy them. In modern air purifiers, two methods of air disinfection are used most often:

  • Photocatalytic filter with a UV lamp. 
Photocatalysis and UV radiation have been used side by side for a while now, allowing to solve two problems at once - unpleasant odors and microorganisms destruction. Nowadays many viruses and bacteria are already resistant to UV radiation. If you are using an air purifier with a UV lamp, clearly follow the instructions manuals and remember that excessive UV exposure is bad for you
  • Destroyed pathogens. 

It’s a modern technology that deprives all pathogens of the ability to reproduce, inactivating them with ozone. HEPA filters trap pests and the disinfection system immediately inactivates them, leaving the air purifier sterile. In this case, filters are provided for ozone decomposition to avoid ozone overproduction. 

Choosing an Air Purifier for Your Home

To choose an air purifier for your home, you need to pay attention to a few basic parameters:

  • Impact area.

It is one of the most important parameters. Make sure that the entire room gets clean air

  • Air exchange. 

Each device has its own fan speed. Surely, the higher the speed indicator, the faster the air comes through the purifier and gets cleaned.

  • Modes of operation. 

It is better if the device has several operating modes: for quick and effective air cleaning, day or night. This way it will solve several problems at once: cleanse the room of odor, maintain air purity during the day and set up a quiet operation at night.

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier removes particles of highly allergenic dust, pollen, as well as infections, dangerous gaseous substances, smells from the air. It works to prevent allergies, asthma, hay fever, as well as airborne infections. The technology was developed specifically for medicine and was eventually adapted to be used at home.

What does an air purifier do?

  • The device purifies the indoor air from VOCs and PM 2.5 particulate. It deprives air of viruses, bacteria, allergens like mold spores.

  • It filters the air of hazardous substances of various origins.

  • Avoids emitting dangerous gases or vapors.

  • Operates safely 24/7 requiring minimal maintenance.

  • It consumes very little energy.

Operation Principle

The air is pulled through the inner grid of the air purifier, then through the system of filters, cleaning the air from impurities, destroying all types of contaminants (including mold spores), and then returns the purified air to the room through the outlet.

The prefilter retains coarse dust and prevents dirt, fluff, and wool from entering the device.

Passing through an electrostatic unit, mechanical pollutants and bioaerosols acquire an electrostatic charge and are effectively deposited on a HEPA volumetric filter.

Due to the ozone (bactericidal concentration) produced from oxygen, an electrostatic unit ensures the destruction of viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. Due to inactivation, the volumetric HEPA filter is constantly sterilized during operation. This ensures the complete microbiological safety of the filtration system.

Ozone is completely decomposed into oxygen, passing through an adsorption-catalytic filter, while accelerating the destruction of molecular chemical compounds. The adsorption-catalytic filter is designed to filter harmful substances in the gas phase and odors. Concentrations of ozone at the outlet of the device are guaranteed not to exceed the norms during the entire life cycle. Thus, the device can be operated around the clock in the presence of people. When used, the device does not change the microclimatic parameters (temperature, humidity) and the ionic composition of the air.

Selecting the Right Device

An air purifier is usually placed indoors. A wall is a perfect place, at a distance from the front door or windows. Do not place the device under the air inlets of the exhaust ventilation. If two air purification appliances are placed in the same room, they should be installed as far from each other as possible (on opposite walls, for example).

One device is generally enough to clean and disinfect the air in a single room up to 200 feet effectively. A separate air purifier should be installed in each room, even if two neighboring rooms have a shared opening between them. 

In the case you’ve got a long and narrow corridor, you should divide the area into rectangles with an aspect ratio of no more than 1: 4 and consider each section like that a separate room.

The  24/7 Operation 

Due to the inactivation of microorganisms on the filters, the replaceable elements are absolutely sterile and do not require special disposal measures. The air cleaner housing is made of plastic that is resistant to disinfectant treatment.

The Ease of Use 

An air purifier has a noise level of no more than 40 decibels, which meets the standards for medical facilities and makes it convenient to use the air purifier around the clock.

Air Purifier Maintenance

Maintenance of the device consists of periodical cleaning of the unit, replacing the prefilter and volumetric HEPA filters with adsorption-catalytic filters that accumulate pollution. 

So, does air purifier really works

The answer is - depending on which one you choose. Follow the guidelines on what to look for in an air purifier and ask a lot of questions from your local dealer. Make sure to get a purifier that has the technical capacity of covering the area you need to get covered. 

Remember, an air purifier is an absolutely crucial device if you’ve got seniors or babies at home, allergy sufferers or asthma patients.

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