Are Air Purifiers a Waste of Money?


Let’s face it, anyone who has seen the price of some air purifiers out there and anyone who doesn’t have incredibly filthy air in their home has probably wondered if air purifiers are worth the cost. If your home’s air isn’t filthy, then what’s the point, right?

Most air purifiers are very much worth the price they demand and they are worth buying. The health benefits of clean air cannot be overstated. However, you must be careful before you buy an air purifier, because the wrong air purifier could be a waste of money.

In today’s article, I will tell you how air purifiers are worth their price and what you ought to look for in an air purifier. I will also tell you what air purifiers do, how they work, and how that can help you.

A Quick Side Story…

Now, before I say anything else, I will come out and say it: not every air purifier is worth the cost. Some air purifiers are downright terrible and can’t clean the air, others are incredibly effective at cleaning that same air. I’ll tell you a bit about how you can find an air purifier that’s worth buying in this article as well!

All of that is to say that the most expensive air purifier out there might not be worth the price they’re asking for. What’s more, that expensive air purifier might be a great machine, but it might not be made to tend to your specific needs.

For example, I have an 800 dollar air purifier that’s made for rooms that are 1000 square feet. It’s expensive and it is the best air purifier I’ve ever used. Problem is, it’s made for rooms that are 100 square feet, that’s a bit larger than most peoples’ bedrooms, so that air purifier wouldn’t be a good match for you. It wouldn’t be worth buying.

Conversely, I’ve got an air purifier that cost me 20 bucks and it works great for air purifiers. No, it isn’t the best air purifier out there for a bedroom, but it definitely gets the job done.

Long story short, that’s just an example of how more expensive doesn’t always mean better.

Now, with that all said, let’s get back to what all I promised at the start of this article.

What Should I Look for in an Air Purifier?

When you’re shopping for an air purifier, you have to ask yourself a few questions ahead of time. These include:

  • How large is the room you’re putting your air purifier in?
  • How clean of air do you want? – Are you worried about germs, allergens, mold and fungus, or just dust?
  • How much are you willing to spend?

Now, I’m going to tell you guys a little bit about why those are important questions in the next few subsections.

Why Room Size is Important

The reason why the size of your room is important is because air purifiers are only designed to circulate so much air. Think of it like this, if you have a bathtub full of warm water, are you going to put in one tiny ice cube to cool it down, or a big one? You have to use an ice cube that’s actually going to be able to cool the whole tub. Long story short, you need an air purifier that’s made to cool a room as large as the one you’re putting it in.

Now, that’s a neat metaphor for things, but why is that the case? Well, air purifiers have two main things that limit the size of room that they’re made for. The first is the strength of their fans, air purifiers need stronger fans to tend to the air in larger rooms. A weak fan wouldn’t be able to circulate the air.

On top of fan strength, there are the filters. A lot of HEPA air filters usually need to be replaced after about six months. If you tried using an air purifier with a filter made for, say, 200 square feet in a room that’s 500, then you’ll be putting a whole lot of pressure on your filter and you’ll have to replace it a lot more often. Provided, that’s if you’ve got a fan that’s strong enough to even circulate that much air.

I hope that shows you why getting an air purifier for the right size of room is important. This is a rather simplistic set of answers, but it’s a start. Quite honestly, it’s all you really need to know as long as you’re not interested in burning through a ton of math, science, and technical stuff that I won’t put you all through today.

If you’d like to read more about why the size of the room you’re putting your air purifier in, check out this article, Is the Size of Room I’m Putting My Air Purifier in Important?

How Do I Decide How Clean of Air I Want?

This, of course, is a big one. I put it after room size because I think it takes second place behind it, however, it’s a close second.

When you’re looking to get an air purifier, be sure to gauge exactly why you are getting it. Are you just worried about dust and allergens? If that’s it, then an air purifier with either HEPA filters or a water-based air purifier will probably be enough for you. For bedrooms, these two air purifier types will usually cost you between 20 and 50 dollars.

Want to know why you need air purifiers in your bedroom? Check out this post! What Are the Top 7 Proven Reasons Have an Air Purifier in my Bedroom?

If you’re hoping to get an air purifier that’s capable of removing odors, then you’ll want an air purifier with activated charcoal filters, or another kind of air purifier that can absorb/neutralize odors. Activated carbon is the most common way that air purifiers deal with odors, however. A lot of air purifiers offer activated carbon filters and their cost is comparable to air purifiers that only have HEPA filters.

If you’re worried about germs, then air purifiers that have sanitizers built-in will be what you need to pick up. Some air purifiers use heat to kill germs, some use UV light, some use electricity, and I’m sure there are a hundred other ways that people have figured out to kill germs that’ll make it into air purifiers eventually. These systems are usually costlier than air purifiers without them, so be ready to drop an additional 50 dollars or more to have it.

Finally, if you’re thinking about mold and fungus, then this is the most complicated issue that you might get an air purifier for. The biggest issue is that an air purifier that’s made for mold and fungus can’t actually kill the mold in your home, it will only kill the mold spores in the air, thus preventing or reducing the fungus and mold’s spread. Ozone generating air purifiers are capable of killing the mold on your walls, but even then they won’t remove the mold. If you do have a mold problem, you should probably hire professionals to deal with it.

Want to read up on air purifiers that generate ozone? Check out this article: What Are Air Purifiers with Ozone Generators? If you’d like to learn more about air purifiers for mold and fungus, check out this one, What is the Best Air Purifier for Mold and Fungus?

With all of that said, I think that addresses what you might want to look for in air purifiers to get the air that you’re hoping to get. Different particles and pollutants that you might want to take care of require different air purifiers. One can’t do everything. Long story short, to get an air purifier worth buying you have to get one that addresses your particular issues.

How Much Are You Willing to Spend for Your Air Purifier?

Before you make any decisions on buying an air purifier, you have to know how much you are willing to spend. Yes, I know, that much is obvious, but let me continue.

Air purifiers can be costly, others can be cheap. Some are worth every penny, others are overpriced. Whatever the cost of the air purifier, you have to be sure that the air purifier you’re getting is worth how much you’re paying for it. Of course, reviews can be a good way to gauge the value of the air purifier that you’re buying, input from bloggers like me can be another gauge, and the air purifier itself can be yet another.

But the value of an air purifier doesn’t really change how much money you can afford, right?

Value, however, does still matter. Be sure to get an air purifier that’s actually worth the price you pay.

So, what am I getting at?

Just know what you’ve got to spend and know that you will need to shop around to get the most for you hard-earned dollar. Know what you’re willing to spend and don’t spend what you don’t have to.

Before you begin shopping for an air purifier, just know that you have to have somewhere between 20 and 50 dollars to spend at the minimum. That’s just for bedrooms. Air purifiers for larger rooms will cost even more, expect to pay at least 80 to 180 for air purifiers for larger rooms.

I know that can be a lot of money for some people, especially if you consider how much it could cost to buy air purifiers for every room. But, we’ve all got to start somewhere if we really want an air purifier. Start small, just get one for your bedroom, if you must. However, don’t shortchange yourself. Buy the best air purifier you’re able to get or you won’t be able to make the most of every dollar that you spend.

If your curious how much it could cost to buy air purifiers for your whole home, then let me say right here and right now that it actually isn’t as much as you might fear. Most Americans can get an air purifier in every single room of their home for around 650 dollars. If you’d like to read up on how to calculate a more accurate estimate of how much an air purifier, check out this article, How Much Does it Cost to Get Air Purifiers for Every Room of My Whole House?

Want to shop for air purifiers now? Click here to shop for them on Amazon right now!

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Jonathon Silva

Jonathan Silva is our longtime Air Purifier Essentials author. He has been writing on air purification technologies for his entire professional career.

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