How Can I Clean My Home’s Air? – Will Air Purifiers Help Me Clean House?


Let’s face it, our home’s air can get all kinds of nasty and we all know that the nastiness extends beyond just dust. I’m talking germs, allergens, odors, VOCs, and other pollutants that can either be irritating or dangerous to your health. Some of your fears might have been kicked up a notch during the Covid-19 lockdowns, some of them could be from allergy season, some could be from a house guest’s comments about the odors in your home. Luckily, the right air purifier can address any of these air quality concerns.

Air purifiers can cleanse your home’s air of just about every particle, pollutant, and germ that you’re worrying about. With the right combination of filtration and other systems that come standard in many air purifiers, you will be able to take care of dust, dander, other allergens, germs, VOCs, and a whole lot more.

I’m sure just about everyone here has walked into a room and felt the need to empty a whole can of Febreze in an effort to save their noses from the nasty onslaught attacking it. Once the bad smells are masked, we think we’ve achieved the impossible and won.

But we all know that’s not the case. We know those foul odors are still there, we just can’t pick them up over the smell of air freshener… and we’re probably a little light headed from smelling too much of it too.

But there’s hope.

Air purifiers.

An air purifier can capture those same odors, removing them from your home’s air. It isn’t masking anything, it’s holding those odors in its various filters!

On top of that, air purifiers are great at capturing dust particles and can clear a room of all its dust in as little as 10 minutes (or an hour, depending on the size of the room and the air purifier).

So, that’s two points for air purifiers and zero points for the stuff in your home’s air that you’re trying to remove.

Now, I know that this is a funny way to think of things, air purifiers versus bad things in the air, but it is that way. It is your air purifier versus those things, just like it’s soap and water versus the germs on your hands.

Air purifiers are air cleaners, so that’s what they do.

Now, air purifiers can do a whole lot more than just take care of bad smells and dust, but that was just my intro! Strap in, readers, I’m taking you on a little ride!

What All Can Air Purifiers Take Out of the Air?

If you’re in the market for an air purifier to clean your home’s air, then odds are that you’re wondering what all they can help you with. Rather than bore you with hours and hours of data and whatnot, I’m just going to dump a big old list on you of just a few things that air purifiers can do to improve your home’s air quality.

This list is based off of an air purifier that has a HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, and air sanitizer (for germs). That’s a pretty common combination that you’ll find pretty easily, and it’s a combination that I recommend, especially for people who are worried about airborne pathogens.

Without further ado, here’s the list of things that air purifiers can take out of and kill from your home’s air:

  • Dust
  • Dander
  • Pollen
  • Hair
  • Fur
  • Cooking odors
  • Bathroom odors
  • Mildew smells
  • Pet odors
  • Smoke
  • Mold spores
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • VOCs (a massive group of chemicals and compounds that are hazardous to your health)
  • Radon
  • And SO much more

There’s the list, I know it’s long, but let me tell you; that’s not even the half of it. Just VOCs alone is an article in itself! I mean that, there’s a ton to know about VOCs. If you’d like to read up on them a bit, then you can visit this article I wrote, What are VOCs? Can Air Purifiers Help with VOCs? or you could visit this other piece I wrote that really dives into VOC dangers, but with a focus on woodshops Do I Need an Air Purifier for My Woodshop?

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking about a lot of stuff right now, I mean, I just threw a ton of information at you, but I’m not about to stop just yet. Here’s a few more article recommendations based off the above list:

Do Air Purifiers Get Rid of Dust? | Do I Need to Dust if I Have an Air Purifier?

What to Look for in an Air Purifier for Allergies

What’s the Best Air Purifier for Someone with Pets?

What is the Best Air Purifier for Mold and Fungus?

Okay! I’m done!

I know, I just gave you enough reading for the week. But, don’t worry, I’m going to try to keep things simple and quick for those of you who aren’t ready to read that much just yet!

How Well Do Air Purifiers Clean My Home’s Air?

That’s a bit of a loaded question, as it depends on the quality, size, and various filters in your air purifier, but I’m going to answer it anyway. Why? Because I’m nice like that.

Quality air purifiers are highly effective at cleaning your home’s air and they can pull over 99.9% of particles out of the air, which means you’re going to breathe some really clean air. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are very common, and they do the best at cleaning your home’s air. Additional filters and systems can further cleanse your home’s air beyond what the HEPA filter can do as well.

For starters, HEPA filters can capture some odors, but they can’t do it all. That’s where activated carbon filters come in. On top of removing odors, activated carbon filters can capture radon, VOCs, and even smoke. That includes tobacco and marijuana smoke.

If germs are your concern, some HEPA filters actually kill a small amount of germs and they capture larger germs like bacteria. But those captured germs don’t always die. That’s where air sanitizers come into play. Some air purifiers use electricity to kill germs, some use UV light, and others use heat. There’s a lot of ways to kill germs, and the right air purifier can kill the germs that are floating around in your home’s air.

Got a humidity problem? Some air purifiers come with built-in dehumidifiers, like this list here, which I complied of the best affordable air purifier dehumidifier combo units.

Long story short, it’s super likely that whatever you want removed from your home’s air can be taken care of with the right air purifier. It’s as easy as that. Seriously.

Random Questions About Air Purifiers and Home Cleanliness

Do Air Purifiers Work as Well as Febreze?

Air purifiers work better than Febreze in so many ways. For starters, an air purifier doesn’t release chemicals like VOCs that can be harmful to your health as they work. They don’t try to mask odors, like air fresheners do, either. Instead, air purifiers capture the things you don’t want to smell and they stow them away in their filters. So, yeah, the right air purifier works a whole lot better than any air freshener any day of the week.

Do I Need to Dust My Home if I Have an Air Purifier?

Sadly, yes, you will still need to dust your home, even if you have an air purifier. However, you won’t have to dust nearly as often, since the air purifier can capture the dust before it settles. That being said, it doesn’t capture everything, so there still will be some dust accumulation, especially as you get further away from your air purifier (speaking from experience here).

Do I Need an Air Purifier in My Bathroom to Help with Odors?

Yes, yes, and triple yes. Air purifiers are a must in bathrooms as they capture bad smells. If you’re about to get one, be sure to pick up a unit that has an activated carbon filter, and, if you would like, find an air purifier that can double as an oil diffuser too, like this Levoit air purifier on Amazon.

Parting Thoughts

That’s everything I have for you guys today on air purifiers and house cleaning/cleanliness. I hope this article helped you guys, and please be sure to browse my site for any other air purifier and air quality questions you might have!

But, if you’re not ready to randomly browse, here are some related articles that you might want to check out before you exit this page:

Do Air Purifiers Help with Radon Gas? | What’s the Number 1 Best Way to Deal with Radon Gas in My Home?

How to Buy an Air Purifier

How Do I Know if I Need a Dehumidifier or a Humidifier? | What’s the Right Humidity for My Home?

Air Purifier Buying Guide: How do I Find an Air Purifier Worth Buying?

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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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