What to Look for in an Air Purifier for Your Business – Top 7 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying an Air Purifier

Let’s face it, none of us are experts in everything–except for teenage children, of course. (There’s a joke for those of you who’ve got families!)

Since none of us are experts in everything, we know when we’re in something over our heads. We know when we need to ask for help. That’s sort of what the internet is for and, since you’re here, that’s something that a lot of small, medium, and large-sized business owners understand.

We understand that it’s okay to look outside for expertise that we don’t have. If we don’t, we’re sure to make the wrong decision. So, without leading you on any further, let me tell you the answer to why you’re here:

When buying an air purifier for your business, be sure to get an air purifier that has a HEPA filter, runs quietly, cleans the air thoroughly, looks like it belongs, is built for a big enough area, and (of course) one that doesn’t break the bank.

More or less, when you’re shopping for an air purifier for your business, be sure to follow the same sort of things that you would when you’re looking for an air purifier for your home.

Yes, I know it’s not the norm to jump straight to answering a question, since you’ve now got it and can move on, but we both know that business owners don’t always have the most time.

We especially don’t have time for fluff.

However, I will say that my answer isn’t as full as it ought to be and that it will leave a lot of people with a whole lot of questions. As such, I’ll be answering those questions and, since I promised this in the title, I’ll give you the seven things that you need to look for in an air purifier for your business (and why).

What Are Air Purifiers?

Alright, before I give you the list of the top 7 things to look for in an air purifier for your business, I need to just outline a few things–that way we can be sure that you even need an air purifier and not something else–I hate spending money on stuff I don’t need just as much as you probably do!

Air purifiers are machines that use different kinds of filters to take things–pollutants–out of the air. This can be germs, allergens, odors, dust, VOCs, mold spores, and a whole lot more.

However, air purifiers can’t add or remove humidity from the air. That’s what a humidifier and dehumidifier are for. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers have a lot of benefits when you get the right one for your situation, so it might be worth looking into if the air in your business feels muggy or dry.

Are you actually in need of a humidifier or dehumidifier for your business? Check out this article to see which one you need: How Do I Know if I Need a Dehumidifier or a Humidifier? | What’s the Right Humidity for My Home? Yes, I know it says that it’s for your home, but the same rules apply for home and business when it comes to humidity. (Even if you run spas, greenhouses, and other places that you’d think are supposed to be more humid!)

With that said, I’m going to go on with this article and assume that we are certain that we need an air purifier for our business. It’s a little hard to address twenty different things all in one article anyway!

What to Look for in an Air Purifier for Your Business

As much as I’d like to arrange these things in their order of importance, it’s actually pretty hard to do.


Well, the priority in a lot of these things depend on your type of business, what you want specifically, and other things like that.

HOWEVER, that isn’t to say that there are a few non-negotiables that you HAVE TO look for in an air purifier if you want the best possible results with your unit.

For one, be sure to buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter. This should be the number one thing on your list of things that you look for. Anything that isn’t a TRUE-HEPA, Medical Grade HEPA, or something along those lines is not going to do as well for you as it could. And it must also be said that “HEPA-Type” filters are not real HEPA filters–they’re knockoffs. Knockoffs that are usually the same price but don’t work as well!

Unfortunately, it’s very hard to see the difference between a lot of HEPA-Type and True-HEPA filters, so you’ll have to rely on the information provided when you purchase the filter. As such, it’s worth buying them from reputable sellers and stores.

And, again, there’s a lot more to know about that so, if you’d like to read up on that, you can check out this article, HEPA Vs. True HEPA – What’s the Difference? But, before you go, let me just say that knowing the difference probably won’t help you a ton, especially because the info you really need to know was already gone over; “HEPA-type” is a knockoff, True and Medical Grade HEPA are what you want.

Now, with that big point out of the way, let me get to the list (in no particular order) which I promised all of you.

The 7 Things to Look for in an Air Purifier for Your Business

  1. Find an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
    • Yes, I’m mentioning this again. This is just something you need to look for in order to get the best possible performance out of your air purifier.
    • HEPA filters get the air a lot cleaner for a lot less than some of the other filter types out there. They’re super simple too.
    • HEPA filters are easy to replace and some can be cleaned, saving you money in the long run.
  2. Find an air purifier that can clean all the air you need it to.
    • I know this sounds obvious, but it’s important for me to point out. Air purifiers are all made to take care of different sized rooms, so the cheapest unit on the market might not be big enough to take care of the area you need it to.
    • Try to get an air purifier rated for as close to the right size room as you can. Undercutting things can keep you from having the cleanest possible air. Overdoing it (getting an air purifier made for 1000 square feet and putting it in a small closet) doesn’t benefit you enough to make the added cost worth it.
    • Long story short, the right size unit ensures you get the most bang for your buck.
  3. Find an air purifier that is cheap (or at least affordable) to run.
    • Since I just mentioned that you have to get an air purifier that’s worth the cost, I must add that there are costs to running your air purifier. As such, it might be worth looking into that BEFORE you make your purchase.
    • Some air purifiers have to have their filters replaced, some can have their filters cleaned. Some air purifier companies stick it to you when you’re buying replacement filters, so check how much those cost BEFORE you buy the unit. It might not be worth the deal on the main unit if the filters cost a fortune!
    • Electricity costs aren’t too high with most units, but some air purifiers eat up more electricity than others. Air purifiers from bigger brands and air purifiers with HEPA filters are usually more energy efficient, however, so that might be the way to go to keep power usage (and costs) down.
  4. Find an air purifier that can remove odors.
    • Air purifiers with HEPA filters can remove some odors on their own, but that’s not always enough for everyone. In fact, there are some odors that HEPA filters can’t take care of. That’s where activated carbon comes into play.
    • Activated carbon filters use carbon to filter the air itself–we’re talking air on the gas level. that’s the stuff you can’t even see. As such, activated carbon can do a lot to get rid of odors (and a lot of other unwanted things.)
    • There are other things that air purifiers can have that can further eliminate odors, but a simple carbon filter is more than enough for most people.
  5. Find an air purifier that’s quiet! (Or low noise, if nothing else.
    • Some air purifiers are made for industrial settings. As such, noise isn’t their main concern. However, noise is an issue for people who have businesses that need to be a little quieter.
    • A lot of air purifiers have different speed settings, their lower settings don’t clean the air as quick, but they’re usually quieter.
  6. Find an air purifier that looks like it belongs in your business.
    • I know this one sounds obvious, but it must not be. Over the years (especially during the lockdowns), I saw SO MANY air purifiers that looked like they didn’t belong. Some were sitting in the middle of walkways, others looked like Transformers. Either way, they clearly didn’t belong. It was clear that people were scared. (Pro tip: scared customers don’t spend as much money, at least if you’re not trying to scare them.)
    • I’ve also seen air purifiers that looked PERFECT for where they were. It was clear that some thought went into picking them out and where they were put. But just know that you can’t just tuck them away in a corner all the time (it might hurt their ability to work well).
    • Just be sure that the air purifier that you pick looks like it belongs. Maybe a simple black unit is best, maybe a white one, maybe you’re better off buying a few and spreading them out. It’s up to you!
  7. Find an air purifier that can sanitize the air.
    • I mention this one now, since I just mentioned fear and the lockdowns. It’s worth mentioning because people are now more aware of the germs that they can breathe in just because of the air around them. Air purifiers that can sanitize the air can work to abate those fears. (Remember what I said about fear!) Sanitized air can also make your employees feel a bit safer too.
    • Air purifiers with HEPA filters can capture and kill some germs! As such, just getting a unit with a HEPA filter is a huge step in the right direction.
    • If you want to kill even more germs and get the air even cleaner, there are air purifiers with built-in sanitizers. Sometimes the added cost isn’t huge, other times it is, so keep your eyes open when you’re shopping around.

With all of that said, I’d just like to add that you can mix and match what matters to you most on the above list. You don’t have to get an air purifier that can do it all. Maybe sanitization isn’t the most important for you (again, a HEPA filter can do a lot on its own on that front.) Or maybe you don’t care about the looks of your unit. Maybe you don’t care about how much noise it makes.

But there are some non-negotiables. The size of air purifier and the presence of a HEPA filter are two of those.

At the end of the day, it’s your money though. All I can do is tell you what I know and why I think that’s important for you to know. It’s up to you to make the right decision.

But, if you’re nervous about that decision, I do have some air purifiers that I both use and recommend. You can check out that list here: Air Purifier Essentials Top Picks: Best HEPA Air Purifiers on the Market. As I’ve said already, I don’t like spending money that I don’t have to, so most of the units on this list are affordable, but there are some costlier units that are made for much larger rooms. I have to say (it’s the penny-pincher in me) that it can be cheaper and potentially more effective to buy multiple units and spread them around your business place in some instances. However, just know that that can equate to your spending a lot more on filters since you’ll have more filters to replace.

Do I Have to Replace My Air Purifier’s Filters?

I’ve mentioned the cost of replacing air purifier filters a few times now, so I thought I’d do a little section on it.

Not just that, I thought I’d share a picture of a used, full filter too. (It’s gross if you think about how you’d breathe all this in otherwise!)

That’s the filter of one of my air purifers. (It’s a Levoit one, I highly recommend that brand, it’s cheap and works great.)

Believe it or not, this picture is just after about 6 months of use too! As such, you should expect that your filters can and will get full.

But that isn’t to say that you have to buy a new filter every single time that it needs replaced. You can get away with just vacuuming them out with some filter types–that’s why I bought my Levoit air purifier. Of course, you should replace them after a while, but you can extend the life of your filters and get more bang for your buck if you get a filter that can be cleaned.

What Air Purifiers Do I Recommend for use in Businesses?

Again, I’d like to say that I go over my all-time favorite air purifiers in the article Air Purifier Essentials Top Picks: Best HEPA Air Purifiers on the Market, but there are other units that might be worth buying besides those.

For starters, the BlueAir line of air purifiers are great units, as are ones made by Medify and Alen. The Enviroklenz air purifier is a favorite of mine for large areas, but it costs a bit. (Alen is usually more than that.) Medify is a good brand for more middle-of-the-road prices and Levoit is my personal favorite for price.

Each company has their own specialties, of course, but, if you’re looking for an air purifier for your business that looks nice and isn’t too in-your-face about being an air purifier, I recommend Levoit. My unit, which every photo is of in this article, has served me very, very well. They make different sizes of it so you can do what you want and, again, the value for the amount you spend can’t be beat in my book.

So, if you’d like a Levoit air purifier, check out this article (again, it takes you to my top picks) and skip down to the bottom where I list out a few of the Levoit unit sizes. Those links will take you to Amazon where I’ll get affiliate revenue that will help me continue providing all of you great info here on my site!

If you’d like to read up some more on air purifiers for your businesses, here are some articles I’ve written:

Do I Need Air Purifiers for the Office? Step By Step Air Quality

Do Beauty Salons Need Air Purifiers? | The Number One Reason Why Your Salon Needs an Air Purifier

9 Best Air Purifiers for Nail Salons and Hair Salons in 2023

Do I Need an Air Dehumidifier for My Pet Grooming Business? | Do Pet Salons Need Commercial Dehumidifiers?

How to Improve Air Quality in a Beauty Salon | Indoor Air Quality Needs for Salons

And yes, I know that’s a lot of articles on air purifiers for beauty salons–I’m working on adding more info for more business types as time goes on!

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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