(Last Updated On: June 22, 2023)

Do Air Purifiers Help With Dust?

Finding an efficient way to eliminate dust in your home can be challenging. So how do you get rid of something that keeps coming back? One of the best ways to remove dust from your home is by using an air purifier. Air purifiers are an effective way to combat dust allergies and other associated symptoms. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends High Efficiency Particulate (HEPA) filters with a rating of at least H13 or higher. An H13 filter does what other filters cannot, eliminating 99.9% of particulate as small as 0.1 microns.

woman dusting

Role of Air Purifiers in Dust Control

Air purifiers work by drawing in air from the surrounding environment, which typically contains dust particles among other pollutants. The air is then passed through a series of filters that catch and trap these particles, allowing only clean air to pass back into the room.

The effectiveness of this process is determined by the types of filters used, the size of the particles they can capture, and the amount of air that can be processed within a given time (more on this in the technical aspects section).

Different Types of Air Purifiers and Their Effectiveness Against Dust

  1. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter Air Purifiers: These purifiers use HEPA filters, which can capture 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. They are considered the gold standard in air purification and are highly effective against dust, as most dust particles fall within this size range.
  2. Ionic Air Purifiers: These purifiers use ions to charge particles in the air, causing them to attract each other and form larger particles that settle out of the air onto surfaces. While they can remove dust from the air, they also cause it to settle on surfaces, which might need to be cleaned more frequently.
  3. Activated Carbon Filters: While these filters are excellent at removing gases and odors, they are not particularly effective at removing dust particles.
  4. UV Light Air Purifiers: These purifiers use UV light to kill microorganisms, but do not remove dust or other particles from the air.

Each type of air purifier has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to dust control, and the best choice depends on the specific needs of the user.

Types of Air Purifier Filters and How They Remove Dust

  1. HEPA Filters: High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can remove 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns, including dust. This makes them the most effective type of filter for dust removal.
  2. Activated Carbon Filters: While these filters are excellent at absorbing gases and odors, their role in dust control is limited. They are typically used in combination with other types of filters.
  3. Pre-Filters: Pre-filters are used to capture larger particles before they reach the main filter, helping to extend the lifespan of the main filter. They are effective at trapping larger dust particles.
  4. UV-C Light Filters: These filters use UV-C light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. They do not directly control dust, but they can help to sanitize the dust that is captured.
  5. Ionizing Purifiers: These purifiers emit negative ions that attract positively charged particles, causing them to clump together and fall out of the air. They can be effective at controlling dust, but the dust often settles on surfaces within the room.
  6. Electrostatic Precipitators: These devices use an electric charge to attract and trap particles. They can be effective at dust control, but they also produce a small amount of ozone, a lung irritant.

Remember, no single filter type will address all air quality issues, and many air purifiers use a combination of the above methods. The most effective units for dust control typically use a pre-filter and a HEPA filter in combination.

Factors That Influence the Effectiveness of Air Purifiers in Removing Dust

Several factors can influence how effectively an air purifier can remove dust from your home:

  1. Filter Type and Size: As discussed above, some types of filters are more effective at capturing dust than others. Additionally, the size of the filter also matters – larger filters can typically capture more dust before they need to be cleaned or replaced.
  2. Room Size and Air Purifier Capacity: The size of the room and the air purifier’s capacity (often measured in CADR or CFM, to be discussed in the technical aspects section) are key. A small air purifier may not adequately clean the air in a large room.
  3. Positioning of the Air Purifier: The location of the air purifier can impact its effectiveness. It’s generally best to place it in an open area where air can easily circulate around it.
  4. Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including cleaning and filter replacement, is crucial to maintain an air purifier’s effectiveness at removing dust.

What is CADR and CFM, and Why Does It Matter?

  1. CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate): This is a measurement of the total volume of air that an air purifier can clean of a specific pollutant in an hour. It is typically measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Higher CADR ratings indicate a greater effectiveness at removing that specific pollutant. There are separate CADR ratings for dust, pollen, and smoke, as each pollutant requires different levels of filtration.
  2. CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute): This is a measurement of the volume of air that an air purifier can move. This figure tells you how much air can circulate through the device. A higher CFM generally means that the air purifier can treat a larger room or space.

The Importance of CADR and CFM in Dust Removal

The CADR rating for dust and the CFM measurement are both essential to consider when evaluating an air purifier’s effectiveness in dust removal.

A higher dust CADR indicates the air purifier’s ability to filter dust from the air quickly, which is critical in environments with a high dust content. Meanwhile, a higher CFM means that the purifier can handle larger spaces, making it crucial for open floor plans or large rooms.

Understanding these measurements can help you choose the right air purifier for your needs based on the size of the room and the level of dust in your environment.

Overview of Popular Air Purifier Brands for Dust


Dyson is renowned for its innovative and aesthetically pleasing designs. The Dyson Pure Cool series, for instance, not only purifies but also circulates air effectively with its bladeless fan. The device uses a sealed HEPA filter, which effectively captures dust. However, Dyson’s purifiers tend to be more expensive, with prices for the Pure Cool series starting around $400.


Honeywell offers a range of air purifiers suitable for different budgets. The Honeywell HPA300, priced around $250, is a popular choice. It boasts a high CADR for dust and uses a pre-filter and a HEPA filter, making it highly effective for dust removal.


Levoit offers a variety of affordable options with strong performances. The Levoit LV-H132, for instance, is compact and budget-friendly, priced around $90. Despite its size, it utilizes a three-stage filtration system, including a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter, making it an effective choice for dust control in smaller rooms.


Coway’s AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier, priced around $200, is a standout model. It uses a four-stage filtration system (pre-filter, odor filter, HEPA filter, and ionizer) and has robust dust CADR ratings. It also includes an air quality indicator, providing real-time updates, which users find useful.


Blueair’s air purifiers use proprietary HEPASilent technology that combines mechanical and electrostatic filtration to capture particles. The Blueair Blue Pure 211+, priced around $300, is well-regarded for its performance on dust, large room coverage, and its stylish design.


Philips offers the Series 2000i, a smart air purifier priced around $400. It has robust CADR ratings for dust and employs a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. The Series 2000i can be controlled via a smartphone app, allowing users to monitor and control their indoor air quality remotely.


The Alen BreatheSmart 45i, priced around $430, is a versatile device with customizable filters. It has a high CFM rating and includes a HEPA layer in all of its filter options, making it highly effective for dust removal. It is also notable for its lifetime warranty.

Comparison of Different Models

While all these models are effective for dust removal, their performance, price, and features vary:

  • For maximum dust CADR, Honeywell’s HPA300 and Coway’s AP-1512HH are strong choices.
  • For large room coverage, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ and Alen BreatheSmart 45i stand out.
  • For smart features, consider the Dyson Pure Cool series or Philips Series 2000i.
  • For budget-friendly options, consider Levoit’s models.

It’s essential to choose a model that fits your specific needs regarding room size, dust levels, budget, and desired features. Be sure to also consider the cost and frequency of filter replacement, as this will impact the total cost of ownership.

Suggestions for Using an Air Purifier to Get Rid of Dust

Best Locations to Place Air Purifiers for Dust Control

The positioning of an air purifier can significantly impact its effectiveness in controlling dust. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Central Location: To maximize coverage, place the purifier in the center of the room. This allows for optimal circulation and filtration of air.
  2. Avoid Obstructions: Position the purifier away from walls, furniture, and other objects that might obstruct airflow. The device should have at least 1-2 feet of space on all sides for optimal performance.
  3. High Dust Areas: If dust accumulates more in certain areas, like near windows or in bedrooms (due to skin cells shedding during sleep), it may be beneficial to place the purifier in these rooms.
  4. Avoid High Humidity Areas: Humidity can reduce the efficiency of certain filters like HEPA, so avoid placing the purifier in areas like the bathroom or kitchen.

Maintenance Tips for Air Purifiers to Ensure Optimal Dust Removal

Once you have an air purifier, proper maintenance is crucial to ensure that your air purifier remains effective at removing dust.

  1. Regular Filter Replacement: Each manufacturer will suggest a timeline for filter replacements – generally, HEPA filters last 6-12 months. Regularly replacing the filters is vital to maintain the air purifier’s dust-removing capacity.
  2. Clean Pre-filters: If your air purifier has a washable pre-filter, clean it regularly to ensure it continues to trap larger dust particles effectively.
  3. Keep the Exterior Clean: Wipe down the exterior of the air purifier regularly to keep the air intake and output areas free from dust and debris.

Impact of Dust on Indoor Air Quality

The presence of dust in your home doesn’t just mean a bit more house cleaning; it can significantly affect the quality of your indoor air. Indoor air quality is determined by the amount and type of pollutants in the air, the ventilation and air exchange rate, and the amount of outdoor air coming into your home.

Dust particles can carry a variety of pollutants, such as bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and allergens like pollen and pet dander. These particles can be easily inhaled, impacting air quality and potentially leading to various health issues. Dust can also carry harmful chemicals if these substances are present in your home.

Furthermore, dust can affect your HVAC system’s efficiency, leading to poorer indoor air circulation and further degrading indoor air quality.

Health Effects of Dust

Poor air quality in the home can have a significant impact on our quality of life and health. From causing eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and respiratory diseases to potentially worsening existing heart disease and cancer patients’ conditions, there is no doubt that we must take proactive steps to ensure clean air within our homes. According to Kenneth Mendez of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), most people spend more than 90% of their time indoors with indoor air two to five times more polluted than that found outdoors.

The main contributor to poor indoor air quality is dust which is typically made up of human debris (skin cells, hair, etc.). Additionally, indoor air irritants can come from dirt, pollen grains and other allergens such as animal dander and mold spores, as well as tiny microplastics and fibers.

To maintain a healthy home environment with clean air, it is vital that these allergens are minimized or removed altogether through regular dusting or vacuuming. Furthermore, having the appropriate ventilation can help reduce levels of moisture inside that could be fostering mold growth. Our health depends on it so taking measures to test and improve your indoor air quality is crucial.

Even for individuals without pre-existing conditions, constant exposure to high levels of dust can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and cause headaches and fatigue. Long-term effects of exposure to certain types of dust can include respiratory diseases and other conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

One Final Thought

Unfortunately, we cannot wholly avoid dust. Again, placing an air purifier in every room is a great way to eliminate dust from the air collectively. People who suffer from dust allergies and asthma would benefit from the use of them.