(Last Updated On: March 24, 2023)

The air inside your home is filled with invisible airborne particles and microorganisms. Although you cannot see them, you may sense them through lung and eye irritation or frequent sickness. During cold and flu season, germs are especially likely to be circulated throughout the home.

Some airborne irritants frequently found in the home include:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust
  • Mites
  • Pollen
  • Mold Spores

These irritants can cause allergies, congestion, respiratory irritation, difficulty breathing, sinus issues and even compromised immune systems. Fortunately, an air purifier is an excellent way to remove airborne irritants and improve your air quality and breathing.

Do You Need An Air Purifier?

Your home should feel like a sanctuary where you can safely and comfortably enjoy your day-to-day life. Maintaining high air quality within the home is part of keeping you and your family healthy and allergy-free year-round.

Most homes rely on air conditioning systems that circulate the same air repeatedly throughout the home. Although the air filter in your AC unit can filter out large, visible dust particles, it was not designed to capture smaller particles like pollen, dander or germs. However, air purifiers were designed to do just this.

See how air purifiers can help you address germs, bacteria and other air quality concerns within your home.

How Do Air Purifiers Remove Germs?

Air purifiers clean the air by sucking it through a multi-layered filter to remove contaminants before recirculating the clean air back into the room.

Each layer of an air purifier’s filter is designed to trap various types of contaminants. Filters are made of pleated or honeycomb-like material, offering many nooks and crevices to trap solid particles. You can imagine an air filter as a colander or sieve. Just as you can drain a pot of pasta into a colander, catching the solids and allowing the liquid to pass through, you can filter out solid particles from the air.

Can Air Purifiers Remove Bacteria and Viruses?

In general, air purifiers are most effective at removing large particles because these are easier to trap within the filter. Bacteria, if airborne, is large enough for a high-quality HEPA filter to remove. Viruses, on the other hand, are more of a challenge because they are many times smaller than bacteria. However, most viruses are not becoming airborne by themselves. For example, if a sick person sneezes, most viruses expelled from their body will be contained within droplets of moisture. These larger drops of moisture can be captured by your air purifier along with the viruses they may carry. If the droplets are large enough, they will fall out of the air quickly, taking the virus-sized particles that they carry with them.

Can An Air Purifier Keep Me From Getting Sick?

Inside your body, your lungs actually work very much like an air purifier. Your lungs are damp and pleated on the inside, allowing them to capture and hold onto various pollutants. Unfortunately, when too many of these microscopic particles are inhaled, irritation and illness can result.

An air purifier cannot cure asthma, allergies or illness. It also is not going to prevent you from catching a cold or the flu. This is because many of these illnesses are transferred by touch, and not by particles in the air. It doesn’t matter how pure and germ-free your air is, if you touch a doorknob, faucet, or flush the toilet after a sick person does, you may very well pick up a virus and get sick.

However, air purifiers work wonders when it comes reducing the quantity of particulates and allergens in the air. Fewer allergic reactions, respiratory irritations, and better sleep can benefit your immune system, which all help work together to keep you and your family healthier. Therefore, while an air purifier cannot keep you from getting sick, it is a very beneficial device for living an overall healthier and higher quality of life.

Some Limitations of Air Purifiers

An air purifier system can be a powerful solution for improving the quality of air in your home, but it’s not a cure-all.

An air purifier will help to greatly reduce the number of contaminants in the air of your home. It is not, however, a substitute for cleaning. Dirt and dust will still accumulate on the surfaces of the home, although many people report that they need to dust less frequently after an air purification system is installed.

Additionally, some air purifiers are more effective than others. You may need to research what contaminants a specific purifier is best at filtering out in order to choose the one that’s right for you.

Additional Steps to Protect Your Home

Your home’s air quality can be greatly improved by using an air purifier. Many people are surprised at how effective they are at eliminating odors, household dust, germs, and allergens. You can make your system even more effective at protecting your home by following a few steps:

  • Replace your HVAC filters. The built-in air filtration in your heater or air conditioning unit works alongside your air purifier. While it can’t remove the tiniest of particles, it can help filter out some of the larger allergens and dust particles.
  • Sweep, mop or vacuum on a regular basis in order to eliminate dust and dirt from outside. Also be sure to dust your surfaces, paying special attention to things like ceiling fans and vents. By reducing the amount of dust and dirt entering the air supply, you can help your air purifier work best.
  • Take care to reduce the spread of illness. Simple things like covering your mouth when you sneeze and washing your hands throughout the day can reduce the number of germs in the air and help to ward off sickness.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your air purifier. The placement of your system will play a role in its effectiveness. Additionally, be sure to keep up with all necessary maintenance to keep the system in good working order.

By taking active steps to reduce the number of contaminants entering your home’s air, you can ensure that your air purification system works as effectively as possible. This will help you to enjoy the highest possible interior air quality, helping to prevent the spread of germs and pollutants so that you can have a happier, healthier and more comfortable living space.