General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Do air cleaners/purifiers really work? And do they really help keep the dust down in your house?

Asked by 2davidc8 (4171 points ) January 24th, 2013

For example, the Ionic Pro TURBO TA500 Ionic Room Air Purifier?

Has anyone used something like this? Bionaire, Vornado, Dyson are other brands that come to mind.

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10 Answers

syz's avatar

I have found that mine make no difference at all. They are just oversize, overpriced white-noise makers.

tedd's avatar

They do keep the dust/particles/whatever down…. but it’s not as if you’re suddenly going to be living in a clean room or anything.

Seek's avatar

It helps a little. You’re more likely to notice a reduction in days per week you need to bring out the Swiffer than anything. But I find my asthmatic husband breathes easier when we have ours on.

Coloma's avatar

My daughters boyfriend was allergic to a cat they adopted from me and set up an air purifier and it seems to work for him, to a large degree he is not bothered by the cat as he was the first few weeks. Maybe it helps or it’s just the power of suggestion. lol

glacial's avatar

I tend to think a lot of this is down to the placebo effect… but then, the placebo effect can be helpful to people. Instead of asking for anecdotal evidence, perhaps it would be a good idea to look up some research papers on the effect of air purifiers on air quality.

Seek's avatar

I will add that I can and do clean the filter on mine at least once a week, and I live in Florida, where 60% of the soil is ash and dust.

wildpotato's avatar

Different types of air cleaners are more effective than others. I live with three cats and a dog and am allergic to all of them, so I have tried out a few in my time. I used to have two ionic breezes – very little effect, though I like the smell I the ozone. I switched to two HEPAs last year and the difference is amazing. It’s like breathing outside air. And they are very effective at picking up dust – I vacuum mine out and change the filters once a month, and they’re always caked with dust.

If you are thinking of buying one, the CADR is the most important number to look at. See this helpful article.

Gabby101's avatar

I was thinking of getting one, but when I did the research, I found that most studies didn’t show any improvement in the air quality. Here is a study by the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airclean.html It basically says tht yes, filters will trap dust, but most of it settles first and never goes through the filter, so the effect is limited. It has information about other types of cleansers, as well.

2davidc8's avatar

Years ago, Consumer Reports ran some tests and basically found what @Gabby101 and @glacial have said—that the effect was minimal. However, since I read that several years ago, and technology is constantly changing and improving, I was wondering if significant progress had been made in the intervening years.

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