When it comes to cleaning indoor air, air purifiers are among the handiest devices. They are designed to remove air pollutants and other harmful elements from your interior, leaving behind clean, healthy air for you to breathe.
However, despite their known effectiveness, one may still ask, “How do I know if my air purifier is working? Is it still cleaning the air in my house?” Well, the fact is, you cannot distinguish polluted or clean air with your naked eyes.
So, how do you know that the purifier is doing its intended job or not?
Let’s look at several ways to determine if your air purifier is working.
Tips on How to Tell If Air Purifier is Working
If you want to do an air purifier test, here are some incredible tips. They will teach you how to tell if your air purifier is working properly.
1. Conduct the Airflow Test
Your first step is to test the airflow. Generally, an operational air purifier will constantly be blowing clean air into the room. If this is not happening, and you can’t feel the airflow, there must be something wrong with the air purifier. You can easily check for airflow by putting your hand in front of your air purifier unit.
Equally, if the purifier is quite noisy, it means that it’s using a lot of effort to deliver clean air. And, this is also a problem. Your air purifier shouldn’t be straining to pull in or blow out clean air into your home.
2. Check the Air Filters
One of the major reasons for air purifiers’ ineffectiveness is bad filters. Your air purifier uses an air filter to clean the indoor air of particles such as pollen, dust, and other pollutants as the air flows through. However, with time, the filter gets clogged and requires replacement to allow continued air purifier effectiveness.
While some purifiers come with a filter service indicator light to show you when to change the filter, manually checking it is also crucial. This is because your interior air might be dirtier, causing the filter to get clogged faster.
You should also note that many air purifiers contain more than one filter. Therefore, you should check all of them. If the filters are clean and not clogged, it means that the purifier is doing okay in cleaning your indoor air. If clogged, you should replace them.
3. Use an Electronic Air Quality Monitor
This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to check whether your air purifier still works. And you can use it for any type of air purifier.
How it works:
- Record a baseline reading of your indoor air quality when the air purifier is off.
- Close all the doors and windows and turn on the air purifier.
- Place your air quality monitor at any spot in the room, preferably near the purifier vent or your favorite sitting spot.
- Depending on the room size and that of the purifier, you should have a new reading on the air quality monitor within 30 minutes to several hours.
- If there is no significant change even after the purifier stays on for a few hours, then it’s clear that your purifier has a problem.
After this test, you will know whether or not your purifier is working.
I know you’re wondering why you can’t use the built-in air quality monitor on your air purifier. Well, some of these monitors contain cheap sensors that can’t offer accurate readings.
Also, the sensors will only assess the air quality closest to the air purifier, which is also the cleanest. Therefore, you won’t get a comprehensive report of the entire room. That’s why you need a portable monitor to get the readings for the rest of the room.
4. Use Chemical Air Quality Test Kits
Sometimes you want to get deeper and test for the specific air contaminants present in your house. A chemical test kit is ideal for this purpose.
These chemical kits help you test for pollen, mold, mildew, and other volatile organic compounds that might contaminate your indoor air.
How it works:
- Turn off your air purifier for about one or two hours.
- Follow the kit’s instructions to conduct the test and record the results.
- Turn the purifier back on and let it run for 24 hours.
- Conduct another air quality test.
After this, you’ll be expecting either of these results:
- Same results as the first ones
- Better results (few contaminants)
- Worse results (more contaminants)
If you get similar or worse results, know that the air purifier isn’t working properly. On the other hand, better results indicate a working air purifier.
5. Professional IAQ Testing
If, after these tests, you still can’t say with certainty whether your air purifier is working or not, call for a professional to test it for you.
By involving an expert, you will be able to know for sure if the air purifier is working, how effective it is, and how it is helping better your living space. A professional does more than test the effectiveness of your air purifier. They will assess every potential air quality issue and advise you accordingly.
How Long Does it Take for an Air Purifier to Clean the Air?
Now that you know how to test the air in your home, the next most probable question would be: how long does it take to clean the air?
Generally, a portable air purifier starts working the instant you turn it on. From here, the duration depends on the size and the shape of your room.
For an entire home air purifier, it continues to work as long as the HVAC system is on and running. As for how long it takes, it depends on the type of pollutant.
You will start noticing the change in air quality after 30 minutes or so. However, major air quality improvement will be noticeable after several hours.
So, don’t be in a hurry to conclude that your air purifier isn’t working. Ensure that you’ve waited for the test to conclude.