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How Long Does it Take for an Air Purifier to Clean a Room

How Long Does it Take for an Air Purifier to Clean a Room

According to statistics, fine particulate air pollution in most major cities worldwide has been on the rise since 2016. Air pollution is credited for up to five million deaths annually. This is the leading cause of pulmonary based illnesses and fatalities. Using an air purifier has become vital to deter any potential effects of air pollution on your health.

It takes an air purifier roughly thirty minutes to two hours to purify the air in a room. Based on several factors such as the size of the room, level of air pollution, air purifier speed, and so forth.

What Affects How Long It Will Take to Purify a House?

Purification time varies from one house to another depending on a couple of variables. Here are the top determinants to consider.

Size of The Room

Cleaning the air in an open plan living area is different than cleaning the air in a small bedroom. Most air purifiers have an upper limit on the room size they can clean effectively in a given time frame. This means if you need to clean a larger room, you have to contend with the more extended amount of time it will take the air purifier to get it done.

Filter Type

A charcoal filter (not a charcoal purifier) can get rid of allergens in a room much faster than a chemical-based filter. On the other hand, if your air purifier has multiple filters, it can concurrently handle different pollutant types with different micron particle sizes. Making it clean the air faster as compared to an air purifier depending on one filter type.

Air Purification Speed

At speed two, purifying air may take five hours while purifying the air at speed five may take one or two hours. Again, depending on the level of pollution in the air. As such, if you wish to clear air faster, run your air purifier at the highest speed and reduce it once the air gets cleaner.

Alternatively, program your air purifier to reduce its speed once it detects reduced pollution in the air. Or monitor the air quality and adjust accordingly.

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Level of Air Contamination

Depending on how toxic the air is, you may take a whole day or a few minutes to clean the air. This depends on the type of air contamination and the size of the particles in the air. For instance, if you have thick smoke, this will take longer to be neutralized than perfume smell. The reason being the size of the particles is different and has varying densities.

Placement of the Air Purifier

The air purifier’s location plays a significant role in the speed of air purification in a room. It goes without saying that the closer the air purifier is to the odor’s source, the faster the air will get cleaned. For instance, if you need to contain a pet’s litter odor, then the best thing would be to place the air purifier next to the litter box.

air conditioner working duration

Likewise, if you need to remove food odors in the kitchen, you need to place the air purifier near the stove. Alternatively, you can set the air purifier at a vantage point in the room where it can clean all the air in the room with ease.

The Weather

As weird as this sounds, using your air purifier in summer is different than using your air purifier during winter. The reason being air is denser when it is colder. This means the air will get purified faster during summer as compared to winter. When you run your air purifier during colder months, run it at a higher speed. Or wait for the extra time it will take the air to get purified.

How to Purify the Air in a Room Faster?

You may need to implement more than one tactic to clean the air in a room faster. Combining a few of these tricks will get the job done in half the time it may take the air purifier.

  1. Prevent Counteraction

Close the windows to prevent contamination of already purified air. If you are running the air purifier and the air getting into your house if filthy, your air purifier’s efforts will be wasted.

  1. Go Natural

Use natural elements to help purify the air faster such as activated bamboo charcoal, houseplants, essential oils, a rock salt lamp, or beeswax. Ensure that the natural elements do not contain any compounds that contribute to air pollution in your house.

  1. Be Strategic

Place the air purifier near the odor’s source to ensure faster absorption of impurities in the air. Avoid obstructing the air purifier to increase air circulation and make extraction of odors from the air in the room faster.

  1. Air Purifier Capabilities

Run the air purifier at a higher speed to increase air cleanup volume per minute. Maintain your air purifier regularly. A clogged filter will take longer to clean the air in a room. Change or replace the filters as needed to ensure it is always running at optimal capacity.

Do not place it near electronics that can interfere with its wavelength as this will impede its air purification process.

  1. Take Preventive Measures

Lastly, prevent odors to avoid rescue missions later. Placing the air purifier near the window to prevent dirty air from entering your house is better than starting to clean up the polluted air after the pollution has already occurred.

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How Do I Know if I Need an Air Purifier?

As the air quality in your home deteriorates, you will begin to notice subtle symptoms indicate that something is amiss. The symptoms are more likely to be prevalent in a house resident with preexisting chest conditions such as asthma. These are the signs you need to look out for;

  1. Increased Asthma Attacks

If you or another family member has asthma and is getting frequent flareups, it may be a sign that the air quality is poor and needs to be purified.

  1. Allergic Reactions

Are you or one of your housemates getting frequent headaches, a runny nose, itchy eyes, or other allergic reactions? This may be a sign the air is polluted, causing the body to react to the air’s inflammatory compounds.

  1. Dusty Furniture

Dust accumulation on furniture is a sign that you need to purify the air as there has to be an uncommonly large amount of dust in the air for you to start seeing it gathering on your furniture.

  1. Murky Air

If the air in your house smells musty or stale, you need to get an air purifier(s). this is a sign of air pollution or, even worse, an accumulation of pathogens like mold spores.

  1. Dust Mite Infestation

Where there is smoke, there is fire; increased dust mite population is a sign that your air is quite dusty. Hence the inhabitation of dust loving parasites in your house.

  1. Unexplained Sickness

If you keep getting sick and all other factors in your life are unchanged, your illness may be the intangible factors such as filthy air inhalation. That may lead to mold toxicity or inhalation of bacteria and a myriad of other harmful pollutants.

  1. Snoring

Blocked airways due to increased mucous production is a sign that your air is polluted. Mucous production is your body’s fight mechanism as the first step to fighting toxins in your body. If you are snoring, then you need to purify your air to reduce mucous production.

Where Should I Place My Air Purifier?

The best place to place an air purifier is right next to the source of the odor. The next best place to put an air purifier is at the point where it is most likely to clean the most amount of air at once. This means placing it in an unobstructed part of the room.

You can also consider placing near the window or door where outside pollution is most likely to make its way into your house. You also need to put it on a raised platform. Your main concern is cleaning the air your breathing in and not the air circulating near your feet.

When using it to clean air in your bedroom, place it a few feet from your bed with the clean air direction of the air purifier facing you so that you can get a stream of fresh air coming towards you as you sleep.

Should Air Purifiers Run All the Time?

The critical thing to remember is that air pollution accumulates volatile compounds or odors in the air over time. This means that if you want your air to be pure, you may need to keep your air purifier running. Especially if the air quality if highly compromised in your home environment.

If you are concerned with conserving electricity or keeping the cost down, use a combination of natural methods to boost the effort of the air purifier. You can also run it consistently at a low speed to reduce energy consumption. Also, work on reducing air pollution by using non-toxic cleaning agents or cooking with open windows.

If you have a smart air purifier, you can preset the air purifier to increase speed when it detects a deterioration in air quality. At the end of the day, you have to decide whether conserving electricity is more important than breathing in better quality air.

Does Every Room Need an Air Purifier?

Not necessarily. Buying an air purifier for every room in your house would be a costly undertaking. It will also increase your electricity expense. Unless you live in a heavily polluted city or environment, getting multiple air purifiers is overkill.

At the very least, get an air purifier for rooms that tend to get odors the most, like the kitchen, living room, and the bathroom. You can also get an air purifier for your child’s room, especially if it has a respiratory disorder.

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If you place your air purifiers in a strategic position and keep doors open throughout the house, you can utilize one air purifier to clean air in multiple rooms. You can also move an air purifier from room to room as needed.

Do Air Purifiers Make the Air Dry?

No. air purifiers do not have air dehumidifying capabilities, and as such, they cannot make the air dry. It does not affect humidity levels. It can only trap pollutants in the air using different micron air filters. If you have dry air in your house, consider getting a humidifier as dry air can cause nose bleeds.


The main take-home is an air purifier running at speed four will clean the air in a room faster than an air purifier running on speed two. To clean air in a room more quickly, run your air purifier at maximum speed for a few hours, then switch to the lowest speed to maintain air quality.