How Long Does Air Purifier Take to Work: Answered

Updated on March 7, 2022 by Joseph D. Nielson

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Airborne particles and indoor pollutants such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, smoke from cigarettes, or cooking contribute to poor indoor air quality. These irritants can be frustrating or even harmful for those with breathing issues. One of the easiest ways to combat these negative impacts is investing in an air purifier.

An air purifier uses a power setting that determines how quickly your room is purified, with many factors coming into play, such as how big the room is and how much pollution is in it. This blog post will shed some light on how long an air purifier will work based on these factors.

Before you dive into the cleaning span of an air purifier, make sure you purchase efficient air purifiers that can clean the air faster to help your home. 

Check Out Our Top 3 Air Purifier Choices

Product ImageProduct NamePower SourceRange/CoverageApproximate WeighView Latest Price
HATHASPACE Air Purifier for Home Large Room with True HEPA Air Filter
HATHASPACE Air Purifier for Home Large Room with True HEPA Air FilterAC700 sq. ft.12 lbsView Price
Medify MA-40 Air Purifier with H13 True HEPA Filter
Medify MA-40 Air Purifier with H13 True HEPA FilterCorded Electric1,600 sq. ft.15 lbsView Price
Alen FIT50 Air Purifier
Alen FIT50 Air PurifierAC/DC900 sq. ft.11 lbsView Price

How Fast Do Air Purifiers Clean?

How fast an air purifier can clean the air in your room depends on the setting. A higher setting makes more power pass through the machine’s filters to clear out airborne particles faster than a lower setting.

You should use your air purifier for roughly 30 minutes per hour, with one cycle lasting just over ten minutes at its highest speed. However, carbon filters can clean the air much faster.

If you have pets or allergies, it is essential to use an air purifier to remove harmful particles and airborne allergens from your environment. Many of these allergens linger in the air for long periods, so it’s essential to have an air purifier to manage these problems.

It’s essential to understand your needs so that you can find a suitable air purifier for your home. Carbon filters have a carbon cloth that is treated to attract particles and collect them in layers over time so they can be removed from your home. Depending on your requirements, some carbon cleaners can remove unhealthy chemicals, while others focus more on allergens or smoke fumes.

A low-speed cycle may take approximately thirty minutes per hour, which means four cycles every time you turn on your machine. With many models, if they are not operated continually, there is no need to run them 24 hours a day, even though their filtration systems may remain on.

How Far Do Air Purifiers Clean?

Air purifiers are not meant to clean the entire house, but specific models can circulate air in a room up to 700 square feet. You can expect them to clean about 80% of the room’s air, but that number varies depending on how much furniture and people are in the space. The size of the room and how dirty the air is will determine how long and far it takes the purifier to clean the air.

Benefits of Carbon Filters

Cleans Room Faster: The more carbon in the filter generally means that the purifier can clean a room faster. Filters with activated carbon can thoroughly remove harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, trichloroethylene, and xylene. The carbon will soak up and purify airborne allergens like dust mites and pollen particles from the air. 

Eliminates Smoke Odors or Pet Hair: They also help reduce smoke or pet hair odours by absorbing these molecules. In addition, an ionizer attached to the top of a carbon filter helps remove smaller pollutant particles while releasing negative ions into the air, which fight against positive ions being produced during showers or cooking.

If you’re looking for a carbon purifier that can cover specific contaminants such as chemicals or smoke odors, it’s best to choose one with an activated carbon and ionizer combination.

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Reduces Allergens in Air: Also, if your home has multiple people living in it who suffer from allergies, look into an air purifier with a carbon filter and activated charcoal. This will help reduce the number of allergens in the air, giving you and your family some relief.

What Do Air Purifiers Clean?

When To Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are an excellent solution for people with allergies or asthma, as they can help reduce the number of airborne allergens in a room. Air purifiers are designed to remove particles from the air, including smoke, bacteria, pet dander, and mold. Some also contain carbon filters to remove harmful chemicals and odors from the air. 

In cities with high air pollution concentrations, an air purifier can help reduce your exposure. It is important to note that air purifiers cannot remove all particles from the air, and they should not be used as a replacement for an air conditioner or heater. They also remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm your health. 

When Not to Use An Air Purifier

In some cases, it’s not essential to use an air purifier. If you live in a rural area with fresh air and few allergens, airing out the room for fifteen minutes a day might be enough to keep asthma and allergies under control. Air purifiers may also be beneficial in limiting the spread of disease-carrying vectors and eliminating viruses.

Alternatives to Air Purifiers 

Indoor plants can also be an excellent way for people with asthma to purify the air in their room. Not only do they add some natural beauty to the space, but they also act as a natural filter for harmful gaseous pollutants. 

NASA has even conducted studies on this topic and found that certain plants effectively purify the air. These plants take about one to two days to remove all gaseous pollutants from a room, including benzene and formaldehyde (prevalent asthma triggers).

Frequently Asked Questions About The Work of Air Purifiers

How Long Does it Take to Notice A Difference With An Air Purifier?

The speed at which the air purifier can purify the air depends on various factors, such as selected power setting, the filters, the range it covers, and ACH (rate of air changes per hour) of the air purifier. You can generally expect the air purifier to clean most of the air in a room within 45 minutes to three hours of turning it on.
To ensure that your air purifier is efficient, try to find one with a good CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating, which refers to the volume of filtered air. The CADR represents the amount of clean air coming out of the air purifier on the highest fan speed, which depends on the size of the room. Finding out the CADR rating of your chosen air purifier and understanding the metrics will allow you to determine how long it may take for you to notice a difference with an air purifier.

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How Do I Know if My Air Purifier is Working?

The easiest way to know if your air purifier is working is by checking the airflow. You can put your hand in front of the device (at a distance) to feel the air flowing. 

Alternatively, you can check the fan inside the device to understand if the air purifier is working. If the fan is very loud, it may indicate an underlying problem that could require maintenance, or you may need to change the filter. If the fan is working smoothly and not working too hard to circulate air, your air purifier is most likely working efficiently. 

Do Air Purifiers Work Right Away?

Although air purifiers start their work when you turn the machine on, it is best not to expect complete results immediately. An air purifier requires at least 30 minutes to clean the air, and the time can be longer if the room is more prominent. 

It takes time for an air purifier to circulate through the purifier so that the odors may linger for an hour or longer. The device’s CADR number and room size will determine how soon the air purifier will work in your household.

How to Maintain an Air Purifier to Make it Last Longer?

Taking care of your air purifier will improve its lifespan and allow it to last longer, and work more efficiently to clean the air in your home. Here are some ways to ensure that your air purifier remains in good condition.

Position Your Air Purifier Thoughtfully – Try positioning your air purifier in your breathing zone for maximum efficiency. Place your unit in an area where it can easily clean the air without requiring too much effort from obstructions in the way, such as furniture or curtains.

Regular Clean the Filters – Make it a habit to frequently check the filters and clean them when required.

Set Reminders to Change Filters – It is easy to forget when you last changed a filter, but keeping a dirty filter running for too long can negatively impact the device. Set a reminder on your phone to remember when you need to change your filter next.

Lightly Dust the Device – Keeping your air purifier free from dust will ensure that it efficiently cleans the air in your home.

Clean Area Around the Unit – Make sure the area around the air purifier is always clean by vacuuming and mopping when needed to stop dirt from clogging the machine.


Air purifiers can be a great way to reduce the number of asthma triggers in your room. They remove airborne allergens, smoke, and other pollutants from the air so that you are less likely to have an asthma attack. 

If you have been suffering from chronic respiratory problems such as allergies or asthma for a long time, it is essential to make a change. Using an air purifier will help clean the room of harmful pollutants and allergens, giving you some relief from your symptoms. Learning about how long an air purifier takes to work can help you decide if owning one of these devices is right for you.

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!