Location of an air purifier is extremely important and can make or break its effectiveness in your home, office, or dorm room. Therefore, the question on most people’s minds is: “where is it best to place it?”
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What does an air purifier do?
The EPA estimates that indoor air can be two to five times dirtier than outdoor air. Air purifiers work to remove contaminants as well as improve air quality in a room. This can benefit people with sensitivity to dust, getting rid of smoking smell, and much more.
Air purifiers can help neutralize odors, reduce the chance of airborne diseases and asbestos, and even improve sleep. Inhaling clean air from an air purifier can also help eliminate stress and improve mood. They eliminate allergens like dust and pet dander and can reduce triggers for those with asthma. In urban environments, they can remove outside fumes and pollutants.
The health and quality of life benefits of this product are many. The air purifier has a fan that sucks in the air then passes it through the filters which trap odors and pollutants. Most of them have HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters which are extremely effective and can remove nearly 100% of pollutants in the air if maintained correctly.
Determining the right size air purifier
One thing to consider is size compatibility. Air purifiers can be great for a home, office, or business. It is recommended that you purchase a model meant for a slightly larger room so it is more effective and uses less energy. There are portable air purifiers as well as air purifiers intended to be used for entire homes. To determine what size to get for what space, you must determine the CADR (clean air delivery rate). CADR indicates how much air is filtered in an hour for three specific pollutants (smoke, pollen, and dust) in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM).
Basically, the higher the CADR number, the faster the air purifier filters the air. The CADR of your air purifier should be equal to at least two-thirds of the room’s area. But don’t worry – you don’t have to do these calculations yourself. There are online calculators available to help determine the minimum CADR you will need for any given space. Most air purifiers take around 30 minutes to 2 hours to clean a room. In contrast to ozone generators, air purifiers are especially beneficial to people when those using the air purifier actually stay in the room as it does its work.
Where should I place an air purifier in a room?
A question that a lot of people tend to have is the placement in a room of their air purifier. A lot of factors can go into answering this and location matters more than you may think. Positioning can greatly affect performance by about 20% if done correctly. If you are specifically targeting a smell or contaminant, place it as close to the source as possible. This way it will trap these particles more quickly before they spread to other areas of the room or building. It’s up to you to determine which rooms in your home are “the dirtiest” rooms and target those – after all, no one knows your home better than you do.
It is also beneficial to place your air purifier somewhere a few feet off the ground. Most of the time, about 3-5 feet is ideal. A common question about air purifiers is whether or not they can be placed on a table. The answer is yes, depending on the size of the unit. Smaller units can be placed on a desk or piece of furniture, and larger units can be mounted to the wall if necessary. This increases the floor-to-ceiling ventilation efficiency by stopping the particles from the vents prior to travel downwards. The more air you can provide to the purifier the more air it can properly filter.
Another thing to consider is the fact that air purifiers work well alone. This means that doors and windows should preferably be shut in order to keep extra particles at bay. In this case, “fresh air” is not as beneficial as you may think. It can bring in more pollen, dust, and other pollutants from outside. However, placing it next to a door or window is ideal because that is where most air flow comes in. That moving air has enough energy to lift the particles that may be coming in from the outside. Having the purifier there can stop them from traveling elsewhere in the building/your home. Your air purifier should essentially be the “bouncer” that protects the room and the front should face outwards away from the room.
What else can affect how well an air purifier works?
Temperature is another factor in the effectiveness of your air purifier. In general, air purifiers do not like to be in extreme heat, so avoid putting them too close to windows if the outside temperature is too hot. These units are also sensitive to moisture. If you have a humidifier or take hot showers, make sure you place your air purifier at a far enough distance that the moisture does not negatively impact the filter. Therefore, try to avoid putting it in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom if possible. If those rooms need the purifier, try using it when there are lower levels of humidity and moisture (so, not when you’re showering and not when you’re doing the dishes).
It is also important to note that some electronics will interfere with your air purifier if they are placed too close to it, so avoid putting it near microwaves, televisions, stereo equipment, and the like. Do not place an air purifier behind any furniture, or block it with any household items; nor should your purifier be underneath anything that blocks the top. If it is blocked like this, it can decrease deficiency by up to 50%. Keeping about a foot of room around all sides of the purifier is optimal for its performance. Avoid the corner of a room as well because it will be blocked on two sides creating low indoor airflow.
Another tip for maximum efficiency is moving the air purifier around. If it is sitting stagnant in one spot or one room, it is less likely to remove more of the particles from the air as opposed to moving it from room to room to increase access to odors and contaminants. This is an easier alternative to purchasing multiple air purifier units. Some places to consider putting the purifier could be near the fridge, the sides of the walls, and besides a doorway leading to an open space. You could also consider close to your dresser or the opposite side of the room from the TV.
How do I clean my air purifier?
Many of the best air purifier brands on the market come with a HEPA filter that is washable, allowing you to clean and re-use it.
Here’s how you can clean an air purifier filter when it is a washable or a permanent HEPA filter:
- Turn off your air purifier and unplug it from the wall socket and move it somewhere where each side is easily accessible.
- Clean the filtered air outlet – often located on the top and back side of the unit – with a dry, soft-bristled brush. This will help you remove dust and debris that can obstruct airflow.
- Remove the front grill of your air purifier. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details, but there’s often a pull tab for quick removal. This part of your air purifier can be cleaned with warm water or a light mixture of soap and water if it needs a deeper clean and allow it to dry.
- Clean non-washable, permanent HEPA filters using a vacuum to remove dust and debris. These types of filters are not designed to come into contact with water. Cleaning these permanent HEPA filters with water can cause damage.
- Return your clean HEPA filter to the air purifier, and put the front grill back in place if you removed it for cleaning. Wipe down the outside of the air purifier with a dry or lightly damp microfiber cleaning cloth. You can now begin using your clean air purifier again.
If your air purifier has a disposable filter, follow these similar steps but instead of using the vacuum, simply replace dirty filters with a new one. For carbon filters, replace every three months, HEPA filters, replace every 12-18 months. With permanent filters clean every 3 months and replace when it appears worn or damaged.
A quick summary:
Overall, an air purifier can provide many benefits for a room or home if placed correctly. The Veva Large Room Air Purifier Large Room ProHEPA 9000 has up to 600 square feet of coverage and is perfect for large spaces and homes. For smaller areas, Veva’s 8000 Elite Pro series works great as well. Remember to get the correct corresponding size to that of your space. Also remember to place it close to the source of the scent or contaminant to stop it from spreading. Keep it in an open area, preferably close to a window or door facing outwards at an elevated height if possible.
Don’t keep it next to things that can become extremely hot or humid because they don’t do well with moisture. Avoid clashing frequencies and don’t place it next to other small electronics. Don’t block the purifier with other furniture because then it can’t do its job correctly. Moving it from room to room will help prevent the spread of bad particles and will keep multiple areas clear of unwanted things in the air. Finally, keep your air purifier clean by either washing or replacing the internal filter.
Remembering these tips will increase the efficacy of your air purifier and will make for a cleaner environment with fresh air.