Do Air Purifiers Remove Dust? Answering the Age-Old Question

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It’s no secret that dust in the air is one of the most unfortunate and allergy-inducing elements that we come across. In fact, dust is quite known to cause asthma.


Understandably, the first question people are raising is whether or not air purifiers work effectively against dust removal. Before investing in one, it’s imperative to check whether it will work well or not.


In short, yes, air purifiers do remove dust when used correctly.


Let’s dive in to find out more about them!

Do Air Purifiers Remove Dust?

To put it shortly, yes, air purifiers reduce dust from the air and help in eradicating the problem.


Technically speaking, they eliminate the dust particles, the visible, and the microscopic ones.


Those dust particles pass through the purifier and are caught in its filters. Even the ones that are too large, like hair and fabric fibers, are caught in the front section of the purifier. That part is called the pre-filter. 


The filters that we’re referring to above are the air-based ones, not the ozone generators, or the ionizers. While those purifiers do work, they need specific conditions and a certain type of environment to work. They’re also not as effective as the filter-based purifiers.


It’s essential to note that not all of them are 100% effective in removing all air contaminants. Like, for instance, the dust that has already settled on surfaces.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers consist typically of a filter or child sneezing from dustseveral filters and an air-circulating fan.


When the air passes into the filter, contaminants and particles are detected, and the clean air is released back out. Filters are made of paper, fiber, or mesh and must be changed regularly to preserve performance.


How frequently you need to change filters depends on the form and use of the purifier. Many filters are reusable and washable, but most people won’t reuse them because they require proper maintenance. So most people don’t bother and just buy new ones.

Ways an Air Purifier Reduces Dust

Air purifiers work using internal electrical fans to pump air constantly in a room and clean the oxygen into the surface. Dusty and polluted air is drawn and pushed through filters and is permanently stuck inside until the filter is cleaned.


Clean air leaves the purifier’s exhaust side, and the process continues. In most cases, it takes a couple of hours to circulate and disinfect the air in a room with an adequate device.


The time it takes depends on the design of the purifier, the room’s size, and the purifier’s clean-air supply rate or CADR.


The particles that are then trapped are the ones that would’ve eventually turned into dust or toxins that can induce asthma symptoms when inhaled.


While an air purifier won’t completely eradicate the dust in the air, regular use can help in the reduction of the mites and dust in your home.

What is in Dust?

We first need to learn what dust is to understand how an air purifier can help to reduce it in our home. While dust sometimes looks like the typical grey powder that’s found on the ground, it’s a series of several different varieties of small particles from unexpected sources.


It’s a common misconception that household dust mostly contains our own skin cells. The precise composition of indoor dust can depend on many factors.


These factors include the number of individuals and pets who reside in the home. Also, the outside atmosphere and how food is usually prepared and eaten.


In most cases, however, dust is made up of particles that come from outside your home.

Sources of Dust

While dead skin is one of the primary causes of dust, most particles are made up of multiple other sources.


These sources include:


  • Dirt carried from the roads
  • Old skin cells
  • Pollen
  • The wind carried from outside
  • Animal/Pet dander
  • Fibers from clothes
  • Hair
  • Dead insects


Most of these can be reduced using a purifier if used correctly and regularly.

A Little About Air Purifiers

Air purifiers clear up the air from toxins that stick around. Dust, mold spores, dust mites, pesticides, odors, and pollutants are certain airborne contaminants that may be picked up by an air purifier.


The type of particles that your air purifier can catch wholly depends on the unique technologies that your purifier is utilizing. Some air purifiers are more efficient and are more capable of capturing particles depending on their specifications.

Types of Air Purifiers

There are several known types of air purifiers, all with varying degrees of success when it comes to efficiently purifying the air.

HEPA Air Purifiers

HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air is a high tech filter that boasts a high-end technology that’s proficient in eliminating particles. To register as a true HEPA filter, it must trap 99.7% of the particles, with the size of that particle as small as 0.3 microns.


The 0.3 microns is the standard for HEPA filters, and many HEPA filters are successful in trapping even smaller particles.


HEPA filters work by trapping the dust and mites from the air using a set of tendrils and filters. It uses four different ways to trap contaminants, depending on the size of the particle.


If the particle is considered large, it’s trapped using inertial impaction and sieving. These contaminants are either trapped when they make contact with the fibers and tendrils or are contained if they try to move through the fibers.


Particles that are a bit smaller avoid being entrapped initially but are then contained by the filters as they travel through the fibers.

Electrostatic Precipitators

Electrostatic precipitators (or air cleaners) are purification devices that can be considered extremely efficient in entrapping dust and mites. They use electrostatic attraction to keep your air squeaky clean and void of cigarette smoke and dust.


They work by ionizing those contaminants and then use air to push them towards an electronic cell. They’re then caught by flat metal plates that are negatively charged, which then attract all those particles towards it.


Those particles remain on the plates until they’re manually removed.

Ultraviolet Light Air Purifiers

Air purifiers with UV light technologies work by pulling in the air inside of the filter and then passing it through another tiny inner filter that is then exposed to UV light. This light is never released into the room so that it wouldn’t be harmful to your health.


The air might or might not be re-inserted back into another filter before its release into the room. This factor depends on the model of your UV filter.


We hope that this short guide helped answer your question regarding purifiers.


Air purifiers do remove dust. However, they don’t eliminate them and must be used regularly to have an actual effect.





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