Do Air Purifiers Reduce Dust?

Do Air Purifiers Reduce Dust

Welcome to our article answering the question, “Do air purifiers reduce dust?”

Fun fact: On average, Americans spend close to $500 million annually on air purifiers. Yes, that is a lot of money circulating around for such seemingly simple machines. But you will be even more surprised to find out the amount is increasing every year. This raises important questions. Why does the amount keep rising? What is behind this consumer behavior? Is it a greater awareness of pollution or just a passing fad?

However, we believe that the increasing spending on air purifiers every year is due to more people suffering from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory infections. Since contaminants in the air are increasing, even the indoor air we breathe in our homes is progressively becoming worse. But it is still important to ask ourselves whether air purifiers reduce dust in your home.

Facts About Dust And Air Purifiers

Household dust happens to be among the most common issues globally, and affects everyone to some extent. Here are some interesting facts to keep in mind.

  • Many lifestyles today demand that most people spend up to 90% of their entire day indoors, whether at home or in the office. People will repeatedly inhale indoor air, which mostly contains dust and other pollutants.
  • Dust is not just dirt. It contains a wide range of pollutants from various substances and household items. Inhaling it extensively can result in allergic reactions, and even chronic illnesses like cancer.
  • You must deal with dust effectively and as soon as possible, through reducing dust sources.
  • HEPA air purifiers are among the best choices for removing dust – with their ability to eliminate up to 99.97% of particles.

So Do Air Purifiers Remove Dust?

Do air purifiers reduce dust, or can they remove it entirely? Yes, but only to a certain extent – they can only reduce airborne dust. However, settled dust is difficult to remove. That means you will have to do much more to keep dust at bay.

The problem here is that indoor air is usually dirtier than outside air, because the household has more contaminants compared to outside. For instance, dander from household pets, mold spores and mold due to moisture, dust particles, and bacteria circulating throughout the home due to cooling and heating systems.

The energy efficiency of newer homes is on the increase as well. This is due to stronger barriers between the exterior of the building and the interior. While this is great for helping to reduce your cooling and heating bills, it is bad news for getting rid of harmful air elements. This means your interior has higher pollution rates compared to the outside.

Their Mode Of Operation

Understanding how air purifiers work is really easy, even for those that have seemingly complex designs. They mainly consist of filters (either one or several, depending on the design), and a fan that will circulate the air in the system and propel it outside once it is clean. As the air enters through the fan and moves along the filters, the filters will then collect any pollutants that are present, then let the clean air pass and go to your living space or room.

The usual filters will usually consist of any of these materials making them up – mesh, fiberglass (or other kinds of fiber) or paper. Regardless of the material, you will need to maintain them. Replace them as regularly as possible in order to keep them functioning for a longer time.

What You Should Consider

CADR and purifiers

You might be wondering what kind of purifiers are effective for the job. The good news is that there is already a set of standards present in the industry, which can help you compare different filters and their efficiency. CADR is an acronym for Clean Air Delivery Rate, and is assigned by Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, or AHAM.

AHAM will test these filters, and this will help them to know the efficiency of the filter in removing specific contaminants per standard volume of air. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is. You will see three indicators of what the filter can remove: one for tobacco smoke, one for pollen (both tobacco smoke and pollen have maximum rating of 450), and one for dust (maximum rating of 400).

MERV rating

This is another rating system you can check. It can be even more reliable than the CADR rating, as it breaks down the efficiency into four categories in increasing efficiency. The ratings are as follows:

  • MERV 1 to 4 – these are the most common filters. They have a standard structure, and will give you basic protection and air filtration, at a low cost on your end.
  • MERV 6 to 8 – the level of filtration is good, and you will likely find them in a residential area. They have a better surface area for capturing contaminants, due to the filter being comprised of paper or pleated cloth.
  • MERV 9 to 12 – relatively high quality filters, and are considered as mid-range. They can also trap very small contaminants of at least 1 micron in diameter.
  • MERV 13 to 16 – these are the best standard filters you can get, and are very high in efficiency ratings. They are also capable of trapping very small particulate matter, at least 0.3 microns in diameter.


This is not only relating to the cost of buying the system. It also relates to the cost of replacing the filters, as well as operating the system. Depending on the filter, you will have to replace the filters every two to three months.

Benefits Of Air Purifiers

  • They can play a role in reducing respiratory-related illnesses
  • Removal of pet dander
  • Clean your home air
  • Deal with allergens and microorganisms (depending on the filter you use)


  • You need to replace filters for the system to be effective

Final Thoughts

Air purifiers can actually remove dust, but it is important to consider several factors before choosing your filter. This will help you make the choice that is right for you and your home, as not all filters will work for your specific needs.

About Rita McMahon 32 Articles
Rita McMahon is a Master of Science degree holder in Electrical Engineering and has done many reviews on various electrical gadgets. She currently works as a lecturer and is passionate about everything electrical. Apart from her teaching job she loves reading and traveling. In a recent conference, she encouraged ladies to join the field of Electrical Engineering because there is a huge gap that needs to be filled by specialists in this field in around the globe, especially in the third world countries that heavily rely on foreign technology and expertise. The field according to her is not saturated and if people continue to shy away, then the development of sustainable and relevant technical solutions will stall, given the pace of technological advancements.