5 Most Common Types Of Air Purifiers

As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the concentration of pollutants such as cooking gas, tobacco, and burning wood are 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors.

To help reduce the number of air pollutants significantly, you should use air purifiers in spaces where you spend the most time in. Air purifiers can filter the air to eliminate dust, smoke, and pollen.

5 Types of Air Purifiers

Different air purifiers are designed to eliminate different types of pollutants. While some possess the features to eliminate only dust, others can get rid of bacteria and viruses as well.

The most common types of air purifiers are:

  • HEPA,
  • Ultraviolet Lamp,
  • Activated Carbon,
  • Ozone,
  • Negative Ion.

You should go for the type that has the technology to eliminate most of the contaminants in your chosen area.

HEPA Air Purifier

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Purifier is known to trap quite a variety of pollutants, including dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria. It’s a popular option in households due to its ability to get rid of 99.97% of particles measuring more than 0.3 microns.

Usually, HEPA purifiers are found in air conditioners and furnaces. Even though it can eradicate the most common pollutants, you cannot get rid of odor with a HEPA purifier.

How Does a HEPA Air Purifier Work?

A HEPA purifier has a built-in fan inside, which the device uses to trap air into it. The air then passes through a fiberglass filter packed with maze-like fibers which capture airborne particles. Here, three different processes can take place.

Some particles can collide with other airborne particles or gas molecules, causing diffusion. Some may cause interception by sticking to the fibers, while others get embedded in the fibers through impaction. Diffusion works great in trapping particles that are smaller than 0.1 microns. Their tiny size may allow them to fly through the filter, but due to the collision with other particles, they get trapped inside the filter.

After filtration, the air is pumped back into the room, and the purification process continues as the device draws more air into it. Gradually, most of the air in the room will be purified, and the level of pollutants inside the room will reduce significantly.

Where to Use a HEPA Purifier?

You can place a HEPA purifier in any room inside your house where you spend the majority of the time, be it the bedroom, living room, or workspace. However, you should make sure to place it on a piece of furniture that is not higher than 5 feet. You can also mount it on the wall if you cannot find a convenient spot on a dresser or table.

Pros and Cons

In this section, let’s explore the pros and cons of HEPA purifiers.


  • Eliminates dust, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and other allergens
  • It does not have any byproducts
  • The filtration technology of HEPA purifiers can be combined with other purification devices
  • Removes the majority of bacteria
  • It gets rid of solid particles without releasing them back into the air


  • Filter needs quick replacement if your space gets easily polluted
  • It does not remove smoke, odors, or chemical fumes
  • Not effective in capturing viruses

Ultraviolet Lamp Air Purifier

Ultraviolet Lamp purifiers are tailored toward eliminating viruses and bacteria from your living and working space. The mechanism depends on the radiation emitted by the UV lamp, which can kill microorganisms. That said, UV lamps are unsuitable for trapping airborne pollutants.

How Does an Ultraviolet Purifier Work?

An ultraviolet purifier sucks the air into the device and exposes it to UV-C light produced by the built-in UV lamp. Here, the process of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation takes place through which the chemical bonds of the DNA molecules in the air are broken down. This kills the bacteria and fungi and makes the viruses in the air inactive.

Where To Use an Ultraviolet Lamp Purifier?

Due to their ability to eradicate viruses and bacteria, ultraviolet purifiers are typically used in hospitals. However, you can also use one at home in addition to a HEPA purifier, especially if your family members are prone to be sick quite often.

Pros and Cons

Now, let’s see why you should or shouldn’t use ultraviolet lamp purifiers.


  • Acts as an antibacterial and antiviral disinfectant
  • It has the ability to destroy all sorts of microorganisms
  • It can be used with HEPA purifiers to neutralize microbes


  • It does not eradicate dust, pollens, smoke, or chemical fumes

Activated Carbon Air Purifier

Activated Carbon purifiers have the technology to eliminate chemicals and odors from the air with the help of minute pores in their filters. However, due to the sizing of the pores in their filter, they cannot fully get rid of larger debris.

How Does an Activated Carbon Purifier Work?

Activated carbon purifiers utilize a very simple mechanism to get rid of smoke, chemicals, and gases from the air. They are designed with tiny absorbent pores that react with contaminants that pass through the device. The contaminants then get trapped as they bond with the carbon.

Where to Use an Activated Carbon Purifier?

Since activated carbon purifiers are designed to get rid of odors, an ideal location for their use would be the kitchen. If you are a smoker, you can also place the device in the room where you usually smoke. This will prevent your house from getting packed with strong odors or cigarette smoke.

Pros and Cons

Now, let’s jot down the pros and cons of an activated carbon purifier.


  • Traps smoke, chemical fumes, odors, and gases
  • It does not release pollutants back into the air
  • Most absorbent filter


  • It does not eradicate dust or microorganisms
  • Requires quick replacement due to saturation

Ozone Air Purifier

Designed to get rid of extremely pungent odors, smoke, and mold, Ozone purifiers can suck in oxygen from the air to release a strong electrical charge. However, they may not be the best option for people suffering from asthma, as they can harm the lungs.

How Does an Ozone Purifier Work?

Ozone purifiers, commonly known as ozone generators, produce ozone which reacts with contaminants in the air to change their chemical composition, which can decrease the quality of indoor air significantly. Due to this, an ozone generator should never be used in a space with living things.

Where to Use an Ozone Purifier?

Due to their harmful effect, an ozone purifier should only be placed in a room that is not accessible throughout the time the device is operating. For example, you can place it inside your car once a week. You can also use it in your kitchen or laundry room as long as you do not enter the space while it’s being used.

Pros and Cons

Now, let’s see the reasons why you should or shouldn’t use ozone purifiers.


  • Disinfects the air and kills microorganisms
  • The smell of ozone can mask various odors in the room the device is placed in
  • It can work better when combined with an ionizer


  • Ozone can be hazardous to health and cause a decrease in lung functionality
  • Ozone takes a long time to react with chemicals which can leave harmful byproducts

Negative Ion Air Purifier

Negative Ion purifiers are quite different from the other types since their functionality depends on making the pollutants too heavy to stay in the air. Unlike the other air purifiers, a Negative Ion purifier is the least effective since it does not completely remove dust or pollen from the room.

How Does a Negative Ion Purifier Work?

As the name suggests, Negative Ion purifiers release negative ions into the air through a process known as corona discharge. Once the ions are released, they attach themselves to particles floating near the device. When this happens, the pollutants become too heavy to remain in the air and settle on the floor.

Most of the objects in your room are positively charged, and the negative ions are also attracted to them. Therefore, you may notice darker spots in areas near the device. Since it doesn’t completely get rid of pollutants from the room, a Negative Ion purifier may not be the ideal choice for you if you’re allergic to dust or pollens.

Where to Use a Negative Ion Purifier?

You can place a Negative Ion purifier in your bedroom to breathe cleaner air when you sleep. You can also place it in your office or workspace in your house, as an increase in negative ions increases mental concentration and performance.

Pros and Cons

Read on to know about the advantages and disadvantages of negative ion purifiers.


  • Disinfects viruses, bacteria, smoke as well as other toxic gases
  • It gets rid of extremely fine particles as tiny as 0.01 microns
  • Promotes quiet operation


  • Particles settle on the floor, which has to be cleaned
  • Releases ozone as a byproduct

Final Words

While vacuuming, ventilating, and using an exhaust fan can get rid of pollutants from your comfort space, it will not be as effective as using an air purifier.

As you can see, the five major air purifier types are tailored toward eliminating various pollutants. As long as you’re choosing the ideal type for your space from the popular air purifier brands, you’ll be able to breathe clean air at all times.

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