Air purifiers are devices that remove contaminants from their surrounding air. They’re particularly popular in the homes of people who suffer from respiratory illnesses, such as asthma or allergies.
While a number of air purifier systems, such as photocatalytic oxidation vents, are built directly into a building’s existing heating and air conditioning system, there are also options that are free-standing devices.
To achieve the best air purifier placement, account for the area you are working with and which rooms will profit most from having an air purifier. The most popular place to put an air purifier is in a baby’s room, as babies are the most vulnerable to indoor pollutants, but there are other places you could strategically place an air purifier simply to get cleaner air.
1. Whole House Placement
The best air purifier is large enough to handle the whole house. Place it near the intake for the air conditioning unit so that there is a continuous flow of air and much of the now filtered air will get circulated throughout the home. Be sure to keep your AC unit and filters clean, or filtering the room air will not have much effect. As the air conditioner will likely not run as steadily in winter, change tactics and place the air purifier as centrally as possible during the winter months, but avoid placing it near the intake grill of a furnace.
Warning: While devices such as ozone generators can technically act as a form of whole house air purification, it is not safe to actually be present in a room with an operating ozone generator. Additionally, breathing in ozone is harmful, so be wary of any air purification device that, while functional, also produces ozone as part of its process.
2. In the Corner
Placing an air purifier in an out of the way corner will allow it to trap airborne particles, keeping the room air fresh and clean. Additionally, placing your device in a corner reduces the trip hazard. Plopping one down in the middle of the room might work faster, but it would be much more inconvenient and in the way to a potentially dangerous degree if you or anyone else needed to move about freely in that room.
3. Behind the Sofa
Most air purifiers act as smoke eaters. A device reliant upon activated carbon or charcoal would be a good example of a technology that purifies by absorbing toxins into itself as opposed to allowing them to remain in the surrounding atmosphere. Placing one behind the sofa where smokers sit will remove smoke from the air and reduce the odors associated with smoking. For best results, place the air purifier near the ashtrays that get used the most often, speeding up the filtering process.
If you do opt for activated charcoal, note that you will need to dispose of it and replenish it from time to time. Also, the carbon doesn’t actually purify the area of the contaminants. It simply draws gaseous matter into itself and in some cases, even allows it to solidify. When disturbed or moved enough, the solids in the powderized carbon can be released into the atmosphere once again.
4. Near the Door
A UV air purifier near the door can act as a sort of shield, filtering out bacteria and other microorganisms as they enter the room. This will help reduce possible irritants throughout the home and could be helpful for those who suffer from asthma.
Placing a UV lamp in other contaminant-heavy areas, such as near the drainpan of an indoor cooling system, will also prevent harmful mold and irritants from forming where they normally would.
5. In the Kitchen or Bathroom
In the kitchen, use both a UV lamp and a HEPA filter. Place the unit near the stove or a few feet away from the trash can. The two rooms of your home that generate the most odors and host more forms of bacteria are the kitchen and the bathroom. Because of the suitability for bacterial growth, having a UV air purifier is almost a necessity, and the HEPA combination will remove all those dead microbes from the air so that you are only breathing clean, fresh air.
Place the air purifier so that it is near the worst sources of odors. While not all contaminants have an odor, many of the usual household culprits do. If you have a baby or small child in the home, a small UV air purifier in the child’s room will help him or her sleep more safely. In general, try to keep the air purifier in an area that gets a good amount of air flow, so that it is able to filter as much debris out of the air as possible.
Once you have an air purifier installed, keep in mind that the filters need to be cleaned regularly. Some air purifiers have a light that indicates a dirty filter, but others need one to regularly check the filter condition. Be sure to follow any specific manufacturer instructions where disassembly and cleaning of any individual devices are concerned.