Where Should I Place My Air Purifier? (2020 Guide)

Want to know the best place to put your air purifier?

The best location should be appropriate for the size of your purifier, and it should also minimize air resistance.

In this guide, I will go over...

  • The #1 factor for air purifier placement
  • How air resistance affects purifier performance
  • Tips on how to avoid objects

Let's get started with this guide!

where should i place my air purifier

What Is The Best Place To Put An Air Purifier?

Air purifiers are great devices to keep your air clean, but determining the best location to place it can be vexing. Manufacturers don't always give clear instructions on the best place to put it. If you put an air purifier in bad location, it won't fully filter the rooms air and you are wasting your money.

The best place to place an air purifier will be determined by the capacity of the air purifier and your personal needs. A small air purifier works best when placed on tabletops and as close to you as possible — which is easier to do with these lightweight purifiers. The largest whole home air purifiers should ideally be placed in the middle of the home so it can draw in and filter the most amount of air.

Here are some of the most important considerations when choosing where to place your air purifier...

Read Also: What Are The Best Quiet HEPA Air Purifiers?

#1. Air Purifier Capacity

Air purifiers come in a range of different sizes from small purifiers put on desks and all the way to large whole house air purifiers that can filter an entire home.

The size of your air purifier will probably be the biggest consideration as to where you want to place it.

If you look in the manual or product description of your air purifier, manufacturers almost always give a room size recommendation. In general, most air purifiers are in the 50-sf to 500-sf room size range.

Of course, whole house air purifiers are on a different level, and are for entire houses in the 1000-sf to 3000-sf range.

#2. Small Air Purifiers

If you have a small desktop type of air purifier, these are generally for small rooms on the order of 100-sf or less.

The best placement for these small air purifiers are either on a desk or table.

These units work better when placed on a table because there is less air resistance than if it was on the floor. With small air purifiers, a good place is also on a central room table or desk, but if you are working in a particular corner of the room, you can easily move these small air purifiers closer to you.

In short, you don't want to put these small air purifiers on the floor or in a corner if at all possible.

Read Also: What Are The Pros & Cons of Whole House Humidifiers?

#3. Whole House Air Purifiers

If you have a whole house air purifier, then the best place to put it would be in a central location in your home.

If you have a three level home, it would be best to put it on the second level, and in a central room or hallway so it can more easily filter the air from the entire home.

But, if your family main lives on a particular level of a home, such as where the living room is located, you may opt to put it in a central location on the most used level.

where should i place my air purifier (1)

#4. Air Resistance

If you want your air purifier to work optimally, you want to think in terms of air resistance.

Basically, the more air resistance, the worse your air purifier will work. If you place the air purifier on the floor, in the corner of a room, or behind furniture — then the purifier will get less intake air because of the room air has move around and over these objects to get to the purifier.

Even just putting an air purifier on the floor will work much less efficiently than if you place it on a table or platform. This is because the air moving along the floor creates resistance, and therefore less air flow through the air purifier.

The idealized location of an air purifier would be in exactly the middle of the room, and hanging by a metal wire. Of course, this is impractical and ugly, but it illustrates that in the idealized location there is the least amount of air resistance.

Read Also: What Are The Best Portable Whole House Humidifiers?

#5. Room Size

Its a good idea to stay within 20% of the manufacturer recommendation for room size.

If the manufacturer states that a purifier is good for rooms 200-sf or less, then a 250-sf room may not make that much of a difference. However, if you start doubling or tripling the room size, it will be woefully inadequate to purify the air of that room.

And on the flip side, if you place a high capacity air purifier in a very small room, you will be wasting energy, and constantly cycling pre-filtered air.

#6. Noise

The last consideration for your purifier placement will be the noise level.

Let's face it: some air purifiers are louder than others. 

A growing number of air purifiers have a low or quiet setting, and some will even turn onto quiet mode automatically when you put the lights out. Most air purifiers will have their sound rating in decibels.  A human whisper is around 30 decibels for comparison.

If your air purifier is loud, or if you are a light sleeper, you should take into account that if you put it in your bedroom, or near your bed, it may impact your sleep quality.

#7. Distance To Pollution

If you have a specific concern about air pollution such as from cooking odors or outdoor pollen, then the air purifier should be located as close the source of pollution as possible.

There is no point in placing a small air purifier down the hallway when you are concerned about cooking odors and pollutants. Or if you are worried about outdoor chemical pollution or dust, then your air purifier should be located as close to the exterior door as possible. The ability of your air purifier to capture pollutants decreases with the square of the distance from the intake.

What Is An Air Purifier?

Home air purifiers are devices that filter the air from particulates such as pet dander, dust, mold spores, VOCs, and foul odors.

Air purifiers can have a variety of different filters as well as the quantity of filters. Some air purifiers may have 3, 4, or even 5 levels of filtration. The highest level filtration is the HEPA filter which can filter 99.7% of particulates up to 0.3 micron.

In addition to standard media filters, some air purifiers come with activated carbon filtration which can remove odors from the air.

In essence, they work the same. They contain a fan that pulls in air through a grill, and then the air gets filtered by some type of media, and the filtered air gets sent back into the room.

Read Also: What Are The Best Quiet HEPA Air Purifiers?

Final Thoughts

To sum up this guide, it's important to know the room size that your air purifier was made for if you want the most effective use of its air filtering features.

And in addition to the room size, its a good thing to keep in mind natural air resistance of objects such as the floor, furniture, drapes, and other items. The smaller the air purifier, the less the placement matters because you can easily move it from table to table.

However, for the larger and higher capacity air purifiers, the best locations are in the center of the room, and at least a couple feet away from furniture and other objects, if at all possible.

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Arie Van Tuijl

Arie Van Tuijl

Arie is the founder of Home Inspector Secrets, an online resource dedicated to helping people understand how homes work. He is a licensed home inspector in two U.S states and owns a residential and commercial inspection company (read his full bio on the About page). To ask Arie a question, please use the comment box at the bottom of the relevant article.

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Home Inspector Secrets is an online resource for owners, buyers, and sellers to understand all aspects of home maintenance. We have detailed home guides, product reviews, inspection advice, and much more.