How To Tell If An Air Purifier Is Working?

Wondering how to tell if an Air Purifier is working? Keep reading!

An air purifier is meant to improve your indoor air quality. However, how can you tell if it is actually working?

You can’t see air pollution or bacteria floating in the air… how can you tell if the money you spent were worth it?

In this article, we’re showing you how you can run some checks to make sure that the air purifier you’ve just purchased is actually working.

How To Tell If An Air Purifier Is Working?

Key Takeaways

  • The easiest way to check if your air purifier is working or not is by putting your hand in front of it.
  • Your filter should get dirtier & dirtier with each passing day; if it remains the same, then it is not working.
  • You can also check whether your air purifier is working or not by smell.

How To Make Sure Your Air Purifier Is Working?

Check For Air Circulation

Air Circulation

Because an air purifier uses fans (after the air has passed through the filter system, it is blown back into the environment) the simplest way of checking if the air purifier is working is to put a hand in front of it and check if there is air circulation. 

This is how you can check that the air purifier is on. However, it doesn’t guarantee that the air coming out of the device is clean, or at least cleaner than before.

Read: How Does An Air Purifier Work?

Read: 10 Best Lowes Air Purifier

Examine The Filters

check filter

Check the filters before you turn the device on the first time, and then check them again after a few days.

If they look just the same as before, it means that they are not trapping anything from the air. You should see that the filters change with time.

In particular, they become dirtier and dirtier. The dirt you see on the filters is dirt that was in the air and has been removed. 1

Use Your Nose

Use Your Nose

Any air purifier, even the cheapest, should be effective against smells. You can run a simple test like this: lit a cigarette just near the device (you don’t need to actually smoke it, just provoke some smoke!), then move some steps away and check if you can smell smoke in the room. If you can still smell the smoke, the air purifier isn’t effective.

Get Your Hands on a Air Quality Monitor

air quality

There is no better way of checking if an air purifier can actually work than monitor the indoor air with an air monitor system.

There is a portable air quality monitor that is not very expensive and that you can place in the same room where you have your air purifier.

Of course, you should check the values before turning on the device and then after. Some air purifiers (usually the most expensive) have a built-in air quality monitor.

They usually have a small display that tells you the quality of the air and how the air purifier is working to improve it. 2

Read: Air Quality Index


You can’t see with your own eyes whether or not an air purifier is working effectively.

Also, you can use your other sense, but, as we’ve seen in this article, the best way of checking the air purifier’s effectiveness is with an air quality monitor.

You can purchase an air purifier with a built-in air quality monitor or buy it separately.

Read: 10 Best Medify Air Purifier


How long does it take for an air purifier to work?

Air purifier can take 30 minutes to clean the air of a small room. But for medium to large-sized rooms, it can take 2-3 hours to clean the air.

Where should I place my air purifier?

You should place the air purifier in the area where you spend the most time of the day. Keeping it close to you will ensure you breathe fresh & dust-free air.

How to check if your Indoor Air Quality Monitor is working or not?

Most air purifiers come with an Indoor air quality monitor, and there is no correct way to tell whether it’s working or not or whether it is giving the right reading.

The best thing to do is to get a separate indoor air quality monitor, which will give you a real-time index of air quality around you.

NPC Overall Rating


The National Planning Cycles is committed to producing high-quality content that follows industry standards. We do this by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data alongside original reporting from reputable publishers that were appropriate for the accuracy of information while still being unbiased. We have an editorial policy that includes verifiable facts with due credit given where applicable.


Leave a Comment