14 Negative Side Effects of Air Purifiers


Air purifiers are often described as devices that can remove contaminants and pollutants from the air inside houses. These devices can provide some health benefits, especially to people who have any respiratory condition like asthma. However, it comes with some drawbacks as well. If you are planning to buy an air purifier for your home, it’s important to understand the disadvantages and then decide if buying it is a wise choice. Let’s discuss the Negative Side Effects of Air Purifiers.

Negative Side Effects of Air Purifiers:

Negative Side Effects of Air Purifiers

1.     Ozone Emissions:

Some types of purifiers can emit ozone into your home. Ozone is a toxic, colorless, and unstable gas having three oxygen atoms in each molecule. There are ozone-generating air purifiers that are made to emit ozone gas in order to eliminate chemicals and bacteria in the air. On the other hand, ozone is emitted by some ionizers and electrostatic precipitators unintentionally as their functions’ byproducts. As for the latter types of air purifiers, they charge the contaminants electrically in the air in order to remove them. Ozone is released as a result of the charging process.

As per the California Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to ozone is dangerous to cells in the airways and lungs. Furthermore, exposure to this gas also has some side effects, including coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Due to ozone exposure, people with preexisting health conditions, such as asthma, may experience the symptoms of those health conditions in a more intensified way.

2.     Maintenance: Negative Side Effects of Air Purifier

The function of air purifiers depends on the usage of replaceable and disposable filters, which means you should prepare yourself to spend a significant chunk of money every year to get new filters. Failure to change the filters periodically will affect the overall performance of the air purifier. Furthermore, some types of air purifiers offer reusable plates or containers for the collection of contaminants. In such cases, periodic clean-up of the components is essential for optimal results. Although you may find the maintenance of the latter type of air purifier to be expensive, it can also be more labor-intensive.

3.     Reduced Ventilation:

One of the primary disadvantages of an air purifier is that it requires the windows to remain closed. In order to improve the quality of air in your house, opening your windows and letting the cool breeze in can be the best solution. Ventilation is among the significant solutions for improved indoor air quality. Other than ventilation, air purifiers can do the job and improve the quality of indoor air. Unfortunately, you cannot have them both at the same time. Using an air purifier won’t be of much significance if the air keeps getting changed due to the open windows. So, you cannot enjoy ventilation or fresh air coming from outdoors when the air purifier is turned on.

Negative Side Effects of Air Purifiers

4.     Expensive:

Air purifiers can be quite an expensive purchase which may not be affordable for everyone. In addition to the purchasing cost, there is a maintenance cost as well that you would need to pay almost every year. So, one of the factors to consider before purchasing the air purifier is whether you can afford to have this appliance in the long term.

5.     Noisy: Negative Side Effects of Air Purifier

In most cases, air purifiers are appliances whose functioning is quite similar to that of a fan that exhausts clean air after pulling dirty air. Similarly, they also offer different speed settings so you can turn the fan low or high, depending on your preferences. However, the noise might feel annoying to people who like sleeping in a quiet environment. For such people, turning the air purifier on may cause distraction and make it difficult for them to sleep peacefully.

6.     Concentrate Bacteria and Germs:

The function of an air purifier is similar to that of a fan but in reverse as it tries pulling allergens found in the air into a filter. It means that the area around this appliance is much more full of debris since the airflow is toward the purifier. That’s one of the several reasons why it’s not ideal to sleep close to a purifier.

Negative Side Effects of Air Purifiers

7.     Ineffective for Smoking:

If you think an air purifier can be helpful in getting rid of smoke from the air, then this appliance may not be of much use. Quickly clearing out the smell of smoke is not an easy task, especially when there is a history of smoking cigarettes in the house. The lingering smell is very strong and cannot be magically vanished just by using an air purifier. Tobacco and cigarette smoke have a tendency to contain a sticky residue texture that can bind to your house’s furniture, walls, curtains, and even the floor. In such situations, usually, ozone generators are used.

8.     Ineffective for Immediate Odor:

Although there are numerous air purifiers available in the market that can remove odours, many of them may not be very useful to help you eliminate immediate odours, such as chemical odours and fresh kitchen odours etc. You may try leaving the air purifier with a stench in the home, and you’d find the area to be smelling fresher after a while. However, an air purifier is not quite useful when it comes to getting rid of a strong smell quickly.

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9.     UV Rays:

UV rays in a filter can kill the particulate matter passing through it. UV technology is combined with air filters commonly in order to attain maximum air quality as well as efficiency. However, the filters that are fixed with UV technology may also have a tendency to break the water and oxygen molecules into hydroxyl and ozone. As a result, the mentioned broken-down elements start reacting with other pollutants and make them more dangerous. Therefore, air purifiers may not be the right solution for particulate matter.

10.    Under Performance:

Air purifiers may not be among the perfect appliances that provide 100% efficiency, even though the brand would claim that the product provides excellent performance. As for some purifiers, they may be helpful in removing odour or smoke but may not be able to tackle allergens and microorganisms from the house. Other than that, with the passage of time, the air purifiers start wearing out. Over time, the filters of this appliance start trapping fewer microorganisms due to them being clogged over time with the trapped particles.

Negative Side Effects of Air Purifiers

11.    When is it Actually Working?

Unless you are experiencing a problem with indoor allergies and are able to pinpoint the exact room or spot where the allergies affect you the most, telling whether the air purifier is actually working or not is challenging. You may go about your day without being sure whether the air you are breathing is purified or not. Sometimes, it can only be about telling others (and ourselves) that the air we are breathing is purified. However, in reality, you may not be able to distinguish filtered air and normal one.

12.     Hospital-Like Smell:

Although air purifiers are generally considered powerful appliances that can be used to clean the air that you’re breathing inside your house, you may not like the smell of them. In order to remove unwanted chemicals and particles from the air, air purifiers use special filters. The filters can cause the release of heavy metal ions, which tend to cause reactions in individuals having metal allergies.

13.     Ineffective against Viruses and Bacteria:

Air purifiers are considered a must-have for people with pets and children or ones with allergies. However, in order to fight bacteria and viruses, these appliances may not be a very effective solution. That’s because they are not quite powerful enough to get rid of viruses and bacteria.

14.    Overheating:

This problem may not occur to everyone, but one disadvantage that may come with purchasing a poor-quality air purifier is that it can get overheated due to a poor-quality cooling system. As a result, the motor of the appliance may burn out, causing damage to the product. Even if it does not damage the device, it may surely affect its overall efficiency and performance.

Wrapping Up:

Air purifiers have gained popularity among ordinary families, causing more and more people to jump on the bandwagon. Although this appliance comes with plenty of benefits and can prove itself to be worthy of your money, it is equally important for you to understand the disadvantages before investing your money in it. There are several Negative Side Effects of Air Purifier that we have discussed above, including possible hazards, potential health risks, and long-term costs.

If you want to opt for a purifier, make sure to research the maintenance costs, as this product requires high maintenance regularly. In addition, beware of the health problems that may be aggravated due to the use of air purifiers, such as headache, asthma, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing. We hope that our information was helpful and clarified to you. In case of any confusion, feel free to comment and ask your question.