How to Tell if an Air Purifier is Working or Not

Air purifiers are fantastic devices that help to clean the air of smoke, germs, pathogens, allergens and mold, but how can you tell if your air purifier is actually working? As machines in the home go, since the air purifier just seems to sit there and doesn’t have many working parts, it can be hard to just immediately gauge if one is working or not.

How to Tell if an Air Purifier is Working

In fact, it’s very common for owners to wonder or worry if their air purifier is working or not. So, the answer to how can you tell if an air purifier is working is simple. You can run a few simple tests as well as do a good physical examination on your machine. Here’s how:

How to do a physical check on your air purifier to see if it is working

The way a physical check works to find out if an air purifier is working first depends on what type of machine you have as there are air purifiers with filters and some that work without filters.

For instance, for checking an ionic air purifier, you must see if there is any accumulation of dust on the air purifier’s ionizing rods, as when this kind of purifier runs it collects dust as it goes. Additionally, with an ionic air purifier they often have a compartment for collecting pollutants. If you check once a week you should notice some kind of build-up in this compartment if the unit is working properly.

If you have a type of air purifier without a filter, such as a PCO air purifier, it is not as easy to tell if it is working.

This kind of purifier burns the contaminants it collects, so there is no debris to see that’s left. The pollutants are instead turned into carbon dioxide and water vapor. So, in order to test this kind of air purifier to see if it is working you have to check for proper airflow. If you don’t feel any air circulation likely your unit isn’t working.

If it is a HEPA air purifier, there is another test you can try. Check the HEPA filters to see if they are clogged up. If the filter is clogged, it can make the unit stop working until you clean out the filter. Some units may have a light that goes on if the filter is clogged or dirty.

Finally, there is a weird physical tests some people swear works. It is called the fart test. If someone farts into the air purifier and suddenly it changes speeds and starts to frantically go into overdrive to get rid of the odor, then likely it is working.

How to do physical tests that check the air quality instead of the air purifier to see if it is working properly

There are also physical tests done on the air to see if the air purifier is working properly. To do this you must see if the air in the room where the air purifier is running is better or not. If, for instance, you are trying to get rid of dog smell or smoke and these items are still present in the room even after several hours, there is a good chance the air purifier isn’t working properly.

Also, if your air still seems stale or stuffy, chances are your air purifier isn’t working right either. These units are supposed to help you to breathe better and obviously if that isn’t happening, there is probably something wrong with your air purifier.

How to do chemical testing to see if your air purifier is working properly

There are also special chemical tests you can do to see if the air purifier is working properly. You can get air quality kits that test for pollutants like mold or mildew, or danger and pollen. What you do is turn off the air purifier for a couple of hours, then run the chemical test as prescribed on the label. Write down the results, then turn the air purifier back on for 24 hours. Then run the chemical testing again to see if you get a different reading. If you get the same bad reading or even worse, then your air purifier is not working properly.

How to do digital and electronic testing of air quality to check to see if your air purifier is working correctly

There is also a digital method of checking to see if your air purifier is working properly. Some of the available options range from LCD particulate tests to air quality detectors that work via Wi-Fi that compare inside and outside air quality. If the inside results are better than the outside results then your air purifier is probably working.

A monitor for digital air quality detects most pollutants. Some of the newer models of air purifiers even come with these type of monitors built right into the machine. Some of these will then work with a special app for your smartphone or browser. You can even check the quality of your air from another location.

These are four of the main ways that someone can check to see if their air purifier is working properly to clean and refresh their air. A few other methods of checking to see if the air purifier is working is to check to see if you installed it correctly based on the manufacturer’s directions and suggestions, as well as make sure the unit is not crammed into a small space with no room for air flow, as that will indeed make it stop working properly.

The bottom line is that air purifiers are vital for people who have allergies or breathing issues that need to breathe in only clean and pollutant free air to survive. Even if you don’t physically need it all the time, it is still a great device to help you have cleaner air so if you are not sure if your air purifier is working or not, you can run the above tests to check, and if you are still having issues, then call the manufacturer for advice or take it back for a refund.

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