Do Air Purifiers Work for Dust?


Dust accumulates quickly inside a home. Even after wiping down surfaces and vacuuming regularly, it seems that it’s impossible to keep dust away. If this is the case in your home, then it might be time to add an air purifier to help you against the dust in your home.


Can Air Purifiers Remove Dust from the Air?

Yes, air purifiers can help get rid of dust in your home. However, this only applies to dust suspended in the air – you’ll still need to wipe down dust from surfaces in your home. Dust particles also exist in a wide range of sizes, so you’ll have to make sure your air purifier has a True HEPA to be able to capture all types of dust particles. And lastly, your air purifier must be powerful and fast enough to reach the dust in the entire room, so you’ll have to select an air purifier with the appropriate size and CADR (clean energy delivery rate).

As you can probably tell, you want to ensure that you select a device compatible with the size of your room. That’s what this blog post is about, so keep reading.


How Air Purifiers Work

Air purifiers are one of the best and easiest ways to get rid of dust indoors. This device has different components, including one or multiple filters and a fan that circulates and sucks air. The filter captures particles and pollutants as air moves through it, and the device pushes back the clean air into the room. 

Filters are made of mesh, fiber, or paper, and you need to replace them regularly to maintain their efficiency. However, how often you need to change your air purifier’s filter depends on the device’s usage and type.

Some models also come with washable and reusable filters. Reusable filters do an impressive job of getting rid of large particles in the air, such as pollen and dust mites. Nevertheless, these filters require thorough maintenance, which is why some top brands do not use them. 

Furthermore, you can also find UV filters on the market too. Ultraviolet light filters are designed to eliminate biological impurities such as bacteria and mold. However, devices with UV filters require more wattage to function effectively. 

Hence, when buying an air purifier, you need to consider filter replacement and operating costs. Some models use ionizers for attracting particles such as static and allergens. 

Air purifiers play an essential role in many homes. Tiny dust particles move around the home by floating in the air. These particles settle down on different surfaces in the house, including the carpet, couch, furniture, and more. However, an air purifier will trap most of these particles before they can settle in your home. That would help reduce dust accumulation on your properties and make the air safer to breathe. 


What Are HEPA Filters?

HEPA is short for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters have multi-layered netting that captures different particle sizes. The net is often made with fiberglass threads with different-sized gaps. The filter is made of dense small fiber sheets, and they are sealed in plastic or fiber frames. 

This filter has different layers that capture different sizes of particles. When the device’s fan draws air into the filter, the filter traps all the dust particles. It captures larger particles via impaction, mid-sized particles via interception, and small-sized particles via diffusion. 

Hence, you want to make sure you buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter. Devices with these filters do a better job of freeing your home from dust particles, regardless of the size. 

Make sure you’re selecting an actual HEPA filter, not one that is advertised as being HEPA-like. True HEPA filters undergo a rating system – they must be able to capture at least 99.7% of particles that are 0.3 micrometers (µm) in size. Most dust particles are 1 to 10 µm in size, which means that a True HEPA filter should be able to capture most, if not all, dust particles.

You can learn more about HEPA filter ratings in this article.


Do I Need an Activated Charcoal Filter for Dust?

Nowadays, many air purifiers have 3 types of filters inside. A mechanical filter to first filter out the larger particles that would otherwise damage the unit, a HEPA filter in the middle, and then they also have an activated charcoal filter.

If you’re wondering whether you’ll need an activated charcoal filter for dust, the short answer is no. Most dust particles should be captured with a True HEPA filter.

However, if your home tends to have issues with smoke smells like those coming from smoking or cooking oil, or it still has lingering chemical smells from a coat of new paint or new construction materials, you may wish to consider an air purifier with an activated charcoal filter as well.


Things to Consider When Buying an Air Purifier

When looking for the right air purifier to remove dust in your home, you need to consider some vital factors. There are many air purifiers on the market today, but not all are created equal. Some of these devices are also designed for different purposes. Hence, you need to consider what you want to use it for. 


CADR Rating

CADR is an acronym for clean-air delivery rate, and it measures the speed at which the air purifier removes dust, smoke, and pollen from the air. The higher the clean-air delivery rate of the device, the faster it cleans dust from the air. 

We recommend you opt for a device with a minimum CADR rating of 300. If you get a device over that rating, you will experience super-fast smoke and dust removal in your home. If you have a larger space, you should opt for something higher. Nevertheless, always stay above 300 CADR rating even if the room is small. 

And always make sure the air purifier that’s advertised to cover a certain square footage of a room is backed by verifiable data. Don’t just accept the manufacturer’s word. When looking for CADR ratings, always look for the AHAM Verifide label.  These air purifiers have been independently tested by the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

Let’s look at an example label below.

It’s rated for three types of pollutants – you’ll have to look at the one in the middle: dust.

Even though the air purifier overall is suggested to cover a room of 167 square feet, for dust specifically, it can cover a room that’s 118 square feet.


CADR Label Example for Air Purifier


While an AHAM Verifide label is the best way to verify the capability of an air purifier, it’s far from perfect.

There are a few assumptions you must keep in mind.

First, the rating is for rooms with 8-foot ceilings. If your room has higher ceilings, you’ll have to recalculate the volume of space in your room and get an air purifier with a higher CADR rating. For example, a 10 by 10 foot room with 8 foot ceilings is the same volume as a 9 by 9 foot room with 10 foot ceilings.

Second, the AHAM test is performed in a laboratory setting under perfect conditions. The air flow of an air purifier will always be more powerful in an empty test room than it will be in a room with obstructions like furniture or a room where people are constantly opening and closing doors and windows and trekking in more dirt from the outside.

For that reason, it’s always better to upgrade to an air purifier with a larger CADR rating. For example, if your room volume requires a CADR rating of 200, go with an air purifier that’s rated at 250. And especially if you care about dust, this is even more important if you have more soft surfaces that collect dust like carpet, curtains, and cushions as opposed to having a room with more hard surfaces like wood floors or less upholstered furniture.



Another vital thing you need to consider is the size of the air purifier you need. Nevertheless, the right size depends on the space you want to use the device. For effective dust removal, you need a device to match the size of the room. 

Opt for a model designed for larger rooms if you have a larger space. We also recommend buying an air purifier designed for areas slightly larger than the one you want to use it for. That would not only make the device more efficient but also function at a quieter and lower setting.

If you have asthma or allergies, you should opt for an air purifier that can manage your symptoms. You also want to consider the device’s ACH (air change per hour) rate. The ACH rate determines the number of times the device can filter the whole air in the room in an hour. 

Hence, we recommend you opt for an air purifier with an ACH rating of 4 if you have asthma or allergies. With a rating of 4, the device can clean the air in the room four times in one hour. Hence, you should not go below an ACH rating of four if you want your space to be always free of dust. 


True HEPA Filters

The best air purifiers are often those that come with HEPA filters. These filters are very effective at getting rid of dust particles, whether large or ultra-fine. They can remove mold, pollen, dander, dust, and other allergens from your home. Hence, you should opt for air purifiers that come with these filters for the best results. 


Key Features

After determining the CADR rating and size, you need to consider if you need some special features. One of the key features you would need in this device is energy conservation. Opt for an air purifier with an Energy Star rating by the EPA to conserve energy and save money. 

Some air purifiers also come with Wi-Fi, which allows you to connect and control the device with your smartphone. Another vital feature to look for is air quality indicators. The indicators provide real-time updates on the air quality in the room. 

Other features to consider include handles for easy mobility, caster wheels, filter change indicators, remote controls, and multiple fan speeds. These features make the device a lot easier to use. Make sure you choose a product with all the essential features you need to use the air purifier.



Safety is essential when buying any electrical device in the home. People with kids need to consider the safety of their kids when purchasing this device. Always opt for an air purifier with kid safety features. 

The device should be well-sealed. The way you will position the device also matters. It should be in a place where the wire will not cause tripping. In all, you should consider your safety and that of your family when buying this device. 


How to Make the Most Out of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are the most common solution to removing indoor dust. These devices are easy to use and very effective. All you have to do is turn them on, and they will do their job. However, there are different ways to maximize your air purifiers’ performance and usage. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your air purifier:


Use the Air Purifier Regularly

If you want to get rid of dust in your home at all times, you should leave the air purifier running as much as possible at its higher speed at first, until you start noticing that your home no longer has any dust. You can read more about how long this will take in this article.

After that, you’ll want to use it regularly and allow it to cycle on an auto setting.

You might be concerned about the energy consumption of running your air purifier always. That is why we recommend opting for an energy-star rated device. 

Another way to conserve energy is to reduce the fan speed – turn it to low. Fortunately, many air purifiers do not consume a lot of energy. The energy consumption of most air purifiers is the same as that of your computer. 

However, opt for a product with the EPA’s Energy Star rating for excellent energy efficiency. With that rating, you can run your device for as long as you want without ramping your electricity bills. 

The device needs to run continuously to provide quality air in your home. You cannot run the device for a few hours and expect it to purify the air in your home all day. Once the device is turned off, the air purification process will stop, and dust will start floating in the air again. So don’t forget to continue using it regularly and changing out its filters as well when needed.


Shut Windows and Door When Your Air Purifier Is In Use

One common mistake many homeowners make is opening down their windows and doors when their air purifier is on. Leaving the windows and doors open will result in the escape of the purified air. 

An air purifier works better in enclosed spaces. Hence, your windows and door should be closed whenever the air purifier is turned on. However, that does not mean you can no longer open your windows and doors to air out your home occasionally. 

When you want to allow fresh air into your home, ensure you switch off the air purifier to avoid wasting energy. 


Put Your Air Purifier in the Most Used Room

If you have multiple rooms and only one air purifier, you should put it in the room where you spend more time. We spend most of our time in the bedroom, so it is the best place to put your air purifier. 

These devices also perform better when you always leave them in the same room. Hence, if you want to invest in just one air purifier, you should opt for a portable and compact air purifier that seamlessly fits into your bedroom. You will enjoy highly purified and dust-free air always in your bedroom. 

However, this does not mean that the device could not be in the sitting room or other parts of the house. If you want to keep it in the sitting room, do not forget to buy a device compatible with the size of the room. 


The Clean Air Flow Should Always Be In Your Direction

For maximum results, the clean airflow’s direction should always be towards your breathing area. If the device is always in your bedroom, the airflow direction does not really matter. 

Nevertheless, if the air purifier is in a large space, you should point the airflow towards your direction. Point the clean airflow towards your breathing area to enable you to breathe clean and purified air. 


Filter Replacement

As we mentioned earlier, this device has different components, with filters being one of the components. Some air purifiers come with a single filter, while others use multi-layered filters. Regardless of the number of filters the device has, replacing the filter regularly is one of the best ways to boost its performance. 

While in use, the filters collect more dust and pollutants, reducing their efficiency. For maximum efficiency, replace the filters on time. Do not wait until the device stops working or no longer purifies the air before changing the filters. 

Follow the manufacturer’s recommended duration for changing the filters. Many products also come with a manual to show you how to change the air purifier’s filter. 



Air purifiers work for dust. These devices do a great job of freeing your home of ultra-fine, mid-sized, and large dust particles. They help purify the air in your home, ensuring you breathe clean and dust-free air. However, you need to know how to use and maintain them for maximum efficiency.