Air Purifier Maintenance Tips and Guides

Now that every home has an air purifier, we should talk about maintenance tips and guides on how to keep your air purifier at top performance. Ok maybe not every home has an air purifier, but they should have one. If you don’t have air purifier educate yourself and think about getting one. 

Vacuuming an air purifier.
Vacuuming An Air Purifier. Photo: / Milan Antonic

Air purifiers to work correctly need to be checked at every month. Most of the time, you won’t need to do anything, and everything will work fine. It all depends on the air purifier; some air purifiers can work for years without any maintenance costs.

Before we go into any details of maintenance and give any guide or tip advice, we should learn how air purifiers work.

How Air Purifier Work

Air purifiers are capable of removing air pollutants from the air. Purifier sucks air and pulls it through filters and in the end a fan releases clean air back into the room. The best air purifiers use filters that are replaceable such as HEPA filter. The HEPA filter is the best filter an air purifier can have. In HEPA filter all pollutants are trapped inside and removed from the air forever. However, some other types of air purifiers use magnetic plates and don’t have a replaceable filter.

Electrostatic Air Purifiers

Electrostatic purifiers are no longer popular because the amount of pollutants such an air purifier can trap is way lower than a true HEPA filter. Electrostatic air purifier indeed has low maintenance costs, but it is also true that it is not as efficient as the other types of air purifiers.

Since electrostatic air purifiers work by using electricity to power the plates, this kind of technology may create ozone, a harmful component that you don’t want in the house for sure.


Ionizers are ion generators, they release ions in the air, which then combine with pollutants, makes them heavier, and after that, they are sucked into the filtration system or dropped on the floor. The ionization process is an excellent way to clean air, but they can also create ozone. Ionizers don’t need any kind of maintenance, and you can run them for years without any trouble.

HEPA Filter Air Purifiers

As already mentioned, these are the best air purifiers on the market, but they also require maintenance. Now it all depends on the model you bought. Some HEPA air purifiers require new HEPA filter every six months while others are good for a year or even longer. 

The hard part is to know when is the right time to replace the HEPA filter. Many budget air purifiers don’t have filter indicator, and you will need to check if the filter is too dirty manually. The other way is to feel if the air purifier is creating a fresh, clean air. Maintenance costs on devices that have no filter indicator can be higher because you could be replacing a good filter. If you know you are not able to recognize a dirty filter and when is the right time to replace the filter, then my advice is to search for air purifiers with filter indicator.

Filter indicator will tell you when to replace the filter. Some low-cost air purifiers just have a counter that counts days while others have real AI sensors that monitor filter in real-time. Such advanced air purifiers will tell you exactly when is the time to replace the filter. 

HEPA type air purifiers always come with a pre-filter and carbon filter. These two filters need to be replaced sooner. The carbon filter is used to remove odors, and these filters can be used sooner. You can recognize the bad smell coming out from the air purifier, and that is the best sign to replace the carbon filter.

Pre-filter also has its worth. It is used to trap larger particles before they reach the HEPA filter. This filter is first in the row, and that means that it will get polluted sooner. The good news is that many times pre-filters are washable so you can wash them every month or when needed. Cleaning them regularly will make sure air purifier runs at optimal performance.

Tips on Air Purifier Usage and Maintenance

  • make sure the area around air purifier is clean
  • always check air purifier filter indicator
  • pre-filters are washable, so wash them regularly
  • place an air purifier in a position from which it can suck air freely
  • never place anything on top of the air purifier
  • never use any type of detergent or other solvents to clean air purifier
  • air purifier needs to be turned off before unplugging
  • before cleaning turn off air purifier and unplug it
  • you can use a dry or damp cloth to clean the outside parts of the air purifier
  • inside air purifier, you should always use a dry cloth to clean
  • HEPA and Carbon filters are not washable and never use a vacuum cleaner on them
  • permanent filters need to be cleaned at least every three months
  • you should check the permanent filter every two weeks


Whatever type of air purifier you use, some maintenance work is needed. Some air purifiers demand more work, while others can run freely for years. HEPA filter air purifiers have costly maintenance and many times new HEPA filter costs as 30% of the initial air purifier price.

You should prepare yourself for these maintenance costs because this costs as normal if you are running the best air purifier type on the market. If you need something to just filter some particles from the air, then use electrostatic air purifier or a different kind of air purifier with permanent filter.

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