A Comprehensive Guide to Air Purifiers Electricity Costs!

If you’ve been following the Air Purifier First reviews, you may have noticed that electricity consumption is an important factor when evaluating air purifiers. Although power usage is a key consideration, don’t be discouraged, as air purifiers generally consume minimal energy. In fact, you likely have devices in your home that use twice as much or even more power than a typical air purifier.

How Long Should You Run Air Purifier - With Tips
I use a special tool to measure an air purifier’s energy consumption. Photo: Airpurifierfirst.com / Milan Antonic

So far, I have tested many different air purifiers, but the most exciting thing is that I have not yet encountered one with a power greater than 100W. The average air purifier operates at 20-50W, and there are several models on the market that use 10W or less. I’ve also tested a few air purifiers that consume under 10W, which typically connect via USB to a computer or phone charger or are designed for car use. However, these small devices haven’t proven to be very efficient. Generally, the more powerful an air purifier is, the higher its airflow is, making a power usage under 10W potentially insufficient for adequate airflow.

To put things into perspective, the average air purifier uses 2-3 times less electricity than a refrigerator and 30 times less than an average air conditioner. I recommend ensuring that your air purifier has the Energy Star label, as this certification guarantees energy efficiency. 

Let’s do the simple calculation! If you were to use an air purifier with a power consumption of 50 watts at maximum speed for 24 hours a day, your electricity bill would only increase by $3-4 per month—a relatively small expense, don’t you think?In the following paragraphs, I will discuss how much electricity an air purifier typically uses and how to choose and adjust your air purifier’s power consumption.

Key Findings on Air Purifiers Energy Consumption!

  • Air purifiers generally consume minimal energy, with most using less than 100W (between 20-50W on average).
  • Air purifiers with Energy Star certification guarantee energy efficiency.
  • A typical 50W air purifier running at maximum speed for 24 hours a day will cost around $3-4 per month.
  • Regular maintenance and filter cleaning help optimize power consumption and efficiency.
  • Choosing an air purifier suitable for the room size and avoiding unnecessary add-ons can help save energy.
  • Air purifiers with auto mode adjust their speed according to air quality, saving energy.
  • In percentage, 28.30% of air purifiers will cost you about $3-3.99, and 18.90% will cost you $0-0.99. Only 9.40% will cost you more than $5.

* These key findings are based on our air purifier testing using a specialized tool that measures the power consumption of the devices.

How Much Electricity Does an Air Purifier Use?

A very common question is how much electricity one air purifier needs. To answer this, we need to understand how electricity consumption is calculated.

The formula for calculating electricity consumption is simple and is as follows: (Wattage x kWh cost x time (hours)) / 1000.

Let’s use an example to make the calculation easier. Assume the average price of electricity is $0.12, which is approximately the price in most US states.

How Much Electricity Does an Air Purifier Need?

Based on my various air purifiers tests, I’ve created a chart showing the average monthly cost of running an air purifier at maximum speed for 24 hours daily. The chart is organized into six different ranges, with calculations based on the US average price for kWh, which is $0.12.

But first, let me illustrate the average cost of running an air purifier. Based on tests of 53 devices (at the time of writing this), I’ve created a chart showing the average monthly cost of running an air purifier at maximum speed for 24 hours daily. The chart is organized into six different ranges (0-$0.99, $1-1.99, $2-2.99, $3-3.99, $4-4.99, and $5+), with calculations based on the US average price for kWh, which is $0.12.

From the graph, almost half of the tested air purifiers electricity costs are between $2-4 per month. Now, let’s look at some examples to clarify how to calculate an air purifier’s costs.

To illustrate an air purifier’s electricity consumption and cost, let’s consider a device with a 50W motor. The fact that the machine has a 50W motor means that this is its maximum power and that this is how much it consumes at maximum speed. So the air purifier uses different amounts of electricity at different speeds. For this example, we take our air purifier as having three speeds and consuming 10W at the first speed, 25W at the second speed, and 50W at the third speed.

Now, let me better describe how much electricity an air purifier consumes and how much it will cost you to use it. If you want to simplify the calculation, you can use the Appliance Energy Calculator, a tool created by the energy.gov

First, we will calculate how much the device consumes when running at third speed for a whole day. So 50W X 24 hours = 1200 W. Then we need to convert the watts into a measurement of electricity: 1200 watts / 1000 = 1.2 kilowatts. This means that the device consumes 1.2 kilowatts of electricity in one day. Next, we multiply the daily consumption of 1.2 kWh x 30 days = we get consumption of 36 kWh per month. Since we have assumed that the price of a kilowatt hour in the USA is about $0.12, then we multiply the total consumption by the cost of electricity: 36 kWh x $0.12 = about $4.3, which means that if our device is working at maximum speed for a month, 24 hours a day, it will cost us about $4.3.

Let’s leave this device running at the second speed (25W) under the same conditions. It uses about $2.16 of electricity. At the same time, our example device at the first speed (10W) uses about $0.85 under the same conditions.

Did you know?

Neither of the most polluted cities in the world is in the US.

It is important to remember that you will not always be using the air purifier at maximum speed, which means that an air purifier of average power (50W) should never consume more than $4 of electricity per month. Furthermore, the device from the example will consume, on average, in my estimation, and with some optimal use, much less than $2 per month

I hope I have explained well and that you understand how the consumption is calculated and how much electricity one air purifier uses. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the comment box below, and I will answer them as soon as possible.

Factors Affecting Air Purifiers’ Energy Consumption?

There are a few factors that affect electricity consumption. For example, I recommend that everyone regularly maintains and cleans the filters, especially the pre-filters. This way, you retain optimum power consumption and the device’s efficiency.

In addition, you should be careful when choosing which air purifier is recommended according to the size of the room you intend to use it in, as if you buy an air purifier that is too large for a small room, it can easily cause unnecessary electricity consumption. Not only that, but it can cause the filter to wear out faster than usual, which is an even higher cost.

Additional electricity consumers are also the add-ons that air purifiers come with, such as UV-C filtration. To be honest, UV-C light is not a big electricity consumer most of the time, but if you really want to save on consumption, then it is important to take this into account.

For example, I recently tried an air purifier that doesn’t consume much energy in the initial edition, which only has a HEPA filter, but if you buy a carbon filter and install it in the machine, it will consume a few more watts, and then the price is not the same as you might have initially calculated.

FAQ on Air Purifiers Power Usage

Does the air purifier use a lot of electricity?

No, it doesn’t. Air purifiers are usually up to 100W, which means they don’t use a lot of electricity.

Does pre-filter cleaning save electricity?

Yes, it does. The reason is that when the airflow is clogged by dirt, the machine uses more energy. A dirty air purifier has lower airflow, thus “forcing” the motor to use more watts to increase airflow.

Does using the auto mode save energy?

It certainly does. Devices that have an automatic mode are much more energy efficient than manual devices because the air purifier from automatic mode adjusts the mode according to the air quality in the room, which means that if the air quality in the room is good, the device will reduce the speed to the lowest level and thus saving electricity.

Final Verdict

In summary, air purifiers do not need much energy. I do not think that power consumption should be a deciding factor when buying a device. However, my advice is to buy an Energy Star certified air purifier.

In addition, I would recommend cleaning the pre-filter regularly, changing the filter periodically, and following all the tips I mentioned earlier, as this will reduce your electricity consumption and increase the efficiency of the device.

If you have any questions or confusion on this topic, please leave a comment in the comments box below. I will gratefully answer all of them and help you make the right decision when choosing an air purifier.

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