Wondering Which Air Purifier Is Best for Dust? 5 Must-Have Models

Which air purifier is best for dust image of dust on table

Dust is one of the most common household annoyances – it never seems to end! The problem with simply dusting or opening a window is that it doesn’t remove the problem permanently.

A quality air purifier can filter your home’s air and remove dust permanently. But which air purifier is best for dust? I’ll compare several of the best and show some great choices for your money below.

I’d love to help you better understand the source of the problem as well as buy the best for your money.

Additionally, I’ll explain what dust is and how an air purifier helps with dust problems.


What’s in dust and where does it come from?

Dust describes fine particles of matter that become airborne and settle on surfaces everywhere. It may sound harmless but it can cause a great number of problems to humans and animals.

Dust can also include a great deal of organic matter anywhere that where humans and animals live. Additionally we bring some particles in from the outdoors unintentionally.

Image of a finger with dust on it

Dust can contain a wide range of nasty things! It can easily become not just a nuisance to the cleanliness of your home but an air quality issue, too. I’ve personally experienced severe coughing triggered by dust from unknown sources. Some particles are large enough to touch and see while some are microscopic in size.

Your household or office has a great number of sources of dust. Here’s a list of some of the most common:

  • Pollution, soil, and other particles from outdoors
  • Plant pollen
  • Human and animal dead skin cells & hair
  • Debris from textile, paper, and construction materials
  • Dust mite feces & body parts
  • Bacteria and microbes
  • Chemical residues or molecules
  • Cigarette smoke particles

A great example are the particles distributed inside your home by central heating and air systems. Those systems aren’t designed to prevent dust from reaching you (despite having a type of filter on them).

Dust is a problem for several reasons

Dust particles of nearly every type range from large visible pieces to those which are microscopic in size (especially pet dander and dust mite materials). The amount of time that dust takes to settle on surfaces can range from a handful of minutes to a few hours.

This is what gives the dust plenty of time to cause allergies and cause other respiratory problems. When these particles are suspended in the air around you they’re easily inhaled and can contact your skin, too.

Image of household dust under a microscope

Image of household dust under a microscope – note the incredibly small particles. Just think about how much of this you’re breathing in every day!

To help illustrate, common dust mite allergens can range in size from roughly 5-10 microns in size (a micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter in size) which is incredibly small! That is much smaller than the human eye can see.

The solution

The source of the problem is that unless it is eliminated dust will continue to build up. There’s no remedy aside from actually removing it.

Dusting surfaces like your furniture is only temporary, as the dust remains indoors and once it settles it may become disturbed by movement or gusts of air causing it to circulate again.

The only true solution is to purify the air by removing dust particles.

Do air purifiers help with dust?

Heating & cooling systems in homes or workplaces normally have a filter in place to trap unwanted elements. Unfortunately, they are typically extremely ineffective. Average filters are not worth much, to be honest.

The filter material is often made up of course fibers with large gaps in between which allow the majority of dust to pass through. I’ve seen this myself, having seen large amounts of dust coming from the air vent after using the air conditioning for long periods of time. And this is with brand new filters, too!

The fact is that microscopic elements in the air must be removed by a far more effective filtering process – and this is why a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is so important.

How air purifiers help

Diagram showing how a GermGuardian AC4900CA air purifier works

Illustration of how an air purifier works to remove dust and other contaminants from the air (GermGuardian AC900CA shown). Air is drawn in using suction from fans and dust and particles are permanently trapped in the filter. The remaining fresh, clean air is blown out from the exhaust side.

HEPA filters are based on a standard which began in the United States in the 1950s. Providing a reliable and consist way assurance of performance, it guarantees an air purifier must meet these two criteria:

  1. The filter will remove 99.97% of particles flowing through it
  2. It can remove elements in size down to 0.3 microns (less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter)

This means that for every 10,000 contaminants flowing into a true HEPA air purifier, only about 3 will escape! This is an amazing amount of air cleaning ability and it can remove almost all dust in the air it processes.

A good quality filter-based air purifier will circulate the air in a room and permanently remove the dust present in the air. After a number of hours, airborne dust will have been trapped permanently!

Of course, it’s not a one-time treatment. In your home you’ll need to use the air purifier from time to time. It can even be left on low speed, for example, for continuous protection. This is especially true if you have constant sources of dust like I did from the heating system.

Air purifier filter sections explained

Illustration of HEPA air purifier for dust sectionsA true HEPA filter is extremely effective in removing dust, allergens, and microbes from the air. The HEPA filter section is a secondary stage that effectively removes microscopic dust particles. The pre-filter is a thinner, less dense section (often containing active carbon) to first remove larger dust particles. 3-in-1 filters are very effective at removing dust from your home. An active carbon filter removes chemical substances and odors, too.

The name “true HEPA” refers to those that meet the filtering standard, as some sold may be described as “HEPA type.” A HEPA-type comes close to but doesn’t quite meet the same filtering ability. It’s important to know this difference when shopping for an air purifier to avoid being mislead.

The same well-designed air purifier that can remove dust forever can remove a lot of other nasty elements in your home’s air as well like dust mite allergens.

★ 5 great air purifiers for dust ★

Our top picks at a glance

sample-table__image★ OUR #1 CHOICE ★Levoit PUR131
  • Great value! 322 sq. ft coverage, 3-stage HEPA, advanced features under $200
  • Auto-sensing and auto-off advanced features
  • Digital display and touch controls
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageSmart phone controlGermGuardian CDAP4500
  • Control from anywhere with your phone!
  • 3 stage filter system. Germ killing UV-C feature
  • Filter reminder + easy to use
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC5000
  • 193 sq. ft. coverage for about $150
  • Germ killing feature, 3-stage filter
  • Easy to operate. Filter reminder feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageBest seller!GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best seller and overall an excellent value! 155 sq. ft cover. Quiet operation
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check on Amazon

Product reviews and details

1. Levoit LV-PUR131 – A fantastic large room 3-stage purifier! Auto-sensing operation and more.

Levoit LV-PUR131 side front image

The LV-PUR131 is another excellent model with great performance and attractive styling found in its smaller sibling, the Levoit LV-H132. It’s a great compromise between cost, features, and room size coverage ability.

In other words, it’s a great value. I’m recommending it for several great reasons.

For the money, you get great features, very good room size coverage, and excellent build quality. The performance is very good and it’s an air purifier you’ll be happy to own.

It’s no coincidence the LV-PUR131 is rated one of the best and is a top seller.

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel features

The electronic control panel looks a bit complicated at first glance but it’s easy to use. Touch controls easily rotate through their various on/off settings such as the fan speed or mode. A digital display shows the remaining operation time when the auto-off timer in use as well as the current air quality detected.

The straightforward and clear control panel features simple icons on the touch buttons and offers many wonderful features:

  • Power on/off
  • Display button
  • Sleep mode
  • Auto mode
  • Fan speed control
  • Timer button

A 7-segment LCD numeric display shows you the auto-off timer count. The auto-off timer is very flexible and can be adjusted to anywhere from 1 to 12 hours of operation before automatic shut off.

A sleep mode keeps the unit in a very low noise so you can rest without being disturbed. A color-coded air quality indicator light uses 4 colors to show how contaminated the nearby air is as detected by its sensors. Very nice!

Levoit LV-PUR131 purifier HEP filter sections diagram

The LV-PUR131 continues the tradition of Levoit’s great air purification filter design. The true HEPA filter traps finer, more difficult dust particles while the preliminary filter quickly and permanently removes airborne dust particles of normal size.

The LV-PUR131 uses a 3-stage design similar to others: a fine preliminary filter, an activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter which captures and removes dust very effectively.

Almost everyone who has tried the Levoit has wonderful things to say about it along with reporting excellent dust, dust mite, and other allergy and contaminant removal.

The average filter life is about 6 months and the convenient filter reminder will let you know when it’s time to replace it. New filters cost around $35 or so. A great 2-year warranty is provided too.

  • Great design and features in its price range
  • Sleep mode offers very quiet operation at night
  • Flexible auto-off mode (1-12 hour settings) with digital LCD readout
  • Air quality indicator
  • Large room coverage (322 square feet)
  • Excellent filtration using a true HEPA filter for dust removal
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • 2-year warranty
  • No washable pre-filter section for reuse like some others
  • No remote control operation ( see the Winix WAC9500 for that)
  • 11.2 lb weight means it may not be suitable for some shelves and smaller areas like smaller purifiers
  • Electronic controls and LCD display may not be suitable for elderly and others who prefer simple switch controls

It’s one of the best-selling, too! Definitely worth a look. You can click here to find out more and see the many other happy buyers.

2. GermGuardian CDAP4500WCA WiFi Smart 4-in-1 – WiFi and smartphone control that’s surprisingly affordable!

GermGuardian CDAP4500WCA air purifier front viewI didn’t think it was possible to get this level of convenience and great air purification for less than $175. But GermGuardian has made it possible!

Built on the same best-selling fundamental air quality design of the popular AC4825 & AC4900, the CDAP4500WCA (white) and CDAP4500BCA (black) are purifiers that offer next-level air purification you can control while away using your smartphone.

They also can be controlled by voice using the Amazon Alexa too.

Not only that, but they also offer a Smart Air Quality Monitor (SmartAQM) feature to detect the amount of particulate matter in the air around you and can even adjust its speed automatically.

GermGuardian CDAP4500WCA air purifier top view image

The CDAP4500WCA/BCA models feature a nice backlit digital display with fan speed readout, current air conditions, and auto-off timer status indicators. An auto-off timer allows you to shut it off after a preferred amount of time, too!

It’s an amazing feature. The current detected air quality is displayed with an easy to see colored ring on the front of the unit. 3 colors (green, yellow, and red) are used to indicate the current air quality status.

Unlike other models & other products, you get 5 (not 3!) levels of fan speeds. From a super-quiet low setting to fast-cleaning high speed, the CDAP4500WCA/BCA has you covered.

Additionally, it features the famous GermGuardian built-in UV-C germ-killing option for the safe removal of sickness-causing airborne microbes.

GermGuardian air purifier smart phone app example

The smartphone app provides an easy-to-use way to get current air quality info while you’re away. You can also control the purifier while you’re not at home as well! It’s extremely convenient and the interface is pretty simple. I like it. It’s especially nice to be able to use the auto-off timer too.

Just download the free GermGuardian app (provided for both iPhones and Android) and you’re ready to control it remotely at your leisure. No more getting out of bed at night to adjust it!

With Amazon’s Alexa voice support you can command the purifier from different places within your home. Say “Alexa, open Gi Gi” and then find out the air quality by asking “Alexa, ask Gi Gi the air quality of the bedroom.


  • 124 sq. ft coverage (small to medium sized rooms)
  • App for remote control over WiFi or Bluetooth
  • Alexa compatibility
  • Available in both black and white colors
  • 3-in-1 filter design plus UV-C germ-killing feature
  • Great for dust problems
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Great buyer reviews
  • Quiet low-speed operation
  • Auto-off timer (1-8 hours adjustable)
  • Auto-sensing feature adjust fan speed with air quality
  • Reports air quality and current status via the optional app
  • Uses standard FLT4825 replacement (or compatible generic) filters

Overall, it’s a well-designed air purifier that works just as well as the more basic GermGuardian models I’ve come to love as an owner.

It takes air purification to the next level by making it incredibly convenient, and I love the smartphone control features!

  • Auto mode changes fan speed based on air quality
  • Low maintenance cost – replacement filters are inexpensive (generics available)
  • 5-speed fan control (vs 3 speeds of others)
  • Great filter ability & air flow despite its small size
  • Alexa control
  • Doesn’t require WiFi for remote use
  • Excellent build quality
  • Advanced WiFi app control (iPhone & Android)
  • UV-C microbe killing feature
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • True HEPA filter + carbon stage, with pre-filter
  • 3-year warranty
  • Room size coverage is lower than others
  • Tower-style design may not fit in as many areas
  • No reusable filter sections
  • Some may not like the front panel glow ring at night
  • Time is set in increments of hours, not minutes
  • Limited to 8 hours maximum for the timer

It’s an excellent and surprisingly affordable compared to the competition considering the great features.

Don’t pass it up – have a look! Head over now to see the great reviews and current sale price for the white CDAP4500WCA at Amazon.

GermGuardian CDAP4500BCA air purifier front imagePrefer the black version? You can have a look at the great looking CDAP4500BCA model here.

3. GermGuardian AC5000E 3-In-1 with True HEPA Filter and UV-C Sanitizer. Excellent for medium to large rooms.

Featuring simple controls, great dust cleaning ability, and excellent reviews, the AC5000E is a really worthwhile investment and serves as the “big brother” to its smaller sibling the AC4825.

It’s a great buy for the money and works well for medium to large sized rooms near 193 square feet in size.

This is another excellent product from Guardian Technologies. Feature the great-performing 3-in-1 filter design shared with other air purifiers they produce, it’s great at trapping not just dust but also allergy-causing particles like pollen but also pet & human hair as well.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 controls image

Right: The AC5000 is a larger, more powerful version of the popular AC4825 model (left). Both have the same control design and features. Operation is simple by using the 3-speed rotary fan control and the UV push button for operating the germ killing feature.

The active carbon filter will trap odors like chemical vapors and a variety of unpleasant substances.

It features simple, easy-to-use controls that I really like and are suitable for nearly anyone in your family. The UV-C feature safely kills germs as they pass through the purifier and doesn’t expose you to any unhealthy ultraviolet rays while in use.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 UV-C feature turned on

The AC5000, just like its smaller sibling the AC4825, features a cool trim ring that glows when the UV-C feature is in operation. It’s a nice detail I enjoy as an owner. Note that while it does glow, I’ve found it shouldn’t be too bright for most people at night time.

I do have one complaint: after switching the UV-C feature on, if I turn off the air purifier it doesn’t remember that I had the UV-C on last time. So I have to turn it on again manually. However, that’s an extremely minor gripe that’s barely even worth mentioning.

Overall, if you’re looking for dust removal in a room that’s close to around 193 square feet in size. It works well for medium to large sized rooms. At 28″ in height it’s a bit large so bear that in mind before buying.

  • Good value for the money!
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is really easy to use
  • Excellent for reducing dust
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Filter is very easy to replace
  • Nice glowing light indicator when on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (193 square feet)
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature (note: the similiar AC5250PT offers this)
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter
  • Large 28″ size is not the most compact

This one is one of the best-selling air purifiers today! Take a look at the amazing number of reviews from people who found it helpful for dust (and much more!) over at Amazon.

4. GermGuardian AC4825 3-In-1 with True HEPA Filter and UV-C Sanitizer. A super-popular winner!

Featuring simple controls, great dust cleaning ability, and excellent reviews, the AC4825 is a top seller in its price range and has received the Amazon’s Choice award.

I’m an owner and I have great things to say about it in my review of the AC4825.

The GermGuardian features an additional benefit the others don’t – an ultraviolet (UV) light feature which works with titanium dioxide to kill airborne bacteria, viruses, germs, and mold spores.

At 22 inches tall the purifier fits well into room corners and other areas where vertical space is available. It uses a 4-stage filter process also to eliminate dust along with many other particles in your breathing space. These are: a pre-filter for larger particles, an active carbon filter, a true HEPA filter, and finally the UV-C light.

GermGuardian AC4825 top view of controls

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

Although it is simpler in operation and in a lower price bracket than more sophisticated models it also features ultra-quiet operation and a filter replacement reminder.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

Replacement filters typically have a 6 month life span and cost around $30+ or so, although lower-cost 3rd party filters are available.

A relatively small number of buyers report problems with the AC4825, but based on such a huge amount of owners (well over 6,000) overall the reviews are excellent and nearly all owners are very happy with it for their money.

The AC4825 I owned and have tested has been trouble-free and well made. I’m sure you’ll enjoy yours just as much as I have mine.

  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Great filtering performance
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Nice glowing light indicator when on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter
  • Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

This one is one of the best-selling air purifiers today and it’s simply one of the best values for fighting dust.

Take a look at at the amazing number of positive reviews and happy buyers it helped at Amazon. NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white modelUPDATE: Great news! There’s now a great-looking white version available too. Note: for identical performance but with different styling, check out the AC4900CA – the AC4825’s twin I wrote about here. You can even save a few dollars versus the other model.

5. GermGuardian AC4100 – Affordable, compact quality for small rooms.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle viewWith its compact size and lower price you may be thinking the AC4100 is too small to handle your dust problem.

However, it’s a well-rated and well designed purifier featuring a true HEPA filter and even a UV-C sanitizer like its bigger siblings.

Great for small rooms, the AC4100 also has a simple to use 3-speed control and is perfect for fitting into small spaces (it’s about 7.5 x 6.5 x 11 inches in size).

A filter reminder (installation month wheel) is also provided so you won’t have to rely on memory when checking the filter.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

Filter life is about 6 months and you can clean the pre-filter section with a vacuum cleaner.

The UV-C section kills airborne bacteria, viruses, and more while the HEPA filter is great for removing dust and other unwanted air contaminants including allergens. The 3-stage filter also features a standard carbon filter to remove odors.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filtersIt has quiet operation and is a great value-priced model. Buyers report a high amount of air processing power/fan speed for more air flow allowing it to purifier your room quickly.

It’s great looking and reminds me very much of a stereo shelf speaker. Because of this it blends in well in modern rooms.

Filter replacement is more economical for this model than competitors at around $15 each.

  • Low maintenance cost – replacement filters are inexpensive
  • Modern styling
  • Great filter ability & air flow despite its small size
  • Size allows it to fit in small spaces
  • Simple 3-speed fan control switch
  • UV-C microbe killing feature
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • True HEPA filter + carbon stage, with pre-filter
  • Louder noise produced while running (especially on fast setting) than competitors
  • No low-noise sleep mode
  • No auto-sensing or auto-off timer features
  • No reusable filter sections
  • Not designed for horizontal placement like the Holmes HAP242-NUC
  • Only 1-year warranty

The AC4100 is a great choice for smaller rooms and smaller budgets. Head over here to see the fantastic reviews and happy buyers who say the same.

Summary – My top pick under $100

The GermGuardian AC4825 is my top recommended air purifier for dust as it’s one of the best values around and works well. You’ll get more coverage for your dollar than competing models in its price class.

Based on features, price, maintenance cost, and its performance the GermGuardian AC4825 is a solid all around performer and my recommendation for most people looking for dust relief.

It’s a good overall value for many applications not just because of features but because the room size (155 sq. ft) is one of the best in its price range (under $100).

Choosing the best product for you

I want you to have relief from dust (and breathe better in general) so here are my recommendations before buying one of the air purifiers above:

  • Determine the room size you need, in square feet (see this post for more info)
  • Think hard about your budget. You can get great dust relief for below $100!
  • Do you need a germ-killing feature? If so, get one of the GermGuardian products as it’s included as a bonus.
  • For your entire home, purchase several smaller models rather than 1 large one for better coverage for dust
  • If the WiFi/voice feature is helpful, consider the CDAP4500 models (but pay attention to room coverage)

Additional information

If you’d like to learn more about how many purifiers you should buy, read this helpful post about how many purifiers you need.

If you’re not familiar with the GermGuardian brand, feel free to read more about my own personal experiences with the famous AC4825 purifier here.

I’m a happy owner and can definitely recommend the brand & several models due to personal testing.

Honeywell HPA 300 Review – Check It Out!

Honeywell HPA 300 review featured image

Not unlike the GermGuardian line of air purifier products, Honeywell also produces a large range of popular air purifiers. The HPA family of purifiers includes several models with similar styling and controls.

In my detailed Honeywell HPA 300 review I’ll share with you what you need to know before buying.

There are lots of details I’ve got for you before my final review score and summary so let’s get started!


Getting to know the Honeywell HPA300

Honeywell HPA series family image

Honeywell makes a number of similar products in the HPA series of air purifiers. Shown are 3 very popular models and the suggested room sizes they can clean well.

The HPA300 is actually the larger member of a family of similar products from Honeywell. All of which are reputable models with overall excellent buyer reviews. They’re very popular sellers, too.

The HPA300 and its smaller siblings use 2 types of filters: true HEPA and a separate pre-filter. Both are replaceable. The purifier works by drawing air through a “true” HEPA filter that is very efficient at permanently removing particulates in the air around you.

The front grill draws in air which is filtered and then forced out through the top vent section next to the control panel.

Standing at a large 22.3″ (56.6 cm) tall, it’s a big one.

Unpacking the HPA300 – First impressions


Honeywell HPA300 in box

When picking up my HPA300 I had a good impression right from the start. Much like GermGuardian products I’ve reviewed, I got an impression of quality right away. The box displays a large amount of benefits the purifier provides and also the type of replacement filters you need. I can’t say the same for all products I’ve tried. I was eager to try it out.

How’s the build quality?

HPA300 front image
Build quality is good and it’s a great looking product. The body is made of ABS plastic, but it’s well put-together and I didn’t find any gaps or poor assembly. The finish is a satin black. Both the front and rear are styled similar (note: air is drawn in on the front side only).

After unpacking and removing the top quick start label, I examined the purifier for any noticeable quality control problems. The construction is good, and while like the other purifiers sold today, it’s made of plastic. However, it feels good to the hand and not flimsy. No complaints here.

Looking it over I found no issues with the fit & finish. Gaps between parts were nice and tight and consistent. The purifier doesn’t have any rattling or loose parts, either.

It’s by no means a small product (after all, it is a large/extra-large room purifier!) but I found it easy to remove from the box as well and move around.

New user label

HPA300 quick start label image
One of the things I enjoyed finding was the “new user” label attached to the stop after unpacking. It’s a great way for new buyers (especially those unfamiliar with air purifies or Honeywell products) to get going.

It’s clear and well-written. I’m kind of glad it’s there because otherwise I might have assumed the filters were ready to use and would have turned it on right away. The label instructs you to open the front cover, remove the HEPA filters from their plastic bags, and replace the front grill.

Additionally, it covers basic operation so you can get going without needing the owner’s manual (which I cover below as well).

In my opinion, it’s a great idea. Simply peel it off before using it, as it blocks the fresh air output vent.

Built-in quick reference guide

HPA300 quick reference guide

A handy quick reference guide is built into the body, near the controls. There’s a small tab located at the top of the purifier which when pulled reveals a nice guide to help you.

A nice little surprise was the quick reference guide built-in to the purifier. Located above the touch control panel is a tab sticking out of the body slightly. Pulling it reveals a simple list of helpful instructions as well as the company’s customer support phone number.

It’s an excellent idea and lends a good impression to me about both the design and the company. This is a small but nice feature I haven’t seen in competing products.

Checking out the HPA300’s controls

HPA300 touch control panel image

The Honeywell HPA300 shares a similar control panel with the smaller HPA200 and HPA100 models.

It features touch-sensitive controls that allow you to change cleaning modes, engage the Turbo speed feature, set the auto-off timer, and dim the control illumination.

How do the controls work?

It’s easy to operate in my experience, and I found it a pleasure to use. People who are accustomed to traditional push buttons or rotating switches (as many GermGuardian products use) may find them odd at first. But because the design is so convenient and works so well I can’t find any real faults with it.

The touch controls work smoothly, although on rare occasions I did see it miss my touch or it didn’t register that I was switching cleaning modes. In that case I had to touch it again.

That’s not unheard of for touch-sensitive devices, however, so don’t let it deter you at all. It didn’t happen very often and really wasn’t a concern for me.

Changing cleaning and other modes

3 basic modes of operation are provided:

  1. Germ
  2. General
  3. Allergen

Touching the Power (center) section of the panel rotates the current mode. The modes follow this pattern: Off -> Germ -> General -> Allergen -> Off.

The dimmer also rotates the brightness level of the blue indicator lights used to display current modes. Touching the dimmer control moves though: Full -> Medium -> Low -> Off -> Full and so on.

Similarly, the auto-off timer is initially off and can be rotated through the 3 time options available: Off -> 2 hours -> 4 hours -> 8 hours -> Off.

I found the controls very intuitive to use. I’m pretty confident that nearly anyone would agree. Additionally, you’re off and running after unpacking it in only seconds, because it’s so easy!

I’m not quite sure why Honeywell has named these three modes the way they have, as I noticed when testing it that they’re more similar to low, medium, and high. Perhaps it’s due to the amount of airflow, but unfortunately, the owner’s manual doesn’t go into detail about these modes.


Honeywell HPA300 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 465 sq. ft (large/extra-large room)
  • 3-mode/speed fan control: Germ, General, Allergen
  • Turbo high-speed fan mode for rapid cleaning
  • True HEPA filters (uses 3 Honeywell Type R filters)
  • Smoke CADR rating: 300
  • Dust CADR rating: 320+
  • Pollen CADR rating: 300
  • Touch control panel
  • Quick start guide built into body
  • 2, 4, and 8 hour auto-off timer feature
  • HEPA filter replacement reminder
  • Pre-filter replacement reminder
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Replacement HEPA filter: HRF-R3 (3 filters)
  • Replacement pre-filter: HRF-AP1
  • Weight: 21 lbs (9.5 kgs)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: top
  • Size: 20.08 x 10.83 x 22.32″ (51 x 27.5 x 56.7 cm)

CADR ratings

The HPA300 is a larger purifier with a significantly more powerful fan so it’s not surprising to see that its Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is much higher. It’s advertised as being able to cycle and clean the air in a large room in 5 hours and I believe it.

Honeywell HPA300 CADR ratings

The HPA300 has passed an independent 3rd party’s verification test to determine its air cleaning effectiveness. Seen here are the actual ratings.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) testing for CADR ratings provides a way for home appliance manufacturers to demonstrate the effectiveness of their products. Air purifiers in particular are rated according to dust, smoke, and pollen cleaning efficiency, where a higher number is better.

For typical products for small to medium-sized rooms, the CADR from quality air purifier manufacturers tends to be around 100 or so. As you can see here, the HPA300 has an outstanding 300+ CADR for cleaning the most common air quality problems!

That’s fantastic. Most importantly though, you should be spending your money on a product with proven air cleaning performance. The HPA300 meets this & more.

Carrying & moving the purifier

Honeywell HPA300 side carrying handle image

While I’ll admit it looks very big and maybe a little bit intimidating, when actually testing it I found the HPA300 to be fairly easy to move around.

Both sides, near the top, have a place to put your fingers to allow easy moving of the purifier from place to place. It’s a great feature and I didn’t fully appreciate it until I tried it. Really nice!

At 21 lbs in weight (about 9.5 kgs) and 22.3″ (56.7 cm) tall in size, at first glance, you’d think it’s going to be a pain to move to the best spot in your room to use it.

The truth is, it wasn’t at all. I found it pretty easy to move and not at all a problem to deal with.

Air cleaning ability & performance

As it’s rated for up to 465 square feet by the manufacturer, it’s a great choice for extra-large rooms. However, you can definitely use it for large rooms as well. It will simply cycle air and clean them more rapidly than a larger room.

I tested the HPA300 over a series of days and let it run all day while I was out of the house. It’s a great way to come back home and feel the “fresh air” difference that a good air purifier can make.

Additionally, I have a bit of a dust problem so I’m always able to tell what’s working and what isn’t.

Consistently, the HPA300 was very good at removing airborne particles (especially dust, in my case) and left fresh, healthy air for me to come home to.

The Turbo mode is especially helpful if you’re bothered by an air quality issue and need the fastest possible relief.

Other products including the GermGuardian AC5000E don’t provide that special feature.

What kind of filters does it use?

Honeywell HPA300 new filter view image

Right out of the package, the HPA300 comes with all the filter you need, but unlike other brands they’re sealed in plastic bags. Per the instructions (included) you’ll have to open the bags and install the filters. It’s very easy, though. Note that the HPA300 and other similar models use the same filters – just a different quantity.

The Honeywell HPA family of purifiers uses High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters as well as an odor-reducing pre-filter for large elements and odors.

HEPA filters are made of very dense material and are very efficient for cleaning air. They can remove 99.97% of nasty elements in your air down to an incredibly small 0.3 microns in size. (A micron, or micrometer, is 1/1,000,000 of a meter in size).

HPA300 HEPA filters open package
Opening one of the Type R HEPA filters before installing it and using the purifier. The included filters are made of a soft but dense material that filters out an incredible amount of unwanted particles in the air. These particles cause allergies, sneezing & sniffling, and much more.

Installing the filters

HPA300 HEPA filters installed new
Installing the new HEPA filters before inserting the pre-filter. Note the easy pull-tabs on the filters. When replacing, this makes removing the dirty filters very easy to do!

Included are 3 Type R true HEPA filters which you’ll need to remove from their plastic bags and insert into the front of the purifier. It’s really easy to do and only took me a few moments.

Honeywell HPA300 pre-filter installation
Installing the odor reducing pre-filter, which is simply placed over the HEPA filters and then covered with the front grill snapped into place.

The odor reducing pre-filter that’s included is basically a large square section of a filter material without a rigid frame attached as some competitors do. It’s simply a matter of placing it in front of the HEPA filters and then attaching the front grill.

Here’s the basic list of air contaminants the HPA300 can remove:

  • Pet dander
  • Pet hair (thanks to the pre-filter)
  • Dust mite allergens
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Home construction particles
  • Smoke residue
  • Smoke odors
  • Chemical and organic odors

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. It’s job it so first capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on. The active carbon filter traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.

Together, they work well. As I’ve mentioned in my other posts, I have a problem with dust and HEPA purifiers have really helped a lot.

For odors, though, you need to understand that the Honeywell purifier will help, but it isn’t an instantaneous solution. It takes time for it to cycle the air and remove odors…but it definitely helps!

Opening the front cover/grill

Honeywell HPA300 how to open front grill illustration
In order to replace filters or to initially get your purifier set up, you’ll need to remove the front grill.

On the HPA300 this is done by slightly pressing marked points on both the left and right sides as indicated. These are snap-click retainers which hold tabs on the grill in place. The grill has 2 tabs on the bottom which hook into slots before the grill is moved upward and snapped into place.

In doing so, I discovered that it’s very easy to do. However, if you move the purifier and even lightly touch the grill near the top it has a tendency to become loose and the grill needs to be re-seated.

This is a minor complaint, but something to be aware of.

Filter life and costs

Honeywell HPA300 replacement filters imageHoneywell recommend replacing the HEPA filters every 12 months or so and the pre-filter every 3 months.

This is because using the pre-filters both extends the life of the more expensive HEPA filters but also pre-filters have a limited life for absorbing odors and other chemical substances in the air.

This is in contrast to others which average 6 to 8 months before recommended replacement, so that’s actually very good.

Replacing all 3 HEPA filters will cost around $57 dollars or so for a 3-pack made by Honeywell. The pre-filter averages somewhere close to $6, so it’s really a good deal in that case.

While $57 or so may sound like a lot, it’s actually about average as most others cost close to $30 for 6 months or so replacement. Therefore it works out about the same.

Filter replacement reminders

What sets the HPA300 apart from other purifiers is that it features separate replacement reminders for the HEPA and pre-filter elements. It’s a unique feature that few products have.

After a replacement reminder comes on you can check the filter and clear the reminder by pressing the lighted button and hold it for about 2 seconds. It will clear and the reminder will be reset.

Note: you can also replace filters before the reminder occurs and reset the reminder ahead of time, according to the manual. With the unit turned off, press and hold each button separately for 5 seconds. The indicator light will illuminate. Then press and hold that indicator light until it goes off. After this the particular reminder will be reset to its “clean” initial state.

Is it safe? Can the Honeywell HPA300 cause headaches?

As I’ve discovered that many people search for answer to this question, I wanted to cover this topic in my review as well. As I explain more in this post, an air purifier based on filtering the air doesn’t produce any emissions.

The HPA300 simply filters the air – it doesn’t add anything to it or produce harmful or irritating by-products. It will not cause headaches. It is perfectly safe and there are NO health concern to worry about

Using the auto-off timer feature

HPA300 auto off timer feature

The auto-timer shuts off the purifier after 2, 4, or 8 hours have passed. I have to say it’s one of the easiest features like it I’ve ever used! Works great, and the purifier shuts itself off just as expected automatically.

In order to use it, simply touch the clock symbol to rotate through 2, 4, or 8 hour options. Doing so a 3rd time will turn it off again.

I like it – what a great option to have before bedtime. No need to worry about having to get up in the middle of the night to turn it off.

The owner’s manual

Honeywell HPA300 owners manual image

The owner’s manual is only about 8 pages in length for the English section, but it’s very straightforward and clear. Well-written and concise, it covers the most important basic information you need to use and maintain your purifier.

Additionally, one of the best things is that it makes it easy to find the customer service telephone number if you need it!

If you’d like to read more before buying, you can view or download the HPA300 owners manual here.

Noise levels during use

For such a big purifier, noise levels seemed to be very reasonable for Germ, General, and Allergen modes! Germ mode was especially quiet and in fact as low as some of the small or medium room purifiers I’ve tested!

After trying the purifier, it seemed as if those 3 operational modes corresponded to low, medium, and high respectively.

Turbo mode is much louder and of course, isn’t suitable for sleep time. But it’s a great feature to have when you can run it full-speed if the noise won’t be too much for you.

Volume measurements

I used a great little sound level meter to measure volume levels. I tested the volume levels at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

Measurement/ModeVolume (dB)
Off (Room noise)39.3
Germ mode43
General mode49.5
Allergen mode55
Turbo mode61

Turbo is definitely a bit loud and is not suitable for times when you’re close to it. As far as the others are concerned, it’s almost the exact same (relatively low) as smaller purifiers I’ve reviewed before.

I was impressed with that, as originally I thought the 3 main modes would be much worse in terms of noise. It’s a pleasant surprise to use it and not even notice it’s running!

Brightness levels in a dark room

Honeywell HPA300 brightness in a dark room image

I’m very particular about the brightness of my air purifiers during testing, as normally I’m very sensitive to both light and sound when sleeping. The HPA300 does have blue LED backlighting for the controls, however it wasn’t too bright. I was able to sleep without any problem and never actually had to use the dimmer feature.

What’s interesting about this particular model is that despite the fact that I’m normally sensitive to light when I sleep, I never had to use the dimmer feature. Honeywell has built-in a nice little dimmer control (accessed by simply touching the Dimmer button area) for 3 levels of control illumination: Medium, Low, and Off.

However, while doing my “overnight” testing I never had a problem. The HPA300 isn’t very bright at all, unlike the GermGuardian AC4825 for example.

You should have no concerns whatsoever about it keeping you awake at night even in the same room.

Review score & summary

After owning and using the Honeywell HPA300 for some time, I have to say overall I’m impressed! It’s a great purifier and it’s really easy to use.

It does what it’s supposed to and does it well – cleaning the air in large or extra-large rooms. With well-designed features, it’ll be a great choice for your home, too.

Image of HPA300 with Editors Choice badge for review score summaryDefinitely head over to find out for yourself why it's one of the top-rated purifiers sold today at Amazon.

  • Value - 8.7/10
  • Ease of use - 9.7/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9/10
  • Features - 8.5/10
  • Noise levels - 8.6/10

Good quality, great features, and Turbo speed air cleaning ability make it a smart choice for clean, fresh air in bigger rooms.

Testing the HPA300 was a joy. Although it’s large at 21 lbs and 22″, it’s surprisingly easy to move from one spot to another. Filter replacement is simple and uses readily available/affordable Honeywell modular replacements. Features like Turbo mode and separately removable pre-filters are especially nice. The touch-sensitive controls are a breeze to use and nearly anyone will get accustomed right away. It’s also surprisingly quiet during normal operation. A great buy for your money for larger rooms. It’s a pleasure to own and you’ll love it just as much as I have.


  • High-speed Turbo mode for faster cleaning
  • High CADR rating – great purification efficiency
  • HEPA filters last approx. 12 months
  • Odor-reducing pre-filter is inexpensive ($6 or so)
  • Pre-filter can be replaced separately
  • Carrying handles on both sides
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Height is about the same as lower-capacity competitors (22″)
  • Touch controls work well and are easy to learn
  • Built-in quick start guide
  • Customer support is good
  • Good owner’s manual
  • Auto-off timer shuts off automatically
  • Low noise levels except for Turbo mode
  • Filter replacement is simple to do
  • Indicator lamp brightness is low for night use
  • Good build quality, fit and finish are nice
  • Filter performance is good, fresh air quicker


  • Auto-off timer only adjustable in 2, 4 or 8 hours
  • Manual doesn’t clarify the 3 main operational modes (Low, med., high?)
  • No auto-sensing feature at this price level
  • Germ-killing feature not available
  • Pre-filter doesn’t feature activated carbon like competitors

Do Air Purifiers Reduce Dust? A Comprehensive Guide

Do air purifiers reduce dust featured image

Dust is an everyday problem for many of us. I used to suffer terribly from coughing because of dust blown into my work area from the ventilation system in my old job.

As I learned later, dust contains a variety of debris, pollutants, and allergens that are bad to breathe in. One of the best things I’ve ever done is to invest in a high-quality air purifier.

But what if you’re not convinced yet. Do air purifiers reduce dust? That’s a great question I’m going to answer for you.


Infographic – Air purifier and dust facts

Do air purifiers reduce dust infographic

Do air purifiers reduce dust?

Air purifier dust facts

The short answer is yes, air purifiers reduce dust and help eliminate the problem.

The critical reason is that they eliminate dust particles – both visible and microscopic – from the air. Airborne particulates pass through them and are caught permanently in filters. Larger dust elements like hair and fabric fibers get trapped in a front section called the pre-filter.

It’s important to note that I’m referring to filter-based purifiers, not ionizers or ozone generators. The reason is that while those have a purpose under certain conditions, they’re not nearly as effective as a traditional (filter-based) purifier.

Note that air purifiers aren’t a 100% solution – it’s impossible for them to remove all air contaminants, like dust that has settled on surfaces. I’ll cover the other steps you should take for the most benefit as we go along.

What is in dust?

Image of household dust under a microscope

A microscopic image of common household dust. It’s not made of any one element. However different dust sources may generate higher levels of some particles than others. These microscopic particulates are not just a cleanliness issue but can aggravate your respiratory system, cause allergies and sickness, and even cause cancer. Without a good way to trap and remove dust, you’ll constantly breathe in more and more.

It’s helpful to understand exactly the problem you’re dealing with. Why? Because common household dust isn’t often made of large, visible elements that are easily vacuumed or swept away permanently.

Many dust particles are actually microscopic in size which means ordinary cleaning and vacuuming won’t capture them. 

Additionally, different dust sources can bring toxicity and other potentially harmful effects due to chemical elements and organic threats.

Sources of dust

As you might have already guessed, there are a lot of ways dust gets into your home:

  • Dust mite by-products (dust mite feces and body parts)
  • Pet dander & human shed tissue/skin
  • Home construction materials
  • Carpet dust fibers
  • Fabric & clothing fibers
  • Plant materials
  • Central heating and cooling system air ducts
  • Outdoor elements
  • Hair fibers

…and the list goes on and on. There are just too many to list!

The problem can come from nearly anything that breaks down into small enough particles that can be carried by wind and air.

A surprisingly large amount of dust actually comes from the outdoors. Tracked-in dirt from outside is a great example of how you bring these types of particles into your home without knowing it.

Toxicity and health dangers

Image of human respiratory system
Respiratory and other health problems increase a lot when you inhale dust. Microscopic dust particles are more easily brought into our respiratory passageway. Coughing, allergies, nose problems, and much more are some of the symptoms caused by it. People with asthma are especially vulnerable to it too.

Because most Americans spend up to 90 percent or more of their day indoors, it’s easy to see why dust could potentially bring health risks over time.

Dirty, trapped air increases in dust content over time and you’re constantly breathing it in.

As dust settles, it’s less of a risk but once disturbed it’s airborne again and you’ll be inhaling more of it yet again. People suffering from asthma, emphysema, and other health issues can struggle with even a small increase in dust levels.

Many materials, many dust sources

Man-made materials like fabric, home materials, and carpet distribute particles that break off and enter your air. Many are potentially toxic and contain chemicals like formaldehyde.

In fact, a 2016 study found that it can contain up to 10 household chemicals!

Some are known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), meaning you’re at risk for even more health problems down the road!

Dust cleanliness problems

Image of dusty table being cleaned

The more you let your dust problem go unchecked, the more you’ll need to clean! I hate dusting so I use my air purifier nearly 24 hours a day for best results.

I really hate having to dust every so often! It’s a boring chore and just feels like I could be spending the time elsewhere.

I’m sure nearly everyone knows how that feels – walking in and seeing cabinets, tabletops, and shelves coated with that same old dust we hate.

The thing is, if left untreated you’ll have the same problem, day after day, week after week – more cleaning. That goes for nearly anywhere you live: If not dealt with effectively, you’ll never escape the headache of dust problems.

I finally had enough of the dust particles that were constantly building up from fabrics and my bathroom towels. Vacuuming helps, but it definitely isn’t the easiest or most efficient way.

So I decided to try an air purifier and I’ll share my experiences below.

How air purifiers reduce dust

How air purifiers reduce dust diagram

Diagram showing how an air purifier circulates air and removes dust in a room. Shown here is the AC4825 air purifier, a great example of an effective product. I’m an owner and have had great success with it keeping dust levels down where I live! 

As I mentioned above, a good purifier is a great choice for reducing dust.

They work by using internal electric fans to continuously circulate air in a room and filter the air as it moves through them. Dusty and dirty air is pulled in and forced through the filters, trapping dusty permanently.

Clean air leaves the exhaust side of the purifier and the cycle continues. In most cases, it takes a few hours with an appropriately sized purifier to circulate & clean the air in a room.

The time it takes depends on the model, the size of the room, and the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) rating of the purifier (if provided).

HEPA and pre-filter sections

A pre-filter section contains a thin mesh material that first traps larger elements like household dust and pet air before they reach the HEPA filter. This is especially helpful because when dealing with air quality problems like this the pre-filter will likely become dirty relatively soon.

In that case, the pre-filter will prevent the HEPA filter section from becoming dirty too rapidly and will extend its life. Many purifiers sold today allow the pre-filter to be replaced separately instead of having to replace both, saving money.

You may be able to vacuum the dust trapped in the pre-filter section as I’ve done before.

The High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) section is made of very dense fibrous material. The HEPA standard ensures it can trap 99.7% of the unwanted particles entering it, down to 0.3 microns in size. (A micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter).

Working together they form a highly effective way to capture dust both large and microscopic in size.

My experiences with an air purifier and dust

GermGuardian AC4825E dust on filter image

My air purifier’s dust cleaning ability (top photo) after only a week or 2. I was amazed at how much dust it trapped! Truly wonderful, and it helps a lot to keep my place cleaner and the air healthier. Bottom photo: after it became nearly used I vacuumed the pre-filter to get more life out of it.

I bought the highly recommended GermGuardian AC4825 to try out in my own home – the results where excellent! The amount of dust it captured was crazy!

After about 2 weeks or so I opened the rear filter cover to check it out for curiosity’s sake. I was almost shocked by how much dust was on the pre-filter. How much dust had I been breathing in all this time?

Now I normally leave mine running for at least 8-9 hours a day and even longer if I’m inside working all day or while I’m out.

My problem with needing to clean so often has been reduced and I’m much happier. I was so pleased with mine that I wrote an extensive review of the AC4825 purifier here.

Additional steps to take

Ultimately, while an air purifier is the most practical and simplest remedy it can’t work magic. Once the dust settles a purifier can’t remove it. Purifiers treat airborne particles and odors.

There are several more steps I recommend to minimize dust levels in your home:

  • Use a high-quality, dense filter for your central heating & cooling system
  • Clean surfaces using a vacuum cleaner with a good bag
  • Clean your ventilation system or air vents occasionally
  • Avoid bringing dirt and materials from indoors
  • Remove older and deteriorating materials when possible

It’s crucial to buy a quality product with sufficient room size coverage in order to most effectively reduce the dust where you stay.

I’ve got several great recommendations here although I can personally vouch for the GermGuardian AC4825. See my detailed review here to learn more.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out or leave a comment below.

What Are Air Purifiers Used For? What They Do And How They Help

What are air purifiers used for featured image

Maybe you know someone who mentioned their air purifier. Or perhaps you’ve got an air quality problem you need help with. Are you wondering “What are air purifiers used for?” If so, you’ve come to the right place.

As it turns out, there are some great benefits they offer and they can improve your quality of life. I own several and I speak from personal experience.

In addition, it’s important to know a few facts ahead of time to avoid buying low-quality and ineffective products.

Read on and I’ll do my best to share the details you need.


Infographic – Air purifier uses and benefits

Air purifier uses and benefits infographic

What are air purifiers used for?

Air purifiers have a fundamental purpose: they circulate the air in a room and clean it by removing particulates and airborne chemical substances permanently.

Essentially, they remove bothersome particles, odors, vapors, hair, and more to produce clean, healthy air. They also help sickness and allergy symptoms since they eliminate many causes that trigger both.

While there’s a long list of air quality issues they treat, they’re most often used to treat several common problems found in many homes. They’re used not only in living rooms but bedrooms, work offices, kitchens, or any area where the effects of air quality problems are felt.

Removing odors

Image of garbage cans at home

Odors are the result of substances releasing their molecules into the air which enter your nose. Many are just bothersome and offensive (like garbage) but others like building materials and chemicals are potentially harmful, too.

Have you ever avoided making one of your favorite meals because you didn’t want your home to smell like it for days afterwards?

Sometimes the most delicious foods, like fried fish or burgers, can leave strong smells behind long after we finishing eating them. Spicy foods are especially known to do this.

This is because cooking releases the molecular organic compounds in those foods into the air. Likewise, chemical sources like cleaning products or solvents which release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can cause very strong and potentially harmful odors.

Garbage, pets, and musty areas can also release a number of organic substances that we sense as odors. Some materials like the new carpet you’ve had installed or construction materials have “outgassing” properties, which means for a period of time they release elements into the air with a strong odor.

The activated carbon filter in many purifiers is a type of filter section that can absorb and trap these odors and vapors, leaving fresh air behind.

Of course, there’s no substitute for treating the problem at its source, but they’re a great way to freshen the air around you.

Relieving allergies

Image note about pet allergies

One of the most popular reasons for buying an air purifier is allergy symptom relief. Allergens come from a variety of sources: everything from pet dander to pollen. To make matters worse, dust mites feed off of pet dander and human skin waste, creating even more allergens! The ideal solution is to remove them from the air.

Allergens are one of the most common problems faced by people. There are so many sources of allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchiness, asthma, and more, that it can sometimes seem overwhelming

These symptoms are caused by allergens that move in the air around you and on to your skin and air passageways. Additionally, those that settle on surfaces can be disturbed and get into the air over and over to cause relentless problems.

When allergens enter our breathing passageways or contact skin they act as irritants our body reacts to.

Air purifiers help with this particular problem by using the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter section to catch allergen particles. Most allergens are a few micrometers in size and above (for reference, a micrometer or “micron” is 1/1,000,000 of a meter).

Some of the most common allergy sources they’re proven to relieve are:

  • Dust mite allergens
  • Pet dander
  • Plant pollen
  • Allergy-causing dust
  • Chemical allergens
  • Perfumes and cologne
  • Foods and other organic sources

HEPA filters trap the allergens in their dense fibers where they can’t escape. Fresh air escapes the other side and back into the room. They’re a safe and effective way to get relief. In the cases of odors (like perfumes or chemicals), these get absorbed by the carbon filter section (if provided).

Dealing with smoke

Image of a cigarette smoke particle under microscope

Smoke has an amazing amount of unhealthy elements and gases with chemical compounds. They get everywhere, and cling to surfaces! This image shows an aluminum silicate particle that’s microscopic in size – a by-product of cigarette smoke.

Smoke is a unique problem in that it’s a terrible combination of problems:

  • Bad odors
  • Chemicals released into the air
  • Particles that cling to and dirty surfaces
  • Health hazards when inhaled second-hand
  • Discoloration of surfaces if left untreated

Air purifiers are able to greatly help. Models with both a HEPA filter and activated carbon filter can trap a large portion of these, both when someone is presently smoking or from the remnants of smoke.

It’s important to understand that because smoke has so many incredibly small particles, it’s never a good idea to have smoke directly in your home. But if you can’t avoid it, or are simply dealing with the side effects, it’s great to leave the purifier running and you’ll feel a significant reduction in the problems.

Your health is very important. Did you know that second-hand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals? It’s terribly bad for your health over the long term!

Be sure to stay healthy and safe – I recommend a good quality purifier with a well-rated reputation for alleviating smoke problems.

Reducing and removing dust

Dirty air purifier filter that has collected dust

Dust is another bothersome problem that I have personally dealt with. In the image above, my GermGuardian AC4825 purifier captured a lot of dust in the pre-filter. I had no idea how bad my dust problem was! It’s great to have an easy solution that keeps it under control.

Dust comes from a variety and sources – fabrics, home materials, the ventilation system, and many more. Tiny particles enter your home or break from many surfaces, materials, or get carried in when your central heating or cooling system operates.

For me personally it has always been a problem.

Dust control results

Purifiers work very well for dust as they’re good for cycling the air in a room and filtering out dust particles (which are generally larger in size than many other air contaminants).

Often the pre-filter, a more coarse section that serves as a “first stage” for debris, traps them. In many cases after a large build-up, you can vacuum off the dust and re-insert the filter for more use.

I’ve seen a good amount of success keeping dust under control and my home doesn’t need nearly as much cleaning as it once did! Additionally, I’ve noticed I don’t sneeze as much as I used to since using my purifier.

Treating pet odors and dander

Woman petting white dog image

Pets are wonderful, but bring a few things we have to deal with when they’re indoors. Pets generate a lot of by-products like hair, dander, and odors. They can also bring in substances from outdoors.

Pets bring with them a number of issues – not just allergens:

  • Dander
  • Odors
  • Hair
  • Outdoor particles
  • Skin oils (often odor causing)

As I mentioned earlier, pet dander can trigger allergy symptoms inside your home and can cause a number of problems. However, additional nuisances like “wet dog smell” are caused by micro bacteria that are activated when dog hair becomes saturated with water.

Pet hair can be difficult to deal with as well. A purifier can’t remove all pet hair from indoors (once settled on surfaces) but airborne hair can be trapped.

Pet odors are often caused by the natural organic compounds the product and release into the air. The same happens also with the natural oils on their skin and body.

Adding an air purifier is definitely a great idea. As many pet owners have discovered, it’s a good way to reduce the stinky smells and mess at home.

Note that it’s recommended you still bathe your pet fairly often as again it’s important to treat the problem at its source.

How does an air purifier work?

How air purifiers reduce dust diagram

An air purifier is generally a pretty simple – but effective – device. They work by cycling air in a room and continuously trapping the elements (like dust, for example) that cause air quality problems. Shown is one of the most popular, the GermGuardian AC4825. I’ve owned and enjoyed mine for some time now.

Air purifiers actually generally aren’t very complicated at all, although the designs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some have more advanced features like timers, sensors, and more, but work using the same basic principles.

Purifiers cycle the air in a room and filter out unwanted contaminants using replaceable filter cartridges.

As you can see in the image above, it’s like running a fan in a room – except that as it moves the air more and more contaminants (or odors, and so on) are trapped. They’re removed permanently.

The HEPA filter I mentioned earlier is a type of very dense and efficient filtering standard. It defines this type of filter as being able to eliminate 99.97% of all particulates that enter it down to 0.3 microns in size.

That means for every 10,000 particles that flow through it, only about 3 can escape!

GermGuardian FLT11CB4 carbon filter diagram

Activated carbon is found in many types of filters, including for drinking water. Because of its properties, it’s good at removing chemicals and odors from the air. Good purifiers include carbon or some type of odor-removal treatment in their filter design.

Activated carbon, often built alongside the more coarse “pre-filter” section, is responsible for eliminating odors, volatile chemical compounds, and similar nasty airborne substances we hate and shouldn’t breathe in.

Carbon (also called charcoal) is treated to give it the ability to absorb and trap these unwanted substances passing through the filter.

It’s necessary as the HEPA filter can only trap solid particles – not gaseous ones. When used together they form an effective way to treat your air.

Nearly all filter-based (HEPA) purifiers aren’t harmful and don’t produce any unsafe by-products to worry about. They simply remove particulates and substances from the air.

Good reasons to own an air purifier

While it’s great to buy one to get relief for a particular air quality problem, there are other reasons they’re a great idea:

  • They can help prevent sickness
  • Promote better sleep and overall better health
  • Reduce distractions due to air quality annoyances
  • Are great for children and babies (who are more sensitive to air)
  • They’re helpful for dealing with home upgrade dust and odors

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

Some products also provide a germ-killing feature like the one pictured above. They use an ultraviolet light (UV) bulb design to destroy airborne microbes and bacteria.

Ionizers are also particularly effective at sanitizing air to prevent sickness.

However, they’re not very effective for the other purposes I’ve listed in this post, so I can’t recommend them for most buyers. I’ve been disappointed with the ones I’ve tested.


Hopefully I’ve helped you better understand what an air purifier can do for you. After trying various kinds (I own and have tested many!) I can honestly say they improved my quality of life.

To recap:

  • Air purifiers are used to help with common air quality problems
  • They work by cycling the air in a room and filtering out contaminants, odors, and more
  • Good products include both a true HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter section
  • Filter-based purifiers are safe and don’t generate harmful by-products

Considering buying one? I’ve got a great list and a buying guide with some of the best purifiers under $100 here.

Personally, I highly recommend the one I own – the GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1.