How much electricity does an air purifier use?

Our expert tips on how to improve indoor air quality on a budget.

Are you looking at air purifiers to improve air quality in your home? Surely, you have considered the various factors related to the unit, such as the room size, number of air purifiers you need, how much electricity will be consumed, and your budget. 

When it comes to budget, you would need to keep two factors in mind – the unit’s initial cost and the monthly energy bills. You would not want to buy a unit or units and find that they consume a lot of electricity, causing a steep spike in your energy costs. Let’s understand a little more about air purifiers and their power consumption. 

Do Air Purifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Household appliances that run on motors and fans need electricity to function. According to Energy Star, a standard air purifier that is switched ON 24/7 consumes around 458 kWh per year, i.e., around 50 W on average to operate. When compared with appliances like refrigerators, the electricity consumed by an air purifier seems rather high.

However, it would be ideal to use energy-efficient air purifiers. The electricity used by air purifiers can vary as it depends on the technology and the size of the unit. 

Factors That Determine Your Air Purifier’s Electricity Usage?

Electricity Bill At Home

There are several factors to consider when trying to understand the electricity usage of your air purifier. 

Air purifier technology

Here, the technology refers to the air purifying system used to clean the air. Some common air purifiers use air filters that use chemicals or ions to clean the air or use UV light or heat to remove air pollutants. 
Other air purifiers draw the air in and pass it through water that is stored in a tank inside the unit to remove pollutants. Different methods consume different amounts of energy.  

Environment and running speed

Running speed refers to the fan speed at which the air purifier draws air and releases it back into the rooms. More energy will be consumed when the air purifies when it pulls the air in faster. Most air purifiers come with speed settings ranging from low to high. Naturally, the power consumption is higher when the air purifier is set on high.

Air purifiers will also consume more electricity if they are in a highly polluted environment because they will have to work harder and faster to remove the air pollutants. Automation in air purifiers enables the unit to switch speeds according to the level of pollution.

Suppose the air purifier is working in an open area or the doors and windows are left open. In that case, the coverage area is more, and the unit has to operate on the most intensive energy consumption mode to be effective.

Air purifier fan

Most air purifiers have a fan, and these fans vary in size. If the fan is big and the propeller is heavy, it will need more energy to spin and circulate the air. 

Area coverage capacity

It is essential that you keep the size of the room or area in mind when using an air purifier. For instance, using a small unit for a large room means that the unit has to work much harder to circulate the cleaned air throughout the room. 

Watt rating

The watt rating is explained by the amount of electricity your air purifier consumes per hour. The user manual of an air purifier will indicate the highest amount of electricity your air purifier can consume per hour when operated at full capacity.

The right unit will only use as much electricity as its watt rating. Anything higher than that will mean that your air purifier needs to be checked out. 

How much does it cost to run an air purifier?

air purifier at home

The kilowatt is the standard measurement when measuring electricity. One kW is 1000 watts, and it is billed per kWh as that is what your energy company will charge. The electricity bill is based on the amount of kWh you use each month. The calculation goes like this:

Average purifier kW per hour * hours per day * cost per kW.

However, the cost per kW will vary depending on the local electricity rate because there may be slight differences in the electricity costs.

If you take the average kW per hour at $0.12 and average watts per hour at 0.050, considering that the air purifier is operated 24/7, the calculation will go like this:

kWh of 50 watts * 24 hours * 0.012 = around $50/ year.

Keeping all of the listed factors in mind, the smart buyer would go for the most energy-efficient air purifier, such as the RabbitAirMinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier. 

Which is the most energy efficient air purifier?

The most energy-efficient air purifier is the RabbitAirMinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier. This unit has the most advanced HEPA filtration system with six stages of purification and deodorization, i.e., the filter can be customized for odor removal, germ defense, pet allergy, or toxin remover. This feature makes it easy to trap and reduce odors, such as smoke, pet odor, cooking, and mold and mildew, that fill the air.

Best Air Purifier For Home

It can either be wall-mounted or stand-alone units. Single units offer a maximum room coverage of 700 sq. ft. The MinusA2 is also Energy Star certified. 

FAQ Section

1. Are There Air Purifiers That Don’t Use as Much Electricity?

Energy Star certified on the energy efficiency of air purifiers don’t use as much electricity. The certification requires that manufacturers of air purifiers measure CADR according to AHAM/ANSI AC-1-2002.

2. Should I run my air purifier 24/7?

You could run the air purifier 24/ 7 by leaving it on low settings so that there is continuous cleaning of air inside the room.

3. How much electricity does an air conditioner use?

The electricity consumed by an air conditioner will depend on the climate of the region, the type of the air conditioner, and if it is used in the ‘fan only’ mode often. The average central air conditioner can consume up to 3500 watts per hour during summer.

Portable air conditioners and window units may consume fewer watts per hour.

4. Are Dyson air purifiers expensive to run?

The Dyson air purifiers use powerful fans to send in slightly cooler air through the room. They are manufactured using the latest technology and are energy-efficient.

As long as you choose the right size of the unit and use it as per the manufacturer’s instructions, you will find that they are not expensive to run. 

5. How much electricity does a Honeywell air purifier use?

Air purifiers are usually energy-efficient appliances. Among the many air purifier brands, Honeywell air purifier 50250 shows that it uses around 200 watts on its highest, 165 watts on medium, and 103 watts on its lowest setting.

6. What are certified air purifiers?

Air purifiers to be AHAM (Association of home appliance manufacturers) certified are evaluated on several factors. For instance, they must reduce allergens in the air and not reintroduce allergens back into the coverage area; they must meet the code of federal regulations, which stipulate that only 0.1mg/ m3 of ozone must be produced as a by-product. 

Wrapping Up

Air purifiers ensure clean air and good health. With the many air purifiers in the market, it may be difficult to choose the right one for your home. Being armed with pertinent facts such as room size and coverage area, how much electricity they may consume, the technology, and special features will make it easy to shop for the most suitable air purifier.

What’s even better is to know the amount of electricity the unit may consume and the average costs you are likely to incur on your monthly utility bills, as that factor will play a big role in decision making.

There are already a number of appliances in our homes that we cannot do without and those consume electricity, too. Therefore, planning ahead and including the monthly costs of adding an air purifier would be a smart move.


About The Author

Olivia — a self-confessed air quality addict — is a home climate enthusiast, fresh air advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about mold extermination. Her work was mentioned in countless notable humidity publications. Previously she was an editor at Mold Remediation.