Should air purifiers be placed on the floor?

In this article, we shall discuss whether an air purifier should be placed on the floor. Also, we will discuss alternate locations of placing an air purifier in the house which would help to increase its efficiency.

Should air purifiers be placed on the floor?


No, air purifiers should not be placed on the floor, in the ideal case. However, nowadays air purifier units are available in different ‘forms’, according to the buyer’s requirement.

For example, Dyson’s air purifiers are available in different forms, such as ‘floor’, ‘desk’, or ‘tower’ units.

Air purifiers are devices that filter out particulate matter and certain gaseous substances from the ambient indoor air. Nowadays it is a vital requirement for every household due to the rise in air pollution levels each year.

The most dangerous component of air pollution is particulate matter (PM). These are of two types – inhalable particulate matter that are equal  to or less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10), and respirable particulate matter that are equal to or less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5).

The commercially available air purifiers are very efficient in filtering out particulate matter from the air. Certain HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) have an efficiency of more than 99% in filtering out particles up to 3 microns in diameter.

Where, and where not to place an air purifier

We shall discuss potential locations for placing an air purifier, along with locations where air purifiers should not be kept at.

Place it near sources of pollution

Certain areas in the house are prone to be sources of air pollution.

For example, if a room in your house has a mold problem, or a room where smoking and other combustion-related activities occur, there is particulate matter present in that area. 

Therefore, keeping your air purifier near the source of pollution would be an ideal scenario, as it would also prevent the spread of those pollutants to other rooms in the house.

Place it in rooms with a high air exchange rate


Air exchange rate refers to the amount of air that passes through a certain area from its surroundings.

For example, a living room can be considered an area of high air exchange rate, as it is connected to other rooms as well as the outdoor environment.

Placing the air purifier in such regions would be ideal, as these rooms also receive the highest amount of air pollutants, and can potentially transmit them to other rooms as well.

Do not place in areas of high humidity

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapour present in the surrounding air. Within a house, rooms such as bathrooms, cooking areas, basements, etc. are rooms which usually have high humidity levels.

High humidity causes the air to be ‘heavy’, and this can put a load on your air purifier, which in turn could reduce its efficiency, especially for HEPA filters.

Therefore, it is advisable to not place your air purifiers in such places.

Place in rooms which have relatively more area

Ideally, you would want to get the most out of your air purifiers. A typical air purifier has a coverage capacity of about 700 square feet.

Therefore, you should think about the room to place it in order to maximise the effectiveness of the air purifier. However, high humidity levels also provide an excellent breeding ground for fungal mold.

The spores generated can have serious adverse health implications. So, it would be ideal to pair up the air purifier with a dehumidifier to reduce the load on the air purifier. 

Do not place it in a corner

In a typical household setting, the air seldom goes to the corners. This implies that air pollutants present in the indoor air would be sparse in corner areas when compared to the central areas. Therefore, you should avoid placing it in a corner.

Place it at least 3-5 feet above the ground


When air gets heated up, it becomes light and rises up, causing cold air to descend. In the process, the air pollutants get entrapped and get lifted off the ground.

So, mounting the air purifier on the wall would be ideal, as not only would the air purifier capture the pollutants in the horizontal air flow, it would also filter out the particulate matter which is present in the vertical air flow.

Do not place air purifiers near electronic devices

Usually people place the air purifier near electronic devices, such as televisions, fridges, microwaves, etc. Electronic devices can interfere with the working of the unit, therefore could prove harmful for the functioning of the air purifier.

Do not place it near any obstacles in its vicinity

Usually, people place their air purifiers in places where it does not get seen, for the aesthetic appeal. However, keeping it near an obstacle can impede the airflow, which would reduce the efficiency of the air purifier.

A rule of thumb is to give the air purifier at least 5 feet of space, as it would receive optimal airflow, thereby making it efficient in purifying the indoor air.

Place it in your bedroom

A good night’s sleep is crucial for our normal functioning. Not only does it help to restore energy levels, but it allows our body to recover from the daily wear and tear.

Under such circumstances, it is not ideal to sleep in a polluted bedroom. Doing so will cause respiratory problems such as wheezing, coughing, irritation in the nose and throat, and so on.

This would disturb your sleep, and in the long run, could also cause adverse health issues. Hence, it is important to keep the air in your bedroom clean.

Ideally, you would want to place the air purifier at least 5-6 feet away from your bed, so that it doesn’t blow the air directly on your face. Furthermore, this is very helpful in seasons such as summers, when hay fever is prevalent.

What are the various sources of pollution within a house?


Pollutants can arise from various sources and activities occurring both indoors and outdoors.

Indoor activities include smoking, dust, presence of mold which can give rise to spores, furniture especially if it is not coated, combustion of firewood or fuels, solvents, and many more.

Outdoor sources include traffic-related pollution, pollen, industrial emissions, smoke and haze arising from burning of wood, and so on. 

All of these activities and substances give rise to particulate matter, and that’s where air purifiers come in handy.

What factors should be kept in mind before deciding where to place your air purifier

There are several factors that help to make an informed decision for choosing the right location to place an air purifier. We shall discuss those below.

Ease of access

This is the most important aspect of deciding the right place for installing the air purifier. For example, although it would be ideal to install the air purifier on the wall, it would bear additional costs of doing so, and maintenance might be an issue.

Therefore, it is necessary to determine which place would be the most ideal location in a practical manner for placing your air purifier.

Airflow rate in the room

It is necessary to determine which rooms receive the most optimal amount of airflow, and even in the room, which spot is most optimal.

The rooms with the highest airflow rate usually carry the highest amount of pollutants, which could  be transmitted to other rooms in the house. Hence, it is ideal to install your air purifier in such a location.

Depending on your convenience

Nowadays, the market has an array of air purifiers based upon your needs. Factors such as area for placement, coverage area, energy consumption, and efficiency are important parameters to look into.

On the basis of placement, air purifiers are available in models that are meant to be placed on the floor, desk, or mounted on a wall.

On the basis of coverage area, you should look for ones that match the area of your house, or of the room you need it for.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed whether an air purifier should be kept on the floor.

The best suited place for installing your air purifier is on the wall, at a height of about three to five feet above the ground, in a room which receives the highest airflow rate with respect to the other rooms.

Furthermore, care should be taken when placing the air purifier. It is necessary to ensure that there is no obstacle in its path, and it is away from other electronic devices at least by a distance of 5 feet.

However, due to certain circumstances, it would not be ideal to mount the air purifier unit on the wall. However, there are many models available in the market which are designed based on the user’s preference to place the air purifier.

Lastly, it is important to buy an air purifier which has a coverage area suited to the requirements of the user.

FAQs

Should I run my air purifier simultaneously with my air dehumidifier?

No, you should not run your air purifier simultaneously with your air dehumidifier. The dehumidifier can alter the flow path of the air inside the room, which would hamper the performance of the air purifier, thereby making it inefficient in cleaning the air.

Instead, you should first run your air dehumidifier, so that the relative humidity of the room is brought down, thereby decreasing the load on the air purifier.

Another advantage of doing so is that it prevents the filters from becoming moist, because if that were to happen, it would make the air purifier an ideal ground for mold and bacteria to breed and multiply, thereby damaging the filter.

Can I keep my air purifier on at all times?

Yes, you can keep your air purifier on at all times, provided that there is no obstacle to the flow path of the air purifier, and that the room in which it is being used does not have a high relative humidity.

Is it okay to keep changing the location of my air purifier within the house?

Yes, it is in fact beneficial if you keep on changing the location of the air purifier. Sometimes certain rooms have certain items stored that can themselves act as a source of indoor pollution.

If you change the location of the air purifier, this would ensure that each room is being rid off its particular pollutants, and also reduces the chances of those pollutants to travel to any other room.

However, you do not want to keep changing the location very frequently, as that would make the air purifier less effective. 

You should  keep in mind the coverage area of the device, and the area of the room it is being used in, in order to make a more informed decision about shifting your air purifier.

Other FAQs about Air Purifiers and Filters that you may be interested in.

Should you keep your air purifier on at all times?

Can an air purifier with a HEPA filter remove Radon?

HEPA Filter: What do you need to know?

References

  • Han, Xu; Li, Yong; Liu, Ying Xin (2012). Study of Relationship between Air Purifier Efficiency and Placement in Ventilation Environment. Advanced Materials Research, 516-517(), 1240–1245. doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMR.516-517.1240
  • James L. Sublett. Effectiveness of Air Filters and Air Cleaners in Allergic Respiratory Diseases: A Review of the Recent Literature. Curr. Allergy Asthma Rep. 2011;11:395–402. doi: 10.1007/s11882-011-0208-5.

Web references

Home Air Helper – 6 Seriously Helpful Tips For Placing Your Air Purifier.
https://www.homeairhelper.com/best-place-to-put-air-purifier/

LearnMetrics – Where To Place Air Purifier? (7 Golden ‘Best Place’ Rules + Bonus Tip).
https://learnmetrics.com/where-to-place-air-purifier/

Rabbit Air – What is the best location for an air purifier?
https://www.rabbitair.com/pages/what-is-the-best-location-for-an-air-purifier

Air Purifiers First – Air purifiers location guide. Where should I place my air purifier?
https://www.airpurifierfirst.com/blog/where-should-i-place-my-air-purifier/

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