Do Air Purifiers Help With COPD?

Breathing in clean and healthy air is very important for human beings and every living creature as a whole.

But if you suffer from COPD, breathing in clean air is even more important.

So, if you’re looking to improve the air quality inside your home to help with your COPD, you might be wondering if an air purifier would be a good investment.

I recently bought my third air purifier and I can tell you it’s been doing wonders for my allergies.

Yes, I know allergies aren’t anywhere near as bad as having COPD, but the air purifier has really done wonders for me and has made the allergy season much more bearable.

Since I know a thing or two about air purifiers – I did pretty extensive research on whether or not having an air purifier might help people with COPD.

And so, after hours of research – I want to share my findings with you so that by the end of this article – you’ll have a crystal-clear idea as to whether or not an air purifier is a good and worthwhile investment for you.

What is COPD?

Before we find out if air purifiers can help people with COPD, it’s important to first understand what COPD is.

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is a long-term lung condition that makes it hard for a person to breathe. It’s important to note that COPD is a blanket term describing a group of diseases that cause airway blockage and breathing problems.

So, there are many people with different types of COPD. Examples of COPD include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Currently, there are estimated to be 16 million Americans having a hard time breathing due to COPD.

Additionally, there is no cure for COPD, however, there are various COPD treatment options available to people to ease the symptoms and make it easier for people with COPD to breathe.

What Causes COPD?

The most common cause of COPD is long-term exposure to lung irritants. This is why there are many smokers that suffer from this condition. Additionally, exposure to secondhand cigarette, pipe, and tobacco smoke can also contribute to a person’s chances of getting COPD at some point in life.

The chances of developing COPD go even higher for smokers with asthma. And if you smoke as a person with COPD, you can worsen your condition and make it even harder for you to breathe.

Additionally, COPD develops slowly over the years. So, older people are more likely to have it than younger people. This means that most people only start feeling the effect of COPD when they reach the age of 40.

Can an Air Purifier Help with COPD?

It might come to you as a surprise but air purifiers can actually make life much easier for those suffering from COPD. This is because COPD is often caused and triggered by exposure to irritants and harmful particles in the air. 

This is why people struggling with COPD need to take extra precautions to make sure they are breathing as much clean air as possible. This could mean wearing a mask when outdoors to filter out the harmful particles in the air before they enter your lungs.

With that said, it can be hard to control the outside air quality when you aren’t at home. And if you live in a congested city, there’s a high chance that the air quality will be poor no matter where you go. This is why I highly recommend air purifiers to anyone suffering not only from COPD but any respiratory condition as a whole.

As I mentioned above – I suffer from seasonal allergies and to be honest – the air purifier has made my life so much easier and more enjoyable. I can actually sleep well without having to sneeze halfway through the night.

It’s all thanks to the real HEPA filter in my air purifier. This type of filter is capable of removing up to 99.97% of all harmful pollutants, particles, and allergens found in the air. And because of that – it’s pretty easy to see why a person with COPD can benefit a ton from having an air purifier cleaning the air indoors.

With that said, it’s important to note that there hasn’t been that much research on the direct benefits air purifiers offer to people with COPD. However, one thing that many people agree on is that air purifiers can remove almost all harmful particles from the air, and cleaner air is better for people with COPD.

How Air Purifiers Help with COPD

To understand how an air purifier can potentially help someone with COPD, it’s important to understand how air purifiers work in the first place. Air purifiers suck in air, which then passes through the air purifier’s complex air filtration system before it’s released back into the room.

During that process, 99.97% of harmful air particles are trapped by the filter while the pure air passes through the filtration system and back into your room ready for you to breathe.

So how can an air purifier help someone with COPD?

We know that COPD can get worse by breathing in harmful and irritable to the lungs particles. So, what an air purifier does is remove these particles from the air before they get the chance of ending up in your lungs.

Do note that not every air purifier can help you with your COPD. To make sure you buy an air purifier that works for COPD – make sure it features a real or true HEPA filter. These are the filters that really work.

What Type of Air Purifier is Best for COPD?

Most modern air purifiers will be able to do a great job of removing harmful particles in the air.. However, if you want a model that can help you with your COPD, then you need to make sure you’re getting a high-quality product with the best filters.

To start, let’s consider the filters. At the very least, you want to have a real HEPA filter. These filters are made of fine fiberglass threads that are designed to pick out and capture even the finest of particles such as pollen and dust.

When shopping for such an air purifier – it’s important to make sure the air purifier you’re interested in actually has real HEPA filters.

I’m only saying this because there are many air purifiers with “HEPA-like” filters on the market, which are similar to real HEPA filters but don’t pass the standards to qualify as a true HEPA filter.

And as you can imagine – they don’t do that great of a job.

So, make sure that the air purifier has a true or real HEPA filter.

This is the only way you can make sure that your air purifier is really working like it’s supposed to.

Additionally, you may also want to get an air purifier that can absorb gaseous particles. HEPA filters can only handle solid particles, so if you want to remove harmful odors and VOCs from the air, then I’d recommend getting an air purifier with a carbon filter as well.

This makes the air quality in the room much better and also removes odors such as fumes, cooking, smoke, and other.

One thing you want to avoid if you’re getting an air purifier to help with your COPD is an ozone generator.

There are many air purifiers on the market that have ozone generators as these can produce a “fresher” and “cleaner” scent by releasing ozone gas into the air.

However, it’s important to remember that ozone gas can irritate the lungs. And if you have COPD, you want to avoid anything in the air that can potentially irritate the lungs and trigger your symptoms. 

Getting the Most Out of Your Air Purifier

Aside from finding the right air purifier, it’s absolutely essential that you follow the best practices when using it. If you use the air purifier in the wrong way, you won’t be getting all the benefits you can from the machine.

I know this because when I first got my air purifier – I didn’t make use of it properly until one of my friends pointed me in the right direction.

Below, I will give you all the pointers I know so that you can make the most out of your air purifier and have an easier time living with your COPD.

Keep it On 24/7

The first thing I recommend is leaving your air purifier on 24/7. Now, this might sound dangerous and expensive, but it’s neither.

To start, modern air purifiers are designed to stay on for a long time so they have protection against short-circuits.

Additionally, since they are designed to stay on, they don’t consume that much power.

In fact, air purifiers are known for being low–power devices that can stay on for a very long time without causing your electric bill to skyrocket.

On top of that, keeping the air purifier on ensures that it’s always circulating clean air in your room.

This is the best way to always keep the air in a room free from harmful particles and make it easier for you to breathe even with COPD.

Do note that 24/7 doesn’t mean the air purifier will be on 24/7.

Most modern air purifiers have air quality sensors so as soon as the quality in the room reaches the most optimal level – the air purifier will stop. And when the sensors notice that the air quality drops – the unit will turn on automatically.

Find a Suitable Place For Your Air Purifier

Another thing to consider is where you place the air purifier. It’s crucial for you to put the air purifier in a spot where it can intake as much air as possible.

So, this could be next to a window, in the middle of your room, on an elevated surface, and just about anywhere it can get good airflow.

If you place it in the corner of the room, it will have very bad airflow, so a lot of the particles will remain floating in the air no matter how hard the air purifier is working.

My air purifier sits on a designated table right by the sofa, which is conveniently also placed by the window.

Conduct Regular Maintenance

Don’t be like me and let your air purifier work for months and months without cleaning it.

Ideally, depending on how often you use your air purifier – you should open it up and clean it every one to three months.

And if you’ve been using the air purifier for over 8,000 hours or 12 months – it’s a good idea to replace the filter with a brand new one.

This way, you can guarantee that your air purifier will not only last for many more years but will continue to do its job as intended.


If you have COPD, there are millions of others who share your struggle.

And while you can’t cure it, there are ways to make your life much easier while living with COPD.

One of those ways is to buy a high-quality air purifier, which will work around the clock to make sure the air you’re breathing is free from harmful particles and irritants that can worsen your COPD symptoms.