How Can You Tell If Your Air Purifier Is Working?

How Can You Tell If Your Air Purifier Is Working_

You’re not alone if you’re wondering how to tell if your air purifier is working. 

I remember when I got my first air purifier back in the day and was in the exact same situation. 

In my case, the air purifier was brand new, so I wondered if the unit was on in general.

If you’ve had your air purifier for a while and are wondering how to tell if it’s still working as intended, that’s more tricky sometimes. 

Whatever the case might be, in this article, I will be showing you the things you need to look out for to tell if your unit is working. 

And if you find that your air purifier isn’t working, at the end of the article, I’ve shared a few things you should check and do before buying a new model.

How To Tell If Your Air Purifier Is Working

You can tell if your air purifier is working in many different ways. While some are simple, others are a little more tricky. 

Below, I’ve listed several ways you can tell if your unit is working as it should.

The Sound

The easiest way to tell if your air purifier is on is by listening closely and hearing if the unit is making any noise. 

Pay attention to the sound of the fan. Most, if not all, air purifiers produce some noise when they are on.

It’s best to turn the air purifier to the highest setting as that’s when the fan will make the most noise.

That said, just because your air purifier works doesn’t mean it’s purifying the air. 

An air purifier won’t clean the air if there’s damage to the filtration system, causing it to be unable to trap particles and purify the air. 

It’s much more difficult to tell if your air purifier is working if there doesn’t seem anything wrong with it, so keep on reading to find out what you need to be looking for in that case.

No Strong Scents

If you have an air purifier with a carbon filter, then the smell in the room is one of the best ways to determine if it’s working. 

While air purifiers with carbon filters can absorb harmful pollutants like VOCs, their most noticeable effect is ridding the room of strong odors such as cooking odors or smells from your cat’s litter box.

This happens because a carbon filter absorbs all the compounds that may cause foul odors in the first place. 

So, when you turn it on, you should notice that strong scents start to disappear.

If you turn your air purifier on and notice no difference in the room’s smell, it might not work correctly. 

However, remember that not all air purifiers have carbon filters.

Check inside your device to see if it’s even designed to absorb strong scents in the first place.

Less Allergic Reactions

One of the benefits of using an air purifier is that it can help you deal with your allergies. 

If you have allergies, it might be easier to determine whether an air purifier works as intended.

This is because air purifiers can remove harmful allergens from the air, such as pollen and dust. 

So, if you find that you aren’t sneezing as much when you’re in a room with an air purifier, this is a clear sign that the air purifier is working.

The downside to this is that not everyone has allergies. 

So, if you don’t have allergies, you won’t be able to use this method to tell if your air purifier works.

The Air Feels and Smells Cleaner

This is probably the best way to tell if an air purifier is working, but it’s also one of the hardest. 

It’s difficult to describe what “cleaner” air feels like, but I notice a huge difference when their air purifier is on.

The best I can describe is that the air feels better and is easier to breathe. 

It’s lighter and less dense.

Some people notice the difference the second they turn on their air purifier. 

Some people say it takes some time for them to notice. 

But once you notice the difference, it will be much easier to tell whether or not your air purifier is working properly.

Compare the Air Quality Levels

If nothing I have said has helped, using an air quality measuring tool is the best and easiest way to tell if your air purifier is working.

To use this tool appropriately, measure the air quality inside your home before and after turning the air purifier on.

Test the air quality levels with the air purifier off, then let it run for a few hours and test it again.

If the levels are the same, your air purifier will operate, but it isn’t cleaning the air.

Or you can skip this altogether if you have the money to invest in a higher-end air purifier. 

The more expensive devices have built-in air quality measuring technology to track that for you.

Things You Can Do if Your Air Purifier Isn’t Working

Finding out that your air purifier isn’t working as it once did is quite a devastating experience. 

I’ve had this issue a few times over the last five years, and it’s not a nice feeling – especially since you get so used to breathing clean air so much that when you go back to normal, things just don’t feel right.

So, if you’ve found that your air purifier isn’t working as intended, here are a few steps to bring it back to life and breathe in the clean air you’re accustomed to.

Clear, Wash, or Replace the Filters

The filtration system in your air purifier is what helps the air purifier actually purify the air. 

Without it (or when it’s damaged), the air purifier might still be on, but it won’t be purifying the air as well as it once did.

If the filters are causing a lack of performance inside the air purifier, you have three options.

You can clean the filters using a cloth and a hoover, wash the filters if they’re washable, or if you’ve not replaced them in a while, replace the filters.

Though changing the filters will cost you some money, it’s the best way to ensure your air purifier performs back to its best.

Check the Fuse

If the fuse in your air purifier has blown out, the air purifier won’t turn on, no matter what. 

And if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you might even think the air purifier is broken, which was the case with me just a few years ago.

Most people don’t know that every appliance has a built-in fuse, often inside the plug. 

The fuse breaks the circuit if a fault in the appliance is spotted, causing too much current to flow. 

In other news, the fuse protects your air purifier, and it will be the first to go if something goes wrong. 

Fuses are a cheap replacement, so it’s not a big deal. Much better than having to buy a new air purifier.

Once you find where the fuse in your air purifier is, take a close look at it. 

If the wire is clearly broken in two, the fuse has blown out, and you need to replace it.

Take Your Air Purifier to a Specialist

If you have exhausted all of your options, take it to a specialist.

Fortunately, they can tell you the problem with your unit in just a few minutes because of their background. 

Their trained eye can spot faults that ordinary people like you and me can easily miss.


If you think your air purifier has declined in performance, use this checklist to see if there’s anything wrong internally.

On the flip side, the problem is more serious if your air purifier won’t turn on.

If you are in that camp, return the unit to the store you bought it from if it’s still under warranty or seek the help of a specialist.