Windows are an essential part of any home, but so is indoor air quality. There are a variety of methods to improve that air quality, including opening the windows and running air purifiers. Can the two exist together though? This is the air purifier open window question.
In general, you should leave windows closed when running an air purifier. When you open them, you reduce the effectiveness of the air purifier. Outdoor air is already cleaner than indoor air, so to truly clean that air, you need to run the air purifier in an enclosed space. You can open the windows while running an air purifier, they can help improve the air quality of your home, too. Together though, those two things are redundant and make each other less effective.
Air Purifier Overview
In simple terms, air purifiers are fans with mechanisms or filters, or sometimes both, to reduce pollutants in the air. The fan draws in the polluted air and the mechanisms or filters remove as many of those pollutants as they can. The air continues on its way, cleaner than before.
Air purifiers are more complicated than this, sometimes far more so, but in a basic sense, this is what they are and what they do. They’re also good at it too. There are a few types of air purifiers, some even come with multiple filters. As a result, they can filter out more pollutants and different kinds too.
In the end, air purifiers improve the quality of your indoor air (and do so without making it dry either). This, in turn, improves your health, which helps you to live a better life overall.
For Indoor Air, Should Windows Be Open Or Closed?
The answer is, “it depends.” If you don’t have the option to get an air purifier right now or if your air purifier is broken, then opening your windows can help in several ways. Even if you have an air purifier, it’s still okay to open the windows once in a while.
When outdoor air struggles to get into a home, pollutants build up over time. This can happen for a couple of reasons. One is, if pollutants do make it into your home, they can linger in the air. Pollutants don’t need much to get in either. Radon gas can sneak in through cracks in walls or floors. Also, not all pollutants come from the outside. For example, dust is a combination of our skin cells, dust mites, bacteria, and more.
A great way to combat all these different pollutants is by increasing ventilation. That is, by increasing how much outdoor air is coming into your home. If you have an HVAC system, then you already have some outdoor air coming in. If you have a wall or window air conditioning unit, then that likely won’t be the case.
Either way, you can increase outdoor airflow by doing simple things such as opening windows or even doors. On some HVAC units, you can also control how much outdoor air they’re bringing in. Having better outdoor airflow reduces how long pollutants can remain in the air since that air is constantly being refreshed.
So, where does that leave air purifiers and windows?
Air Purifiers And Windows
What’s interesting about air purifiers is that they, in many ways, replace outdoor air as a way to clean the air. That’s not to say that they are a source of outdoor air, but they do a similar thing in a different way. It might make sense to have both open windows and an air purifier, but these processes don’t add up together well.
In fact, having an open window with an air purifier running reduces the effectiveness of the air purifier. This is for a few reasons, but mostly because the air from outside is already cleaner from the air inside, so mixing the two together means the air purifier can’t clean as much polluted air as it normally would. Plus, that’ll use up the filters in the air purifier on air that doesn’t need them as much. To be their most effective, air purifiers need enclosed spaces to operate.
That’s not to say you can’t ever open the windows while running an air purifier, but it may be worthwhile to turn the air purifier off or run it at lower settings while doing so. Of course, there will also be days where opening windows isn’t an option, such as rain or extreme weather. So, having an air purifier on hand isn’t a bad thought either.
Final Thoughts: The Answer To The Air Purifier Open Window Question
Air purifiers and open windows don’t mix well. While they’re not a horrible combination, open windows reduce an air purifier’s effectiveness while both accomplish the same thing, overall. There are situations where you would want to do one or the other, but in the end, it just depends on what your needs are. So, what do you think? What reasons would you go with open windows or air purifiers? Let us know in the comments below!