Where to install an air purifier?
If you are concerned about your indoor air quality, investing in an air purifier and installing it in your home is one of the best ways to ensure that you are breathing the purest and cleanest air available. Indoor air is 7-10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Since we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, it is becoming increasingly important to protect our lungs from dangerous air pollution. Once you have purchased your air purifier, where is the best place to install it in your home to provide optimal air purification? Read below to find out more about the ideal location to install your air purifier.
Air pollution, IAQ, and ventilation
What is air pollution?
By definition, air pollution is complex: it is a combination of solids (particles), liquids (droplets), and gases that become suspended in the air and can negatively impact our health. It is a chemical, biological, or physical contamination of our air that has an impact on the atmosphere. Some sources of air pollution are industrial such as intensive agricultural practices, power generation, and/or industrial smokestacks. Others are generated by people when burning fuel for heat or energy or from vehicle transport. To read more about the various sources of air pollution, refer to our article about the main sources of air pollution.
The WHO estimates that a whopping 90% of the Earth’s population breathes air that is substandard in quality, exceeding the WHO’s guideline limits. This means that nearly all of us are breathing poor quality air1.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
The above statistic applies to both outdoor and indoor conditions. Since indoor air is significantly more polluted than outdoor air (7-10 times), IAQ, or Indoor Air Quality, is a growing international concern. Indoor pollutants can range from humidity to odours to chemicals, and indoor air pollution is caused by on-going pollution sources combined with lack of proper ventilation. Modern buildings are commonly airtight in design so that energy cannot be lost through the walls leading outdoors. This does indeed make new buildings more energy-efficient, but it does not help circulate the air inside. This means that air of diminished quality is not able to escape, and the occupants have no choice but to breathe it in whenever they are indoors2.
In addition to reducing the risk of air pollution-related diseases like asthma and COPD, a healthy indoor environment can stop pathogens in their tracks, reducing the risk of infection during a pandemic.
The importance of ventilating the rooms in your space
As stated above, the importance of proper ventilation should not be understated! The more you are able to introduce fresh air in the rooms of your home or office, the more renewed the quality of your air will be.
Ventilating is a crucial way to remove stale air from your home or office and can circulate air from the ground to the ceiling of your space. According to the American Lung Association, it can help to reduce many types of indoor air pollution ranging from mould and its spores, pollen, pet hair and dander, and even germs (viruses like COVID-19 and bacteria)3. It can also help to improve bad odours from the rooms in your space!
Unfortunately, opening up the windows of the rooms in your home or office is not always possible, such as during periods of extreme heat or cold outdoors. Some individuals may also have safety concerns, and leaving windows and doors open may be a point of concern. Furthermore, if you live in a location that experiences high levels of outdoor air pollution, opening windows and doors may encourage even more polluted air to enter into the rooms of your space. Air pollutants then become entrapped inside, creating an indoor environment that is even more polluted than it was prior to ventilation, leading to more dangers to your health.
In order to renew the air year-round, an air purifier can certainly be a worthy investment.
Where is the best location to place my air purifier?
Once you have made the decision to purchase an air purifier, it is important to choose an optimal location in which to install it within your room, home, or office. This location will determine your air purifier’s level of performance and efficacy in reducing the pollutants inside your space. In fact, optimal room placement of your air purifier can increase its efficiency by 20%4!
The two biggest factors to consider when placing your air purifier are 1) concentration of air pollutants, and 2) air flow. The following provides a helpful guide in choosing your air purifier placement:As seen in the chart above, some important 'dos' when choosing the best room placement for your air purifier are:
When placing your air purifier, DO:
- Place it where there is the most airflow
- Target entry points, like a doorway, a busy hallway, or a window
- It is ideal to place an air purifier near windows since it is there that contaminants can easily enter your space
- Any new air that enters your space will quickly be purified before being dispersed
- For air to be purified properly, air flow must reach the device
- Know where the air inlet and outlet vents are located on your device
- Keep your air purifier inlet at least 15 cm from the wall (the height of an iPhone 11)
- Ensure that your air purifier has proper clearance at the top and sides
- If possible, try to give a couple feet of space in every direction for optimum circulation. We recommend a minimum clearance of 4 inches (or 10 cm) in all directions. If the device does not have 360° suction technology like Eoleaf devices, then consider directing the air inlets/outlets towards the middle of the room
- They need room to take in the air and push it out to the room
- Close the doors of the room where you are purifying the air
- An air purifier works most efficiently in closed rooms
- This only applies for small devices that are designed for one room, not for larger devices (like our AERO PRO 150 which is intended to purify a whole house)
- Most air purifiers take in or release air from the top, so make sure that nothing covers the device while it is running
When placing your air purifier, DO NOT:
- Place it in a corner or tight space
- This results in ineffective airflow and ultimately limited purification results
- Block the air purifier’s grilles: ensure they are always clear of obstacles
- Place it against or close to larger furniture and other large-size elements that will restrict air circulation
- Keep your device against a wall where it can’t take in as much air
- When an air purifier is set up against a wall, the airflow is only about 5%
- Moving the air purifier 4 cm from the wall increases the airflow from 5% to 94%
- When placed 10 cm from the wall, airflow reaches 100%
It is important to keep in mind that all air purifier models are different and may have specific manufacturer’s instructions in the user manual. Be sure to follow these instructions in order to achieve optimal air purification in your home.
Not all rooms have the same conditions for placing an air purifier. Here are some suggestions on how to optimise your air purifier’s capacities by room:
- Living room
- Place your device where it will be unobstructed
- Avoid places where air flow is impeded (i.e. behind furniture)
- Do not place it in a cupboard or in a corner
- If applicable, place your device near the source of mould or mildew to help capture harmful spores
- Avoid placing it in a high-humidity environment
- Heavy, humid air reduces filter capacity and can contribute to your device malfunctioning
- If you would like to place your device in your bathroom, ensure that it is not left running whilst you shower or perform activities that can create humidity and air out the bathroom after you shower
- Bedrooms are often optimal places for installing your air purifier
- Place it in the central part of the room between the window and the bed
- Slightly open the door to the hallway so that the carbon dioxide concentration in the room (exhaled air consists of 4% CO2) is kept low
- Purchase a device that is powerful yet quiet to assure that it will not disrupt your sleep (Eoleaf’s devices come equipped with Night Mode!)
- Position your purifier close to sources of contaminants, such as near the stove, oven, or garbage bin
- Home office or office building
- Some air purifiers make a humming sound whilst running: choose a device that makes minimal noise so as not to disturb your work or the work of your coworkers
- Do not place it near other electronic devices to avoid interference
- Install it where it cannot be obstructed by furniture or walls
Measure your space and calculate your CADR
Measure the room in which you plan to use your air purifier. You want to make sure that ypu purchase a device with the right power/airflow for your space. You must first calculate the volume of the room.
- Volume = room area (length x width) x ceiling height
- Example: 6m length x 5m width x 3m height = 90 cubic meters
Next, determine the minimum clean air delivery rate (CADR) required for your space. It is recommended that an air purifier should be able to complete 3 to 5 air changes per hour within its designated space. Let’s use the average for this example: a value of 4. By taking the volume of the room and multiplying it by 4, you will have the total value required. Note that CADR is measured in cubic metres per hour (m3/hr).
- Minimum CADR = room volume x air changes
- Example: 90 cubic metres x 4 air changes = 360 m3/hr
Pay close attention not only to the surface area but also to the cubic capacity of the room. Rooms in apartment buildings can be quite high and contain a higher volume of air. These rooms will thus require a more powerful air purification device, despite having the same square footage as, for example, a room in a block of flats.
As emphasised above, it is important not to place your air purifier in a corner or a closet! Although this may keep it out of the way, it greatly reduces the purifier’s efficiency.
Elevating your device
Air purification experts recommend placing the device on the floor because it is near the ground where there is a higher concentration of pollutants. When choosing a location for your air purifier, find somewhere that is out of the way so that it does not take up too much of your valuable living space, but ensure that it is still centrally-placed.
Move your device around regularly! This maximises the air that your air purifier will be able to treat. Some air purifiers, like Eoleaf’s, come equipped with wheels and/or handles for easy transportation.
It is not advised to set your air purifier on a shelf. This can significantly reduce the filtration efficiency. This is equivalent to setting it against a wall.
Proximity to pollutants
If you live in an urban environment or in close proximity to a motorway or industrial site, you are more exposed to harmful substances coming in from the air outside. A few suggestions in placing your air purifier are to:
- Place it near the highest concentration of pollutants
- Place it near areas with visible smoke and/or mould
- Place it near sources of unpleasant odours such as a garbage bin or cigarette smoke
- Place it near locations in the home where you most experience allergies
- Place it near a window if there is a significant level of pollution outdoors
Equip your home with an Eoleaf air purifier
Eoleaf air purifiers could not be simpler to install. Once you receive your device and have removed its packaging, as a “plug and play” unit, you simply plug your device into a wall outlet. It is then all set for use. Eoleaf's devices are floor-standing, meaning that they do not require any further mounting and can simply be placed on the ground in your room (but remember to avoid corners!). With the simplicity of Eoleaf's design, it only takes minutes upon receipt to start breathing fresher air.
1 World Health Organization. (2022). Air Pollution. World Health Organization. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution#tab=tab_1
2 Khenchi, A. (2022, April 28). Is indoor air pollution up to five times more dangerous than the outdoors? Oxycom. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://www.oxy-com.com/blog-news/is-indoor-air-more-polluted-than-outdoors
3 Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe. American Lung Association. (2022, November 17). https://www.lung.org/clean-air/indoor-air/protecting-from-air-pollution/ventilation
4 Where to place Air Purifier? (7 golden 'best place' rules + bonus tip). LearnMetrics. (2022, July 5). Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://learnmetrics.com/where-to-place-air-purifier/