Do air conditioners purify air?

Fast read

When compared to professional air purification systems with HEPA filters. Air conditioners fall short in their ability to clean and purify the air in your home.

Dust filters, which are frequently found in air conditioners, are not intended for fine particle air filtering. Rather, they primarily prevent the movement of bigger dust particles through your home.

Ionization filters are present in some air conditioner models. They are capable of purging the air of allergies, germs, dust, and odours, although they are less efficient at purging viruses, mould spores, or allergens.

Investing in a HEPA filter air purification system is recommended to ensure clean and pure air in your home.

Do air conditioners purify the air in my home?

Keeping clean air in your home healthy is more important than ever. Many people wonder if their air conditioners do enough to purify the air or if they need a separate air purifier.

Air conditioners do help in cleaning the air by using dust filters and ionisation filters. Dust filters catch dust particles, making the air cleaner and reducing the risk of breathing issues. This is especially good for people with asthma or allergies to things like pollen.

Ionisation filters, another common type, release negatively charged ions that attract and neutralise harmful particles like dust mites, bacteria and viruses. This process adds an extra layer of air purification to your home.

While air conditioners with these filters are beneficial, some people choose to get a separate air purifier for added protection. These devices often have advanced features like HEPA filters and UV-C light to further clean the air.

Dust filters

Almost every air conditioner has a dust filter built into the unit. Unfortunately, this filter does not directly purify the air, as these inbuilt filters are not designed for fine particle air filtration.

Despite this shortcoming, the larger dust particle filter in the indoor unit contributes to some degree to cleaner air in your home. This is because this filter stops larger dust particles from getting into the air circulated throughout your home.

The filter protects your home and aims to prevent clogging in the unit’s internal components. The only issue with this type of filter is that it cannot stop smoke, or smaller particles such as viruses, cigarette ash or minute pollens.

To ensure the filter in your unit is performing to its potential, please check the air conditioning manual to learn how often to clean the filter.

Our general recommendation is to clean the filter every 6 to 8 weeks, potentially by washing it in warm soapy water after removing it from the unit.

Relaxed guy turning on air con
Cleaning your air-conditioner regularly will save you stress in the future

Ionisation filters

Some models of air conditioners have an air purification filter based on ionisation built in already. This filter removes different substances such as allergens, germs, dust, and odours from the air before the air conditioner disperses them into the room.

These filters are commonly found in major-brand air conditioners, such as Fujitsu, LG, Daikin, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi Electric.

The effectiveness of ionisation filters stops when filtering viruses, mould spores or allergens. Therefore, ionisation filters are less effective than HEPA filters in removing these pollutants.

What should you do to get purified air?

As air conditioners do not do the best job cleaning and purifying the air, a specialist clean air filtration unit with a HEPA filter is your best option. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and is in many air purifier systems and vacuum cleaners.

The EPA reports removing at least 99.97% of any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. This includes bacteria, pollen, dust, and mould, so if you have ever changed a HEPA filter after prolonged use, you can see directly how effective they are.

Suppose your air conditioner does not have either of the previously mentioned types of filters, or you want some extra protection. In that case, you can connect HEPA to indoor air conditioner systems. But first, contact your manufacturer or air-con installer and ask if your unit is compatible.

In Summary

Making sure the air in your home is clean is crucial. People often wonder if their air conditioners clean the air enough or if they need a separate air purifier.

Air conditioners do help clean the air using dust filters and ionisation filters. Dust filters catch large airborne particles, improving air quality, particularly for individuals with asthma or allergies. Ionisation filters release special ions that attract and remove harmful particles like dust and bacteria, giving an extra boost to air cleaning.

While air conditioners with these filters are good, some people prefer getting a separate air purifier with advanced features like HEPA filters and UV-C light for even better air cleaning.

Almost every air conditioner has dust filters that stop larger dust particles, but they might not catch smaller things like smoke or viruses. Cleaning these filters regularly, about every 6 to 8 weeks, keeps them working well.

Ionisation filters in certain air conditioners, like those from Fujitsu, LG, Daikin, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi Electric, deal with allergens, germs, dust, and odours but are not as good against viruses or mould spores compared to HEPA filters.

For really good air cleaning, especially against smaller particles, it’s best to use a separate fresh air unit with a HEPA filter. Purifiers with HEPA filters can remove at least 99.97% of tiny particles like bacteria, pollen, dust, and mould. If your air conditioner doesn’t have these filters, you can connect a HEPA filter, but check with your manufacturer or air con installer first to make sure it works well with your unit.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Find your local installer