How to Tell If an Air Purifier is Working (5 Quick and Easy Ways)

Air Purifiers can do more harm than good if not working properly. According to EPA air purifiers can be really helpful in reducing airborne contaminants as a result they help in improving health conditions such as allergic reactions and asthma.

Such improvements are only possible if your air purifier is working effectively. Although knowing if your air purifier is working can be tricky at times, but we’re are going to make it easy for you.

So, without any ado let’s get to the answer on how to tell if an air purifier is working.

5 Effortless Ways To Know If Your Air Purifier Is Working

Wondering if your air purifier is working properly or is it out of order? Here’s how to tell if an air purifier is working.

  1. Check the power indicator light.
  2. Test the airflow.
  3. Check the filters inside the air purifier.
  4. Use a separate air quality monitor.
  5. Use a chemical testing kit.

Let’s see each of these ways in detail.

1. Checking the Power Indicator Lights

One of the most obvious ways to know if your air purifier is working is by checking the power indicator lights on its panel. Each model of air purifier is different.

Some are equipped with a touchscreen panel and most air purifiers have multiple indicator lights. To know, which lights indicate power read the user manual provided with your device.

Sometimes air purifiers do not work even when the power light is on. That’s because filters need replacement. In this case, you will see the filter indicator light ON. You can read everything in detail by referring to the user manual.

2. Checking the Airflow of Air Purifier

All air purifiers have a built-in fan that draws in the air from inside the room. If the fan is working properly, it indicates that the air purifier is working. The fan is constantly blowing out the air. It sometimes produces a sound that indicates that it is working.

If you do not hear any sound, place your hand near the air purifier to check the air pressure. If you do not feel the pressure, chances are your air purifier is out of order. It can be possible if the air filter is dirty, this leads us to our next test.

3. Examining the Filters of the Air Purifier

This is the most evident way to tell if your air purifier is working. First of all, carefully remove the front lid of the air purifier. Now, remove all the removable filters. If you see dirt, dust mites, and debris on these filters, it shows that the purifier has been working properly.

Now clean the pre-filter of the air purifier. You can also clean it by using water and soap. After cleaning it, let it dry for 15-30 minutes and assemble all the air purifier filters back into their places and turn it on.

Let it filter the air for a couple of hours and turn it off. Now, check the pre-filter again. Dirty filters containing airborne particulate indicate that your air purifier is working perfectly while lack of dust indicates that it is out of order.

4. Using a Separate Indoor Air Quality Monitor

It is the easiest way to check the working of your air purifier. You just have to buy a digital air monitor. I know what you are thinking right now! that your air purifier already has a digital air monitor on it. Those built-in monitors are not always correct because the sensor installed in them is cheaper and less accurate.

Buying a separate digital air quality monitor can be very handy. These digital air quality monitors are specifically made for air quality checking purposes and show precise readings. You can check the difference in air quality before and after using the air purifier.

Furthermore, the built-in filters are always attached to air purifiers and the air is cleanest around the air purifier so it is never a good idea to rely on the built-in air quality monitors for checking the air quality.

5. Using a Chemical Test Kit to Tell if an Air Purifier is Working

If you wish to go ahead and check the indoor air quality to investigate the working of your air purifier, you can use a chemical test kit.

With chemical air quality test kits you can test for different contaminants in the air such as pollen particles, dander, airborne mold spores, volatile organic compounds, and other airborne pollutants.

You simply have to turn the air purifier off for several hours, conduct the test using the chemical kit that gives the level of pollutants, and then turn it on.

After 5-6 hours conduct the test again. If the results of the second test are not better than the first test, it indicates that your air purifier is not working.

Pro Tips:

  • Read the user manual carefully to use the air purifier effectively.
  • Keep the doors and windows shut when the air purifier is turned on.
  • Set timers on it, so that it automatically turns off when you are not around.
  • Check how many hours it can constantly work and do not extend the ideal time limit.
  • Clean the pre-filter once or twice a week to get better results.
  • Replace the HEPA filter once every six months as highly contaminated filters contain harmful pollutants and can lead to adverse health problems.
  • If you just bought an air purifier, don’t forget to remove the plastic cover of the filters inside the purifier.


Checking the working and effectiveness of your air purifier by yourself can be very easy if you know the correct ways to do it. With our in-depth, easy-to-follow guide, You now know how to tell if an air purifier is working. Once you know the issue, you can resolve it and improve the quality of air.

Stay Safe … Stay Healthy.