What Does a Carbon Filter Do? [Benefits, Should You Buy One?]

If you’ve been looking for an air purifier recently, you might have encountered one with an activated carbon filter.

With so many filtration systems to choose from, I wouldn’t expect you to know what a carbon filter does because I didn’t.

When I first shopped for my air purifier, I had to Google every phrase and term to find out what my unit could do for me.

So, if you’re wondering what a carbon filter can do for you, you’re in the right place.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about carbon filters and what they can do for indoor air quality.

But before I get into what carbon filters do, it’s essential to understand what they are and what they’re made of.

What Is a Carbon Filter and What Are They Made Out Of?

Activated carbon filters are essentially carbon broken down into tiny carbon particles.

When it comes to air purifiers, you’ll typically see them in granular or even a powdered block form.

Before they are ready for use, the carbon is treated to be highly porous.

The more porous the carbon is, the better it will capture all the particles and contaminants in the air.

From my experience, the large majority of carbon filters are treated to be highly effective at capturing particles.

My personal air purifier’s carbon filter is fantastic at purifying the air, and it’s not even the most expensive one.

What Does a Carbon Filter Do?

Unlike HEPA filters, which can capture solid particles such as pet dander, pollen, and dust, carbon filters can’t do that.

Carbon filters are designed to deal with gasses and non-solid particles in the air.

These include anything from pet and cooking odor to VOCs and smoke from a fire or cigarettes.

Unlike HEPA filters, which trap solid particles, carbon-activated filters absorb them.

The absorption process happens when an organic compound chemically reacts with the activated carbon.

When that happens, the organic compound will stick to the filter while all clean air passes through.

So, if you are dealing with unpleasant smells daily, an air purifier with a carbon filter can help.

I live in a bustling city, and the smell of pollution is pretty terrible.

Since I bought my air purifier with a carbon-activated filter, everything changed for me, and I couldn’t recommend them enough.

Now that you know what a carbon filter does, let’s look at how it works.

How Do Carbon Filters Work?

It doesn’t sound straightforward when you hear that your carbon filtration system must have a chemical reaction to work correctly.

However, that’s not the case at all.

The process is straightforward.

The carbon is sold in thick or thin packets, so you won’t get a pile of carbon you need to deal with on your own.

These packets are designed perfectly for your air purifier.

They can often just be inserted into the unit in 2 minutes and left to do their job.

When you turn your air purifier on, air will flow into the unit’s purification system.

As the contaminated air enters the system, it will pass through the active carbon.

Then, the contaminated air will be absorbed while the rest of the purified air will pass through.

That’s the whole deal around carbon filters.

They’re straightforward in nature but are super effective at doing their job.

Benefits of a Carbon Filter

Like HEPA filters, carbon filters also come with many benefits you will experience from day one.

Below, I’ll go over the most notable benefits I’ve experienced from using a unit with a carbon filter for the last five years.

Odorless Air Indoors,

One of the most significant benefits of a carbon-activated filter is that I can breathe in odorless air inside my home around the clock.

This is a big deal for me because I live in the center of one of the biggest cities in the country.

When I go outdoors, I can smell the pollution from the traffic, the odors lingering in the air from local restaurants, and more.

All those smells would be in my home had I not used an air purifier with a carbon-activated filter.

Reduced Asthma Attacks

I have asthma and suffer from seasonal allergies a lot.

Since purchasing my air purifier with a carbon filter, my asthma attacks have reduced significantly.

This is because all of the triggers for my asthma are stuck or absorbed by my air purifier.

If you have asthma, COPD, or any other respiratory condition, a carbon filter will help you immensely.

Better Quality Sleep

We’ve all heard the saying that you are what you eat.

How you feel isn’t only related to the quality of food and air you eat.

Since buying my air purifier with a carbon filter, my sleep quality has improved tremendously.

I no longer wake up tired, exhausted, or dreading to start the day.

Breathing in higher-quality air was life-changing, and I couldn’t live without my unit again.

Are All Activated Carbon Filters the Same?

Though all activated carbon filters are great at removing non-solid odors from the air, there are a few different types.

For example, some carbon filters contain more carbon than others.

Naturally, those with more activated carbon will do a better job purifying the air and last longer.

Aside from that, you also want to pay attention to the size of the carbon.

This is because smaller carbons tend to yield faster absorption rates.

For example, the Blueair air purifiers feature one of the best and most advanced carbon filtration systems.

Their carbon filters are infused with additional compounds such as copper oxide and magnesium dioxide.

This helps the air purifier deal more effectively with hazardous pollutants such as carbon monoxide, ozone, and ethylene oxide.

So, before you jump on the first air purifier with a carbon-activated filter, check out all those small details as they matter.

How to Make the Most Out of My Carbon Filter

To make the most out of your carbon filter, ensure you install it properly and replace it often.

The more you use the air purifier, the more often you’ll need to replace the carbon filter.

That way, it will always purify contaminated air before it enters your lungs.

Aside from that, I recommend buying an air purifier with a multi-stage filtration system.

That way, your unit will have carbon and a HEPA filter simultaneously.

This way, the unit will effectively cleanse the air of both solid and gaseous particles.

The result will be healthy and purified indoor air from all possible hazardous particles you could inhale.

Should You Get an Air Purifier With a Carbon Activated Filter?

Air purifiers with multi-stage filtration systems are more expensive than HEPA filters.

If you’re considering buying a unit with a carbon-activated filter, know that it will likely cost you a little bit more.

If your budget allows it, the next thing you need to consider is your needs.

Are any odors inside your home bothering you that you want to eliminate?

If so, you should get an air purifier with a carbon-activated filter.

Suppose you don’t particularly care about cooking odor or smells coming from the outside in your home. In that case, a carbon filter isn’t worth it.

That said, carbon-activated filters don’t just eliminate bad smells you don’t like.

They also eliminate harmful gas particles in the air, such as VOCs, smoke from a fire, and others.

So even if you don’t care about cooking odor, having a carbon-activated filter at home can benefit your overall health.

A Word of Caution When Using a Carbon Filter

Using a carbon filtration system indoors is entirely safe.

I’ve been using one for the better part of 5 years, which has been life-changing since I live in a very polluted country.

However, I came across a few reports of people saying the carbon filters in their units have been re-releasing the odors they initially captured.

This only happens if the carbon filter is old and the carbon has been used up.

I have never experienced this issue because I change my carbon filters per the suggestions of the user manual of my air purifier.

So, make sure to change your carbon filter periodically to avoid this from happening to you too.

I change mine every 8-12 months and use my air purifier 24/7.

Changing your carbon filter every 12-16 months will likely be fine if you use your air purifier less frequently.

Do read your particular air purifier user manual to be sure.

What Does A Carbon Filter Do? Conclusion

Carbon filters are an excellent way to purify the air from all the gas particles indoors.

A carbon filter will come in handy to eliminate cooking odors, pet-related smells, smoke from a fire, or nasty and lingering cigarette odors.

Granted, air purifiers with a multi-stage filtration system that includes a carbon filter can be expensive.

However, I can vouch for them and say they are worth the money, especially if you want a fresh-smelling home.

Should You Use a Surge Protector With A Space Heater?

Growing up in a warmer climate, I never needed a space heater or any similar appliance to keep myself warm.

This was even the case during the winter when the temperatures were still high enough not to need heating in my childhood home.

Since moving up north a couple of years ago, the dramatic temperature difference practically forced me to buy a space heater.

My apartment was small, and I didn’t need to use central heating since it would cost me more.

And I can say with confidence that I don’t regret it one bit as the space heater is a compact and economical tool that can easily do the job when I’m at home.

Read more

Why Do Space Heaters Trip Breakers?

If you live in a colder climate, space heaters are a common addition to your home. 

Unfortunately, they lead to something else that’s fairly common, something that prompts people to ask why do space heaters trip breakers.

Is your space heater constantly tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse?

There are several reasons why this could be happening. 

The following will take you through probable causes and what you can do to fix the problem.

Check Your Space Heater for Damage

If your space heater is tripping your breaker, take a look at the power cord.

What is the condition of the cord? Is it:

  • Broken
  • Burned 
  • Chewed
  • Frayed 

If there’s any damage to the cord at all, stop using your space heater.

Of the four listed above, a burned cord is the most dangerous, since it means there’s an electrical problem. 

And there’s the potential to burn more than the cord.

If you’re handy, it is possible to replace appliance cords, however, you need to be sure to choose a replacement wire and plug that have the same gauge or carry the same current as your original. 

If you’re not comfortable doing this, it may be time to buy a new space heater.

Do Your Space Heaters Trip Breakers Randomly or Consistently?

Does this happen consistently or does your space heater trip your breakers randomly and occasionally?

Having your circuit breakers trip randomly or occasionally typically isn’t a cause for concern. 

However, if you always run your space heater from the same outlet and it trips every time you use it, there’s a good chance the issue isn’t your space heater.

What happens if you plug something else into that outlet? 

Especially something that doesn’t use the amount of wattage that your space heater has. 

If something like a small hand blender works without stopping, it could simply be that the circuit you’re running your space heater on doesn’t have the capacity for your space heater.

It’s never a good idea to ignore a circuit breaker that’s constantly tripping. 

It’s often an indication that there’s something wrong, somewhere.

Simply running to your breaker box and re-engaging the breaker every time it trips is not the answer. 

Your breaker is designed to trip as a safety feature—it can save you from an electrical fire starting in your home. 

So it’s important to find out why your breaker is stripping.

Circuit Overload

Most space heaters use 1,500 watts of electricity, which isn’t insignificant. 

A 1,500-watt space heater, used at a high setting, will draw 12.5 amps. 

In North America, 20 amp circuits are commonly used for general-purpose receptacles—meaning most of the outlets you’ll find around your home.

What else do you have running on that circuit? 

If, for example, you had your space heater plus another appliance that draws the same number of amps, your circuit would be overloaded, and your breaker would trip.

And it isn’t always obvious what outlets are on the same circuit. 

While they’re often clustered fairly close together, perhaps in the same or adjoining rooms, they could be on separate floors.

Does your space heater trip the breaker when nothing else is running or does the breaker trip when there’s something else drawing electricity from the same circuit?

Solution. Try running your space heater using a different outlet—preferably one that has nothing else running on. 

If your breaker doesn’t trip, it means the issue is not with your space heater. 

You’re either overloading the previous outlet and circuit or there’s a problem with the circuit. 

If there’s a problem with the circuit, that will require an electrician.

Space Heater Trips Breaker Because of a Short Circuit

Short circuits or potentially dangerous, so identifying the problem is critical. 

At the very least, they can give you a shock or damage your space heater. 

At the very worst, they can cause a fire in your home.

When wires become loose and come in contact with each other, this can cause a short circuit, which in turn causes a surge of electricity. 

This overloads the circuit and causes your breaker to trip. 

This is a required safety measure.

Additionally, if there are any wires or electrical connections within your space heater, they may be the cause of the problem.

There’s also the chance that the problem does not originate with your space heater but with the outlet or switch your heater is on. 

This could be because of faulty or old wiring at the outlet or switch, or even nails or screws that have damaged the wire.

Solutions. First, and if you haven’t already, check the wiring on your space heater. 

If you have a pet or rodents that are chewing on your wires or perhaps a wire that is old and frayed, it needs to be replaced. 

Either the cord or the entire space heater.

You can also do a short-circuit test. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Switch off the breaker
  2. Unplug everything on the circuit
  3. Wait a few minutes
  4. Switch the breaker back on
  5. One at a time, plug in and turn on each device or appliance, waiting a few seconds in between to see if and when a circuit breaker trips

If your breaker consistently trips at a specific outlet—for example, the one your space heater is plugged into—there’s a good chance you have a short.

Discontinue using that outlet or switch until you have it repaired by an electrician.

Extension Cord Use

It’s very common for space heaters to trip breakers when you’re using an extension cord. 

It’s also hazardous to plug a space heater into an extension cord.

If you must plug your heater into an extension cord, a 12-gauge cord is your best option. 

A typical indoor 16-gauge cord, especially one that’s very long, will not only cause your breaker trip, but it could also burn down your home.

Regular extension cords can typically only handle about 750 watts, but most space heaters use 1,500 watts.

Circuit Breaker Failure

Another thing to consider if your space heater trips your breaker is that the problem is with your breaker or breaker box.

A breaker consistently tripping may indicate that the box itself is failing or that you have an improperly sized breaker.

There are a few signs to look for when pinpointing a bad breaker.

  • A breaker that refuses to reset
  • a burning odor on the panel
  • Any sign of damage on the breaker, such as scorch marks
  • Frequently tripping breakers
  • Lamps or lights that constantly flicker 

Problems with circuit breakers and breaker boxes aren’t that common in newer homes. 

Still, if you have an older home and haven’t had work done on your electrical panel for years, you may need to replace some of your breakers.

Stop Your Space Heater from Tripping Your Breaker

Here are several tips to help you deal with space heaters that trip breakers.

  • Before purchasing and plugging in a new space heater, check the amperage rating on the outlet you plan to use it on. Compare that to the number of watts to amps your new space heater will use in a high setting.
  • If your space heater only trips your breaker when operating on high, test to see how it works on lower settings.
  • Remember that each circuit only supplies a limited number of amps. Many space heaters use 12.5 amps, and older homes may only have circuits rated at 15 amps. Keep this in mind when selecting which outlet to plug your heater into.
  • Don’t plug your space heater into an extension cord. If you must use an extension cord, use a 16-gauge cord. 
  • Place your heater somewhere where it won’t overheat. Your manual should tell you the minimum distance to place your heater away from furniture and walls. In many cases, this is anywhere from 24 to 36 inches.
  • Never place anything on your space heater—wet towels, mittens, hats, or socks. This is a fire hazard. 
  • Always put your heater on a stable surface. Some newer heaters have trip-over protection, meaning they will shut themselves off if they fall.

Conclusion

Most heaters draw a lot of power, which is potentially dangerous if not used properly.

If you have a space heater continually tripping your breaker, don’t ignore it. 

A tripping breaker is a warning sign that there is something wrong with your heater or with the outlet you have it plugged into.

Read the heater’s manual, paying attention to the manufacturer’s safety measures.

Air Purifier Vs HVAC Filter: Which is Better?

The quick answer?

Neither. 

They are different products that serve other purposes.

But there may be some confusion about their differences, and a lack of understanding may make homeowners wonder. 

So before dealing with the air purifier vs. HVAC filter issue, let’s clear up the differences between them first.  

Using an HVAC filter will improve the air quality in your home, but with limitations. 

Although HEPA filters can remove minute particles, they can, and do, destroy many systems thanks to reduced airflow. 

Whether a home can use a HEPA filter or not, an air purifier finishes the job an HVAC filter starts.

Bottom line? 

No matter what kind of air filter your system uses, it may not be enough to purify the air in your home. 

So can we say there’s a clear winner in the air purifier vs. HVAC filter debate? 

Read on.

Your HVAC Filter’s Job

Did you know that the first job of your HVAC filter has nothing to do with you breathing in clean air?

First and foremost, the purpose of your HVAC filter is to protect your equipment, not your health or your lungs. 

The filter plays a significant role in the efficiency and performance of your system. 

Air quality is of secondary importance. On the other hand, a standalone air purifier has one job—keeping the air you breathe clean.

It’s only in the last few decades that an increased emphasis has been placed on air quality. 

And HVAC filters began to address health issues—in addition to their role in your air handler.

Before air moves over your system’s blower, the filter removes large and or small particles—depending on what type of filter you use. 

So the air is free of particles after going through your system and back out of your supply vents.

More importantly, that debris doesn’t get the chance to interfere with the operation of your system. 

But let’s not forget that HVAC filters have a secondary job—keeping the air you breathe clean.

The efficiency and performance of a filter—how well it protects the system and your health collectively—is measured by something called MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.

MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with 16 being the most restrictive—it filters the smallest particles and airborne contaminants. 

So HVAC systems in hospitals are typically built to handle MERV 16. 

And thanks to COVID, many new and retrofitted commercial buildings now have systems that handle MERV 13 at least.

Of course, you also want the best air quality at home, right? 

There’s a list of things a good filter can clean from the air you breathe. 

They include:

  • Certain bacteria & germs 
  • Dust
  • Mites
  • Mold and mildew
  • Pet dander 
  • Pet hair
  • Pollen 
  • Tobacco and cooking smoke
  • VOCs (volatile organic compounds) 

Unfortunately, you can only add a MERV 16 HVAC filter if you know your system can handle it.

What do I mean by that?

HVAC systems aren’t cookie-cutter. 

Every different home has a unique system—or at least it should. 

And each system has its own airflow requirements. 

And there is a good chance a high MERV filter will restrict a significant amount of air thanks to a pressure drop in the system. 

If that goes on for any length of time, you’re looking at an expensive repair or replacement of your system’s blower motor.

If your system could use a MERV 16, “the air purifier vs. HVAC filter” battle may be clear, with the filter as the winner.

Air Purifier vs. HVAC Filter: When an HVAC Filter isn’t Enough

No two homes are precisely the same. They may be the cookie-cutter homes mentioned above. 

Still, your family, pets, furnishings, cooking habits, and more all make your home unique.

That means your air quality requirements are unique as well.

It also means that, in some cases, an HVAC filter may be sufficient. Even if your system can only take a lower MERV filter.

Here are a few possible scenarios.

If you live alone with no pets, you’re a non-smoker—at least in your home, you keep your home dust and dirt free and only eat takeout, there’s a good chance you don’t have a lot of odors or nasty things floating around in the air. 

Add to that a lack of allergies or other respiratory problems, then that filter should be enough.

On the other hand, if you have a medium to a large family, one or more furry pets, someone in the household smokes inside, and you only vacuum or dust when the bunnies start to attack, you may need an air purifier. 

Especially if you or someone in the family has respiratory troubles.

In the first of those two scenarios, those considering an air purifier vs. an HVAC filter may decide that the filter is sufficient. 

And they might be right.

When You Don’t Have a Central HVAC Filter

Depending on where you live and the age of your home, there’s a good chance your home doesn’t have a central HVAC system—and you have no HVAC filter.

You’ll know you have a central system if your home has ductwork running throughout. 

But if you heat your home with baseboard heaters or underfloor radiant heat, you’re missing out on the benefits of a good filter.

The filter collects pollutants as air passes over it.

This is different from saying portable heating, and cooling appliances don’t have filtering capabilities. 

Many—if not most—models do. 

This could include:

  • Window or portable air conditioners 
  • Mini-splits 
  • Space heaters
  • Baseboard heaters 

However, none of these will give you the kind of protection a high MERV filter could provide, and certainly not what you’d get if using an air purifier.

How Air Purifiers Work

Now that you understand how air filters work and their possible limitations, let’s talk about air purifiers. 

This will put you in a better position to choose between an air purifier vs. HVAC filter.

Air purifiers are portable, standalone appliances that have one purpose—to improve the air quality in your home. 

They do this by sanitizing the air of a variety of pollutants.

Some might wonder why they should care about indoor air quality. 

Because according to the EPA, indoor air can carry five times the amount of pollutants that outdoor air has. 

And in colder months, when your home is closed up, those pollutants are trapped inside you. 

There is no way you can escape breathing them in.

Unlike HVAC filters that remove—if they can—particles and pollutants from the air, an air purifier sanitizes the air. 

The definition of sanitizing is to make it clean and hygienic; disinfect.

For all that they do, air purifiers are relatively simplistic. They have a fan to pull in the air. 

They have a filter—or filters—typically made of paper, fiberglass, or mesh. 

Once the air moves across the filter, it is pushed back into your home. 

The amount and types of pollutants removed from your living space depending on the purifier and filter.

If you have a high-efficiency filter, they can remove particles as small as 2.5 microns, which is about the size of pet dander.

Air purifiers that use ultraviolet filters can also destroy mold and bacteria. Purifiers with activated charcoal filters can remove gases, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and smoke particles. 

If you’re comparing air purifiers vs. HVAC filters, you would need the highest rating of MERV filter to achieve the equivalent.

Depending on the make and model of an air purifier, you may be able to find one that will stop particles as small as .01 microns. 

A MERV 16 HVAC filter will only stop particles at a minimum of .3 microns. 

Anything denser than this—like a HEPA filter—will impede airflow and potentially destroy your HVAC system.

This point alone indicates there is a clear winner in the air purifier vs. HVAC filter debate—depending on the air purifier.

Air Purifier Versus HVAC Filter: Aesthetics & Noise

This may be irrelevant to some people, but your HVAC filter is hidden away at the air handler of your HVAC system. 

An air purifier is out in the open and will take up floor space.

Like any other portable HVAC appliance, you will hear your air purifier running. 

An HVAC filter will not add any additional noise to your living space.

The Benefits of an Air Purifier

Keep in mind we’re not comparing apples to apples.

There’s a good chance that an air purifier will do a better job killing germs, bacteria, mold, and a selection of viruses.

This isn’t to say that an HVAC filter isn’t capable of doing these things, but remember, a filter merely catches and holds particles. 

Depending on the model, an air purifier goes a step further. 

It sanitizes your air by killing germs, bacteria, and mold.

This means cleaner air and fewer respiratory issues for you and your family.

Air Purifier vs HVAC Filter: Conclusion

In many cases, an air purifier is the better choice if you’re considering an air purifier vs. an HVAC filter. 

This assumes your HVAC system can’t handle a very dense filter.

And the condition of your home and the needs of your family call for something that will filter out a wider variety and size of pollutants.

Remember that all air purifiers are not created equal when doing your research. 

If you or your family have allergies or asthma, select something that will do more than contain pollutants—it will also kill them.

Are Space Heaters Bad For Your Health?

Are space heaters bad for your health? 

Are space heaters dangerous? 

Both are questions that pop up fairly often.

The answers to both are yes, no, and maybe.

Let’s break it down and clear the air, so you know which answer applies to your circumstances.

Are Space Heaters Bad for Your Health? Yes.

Yes, that’s right. 

Sometimes that space heater is terrible for your health.

Your space heater needs to be installed or fixed

This is going to depend on what type of space heater you have. 

If you have something that runs on natural gas or kerosene, it can release a lot of carbon monoxide into the air.

If you experience the following symptoms when using a fueled space heater, stop using it immediately. If your symptoms progress, you should seek medical attention immediately.

  • Chest pain
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Your space heater is vent-free

Any space heater that’s unvented—or vent-free—can lead to CO poisoning. 

This is any type of heater that doesn’t have a chimney.

The lack of a chimney means all combustion gases discharge into your home instead of outdoors. 

Depending on the type of fuel and burner technology, combustion gases can release several toxic substances, including, but not limited to:

  • Carbon monoxide 
  • Hydrogen oxides
  • Sulfur oxides
  • Unburned hydrocarbons
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Some examples of vent-free space heaters are:

  • Certain wall-mount fireplaces 
  • Gas stove fireplaces 

Your room isn’t properly vented.

Fireplaces are just one concern. 

Using a small portable space heater that runs on any fuel can release carbon monoxide.

You’re using a heater to heat a room, so it’s unlikely you have a window open. 

But a lack of ventilation, in conjunction with a fueled heater, can lead to various respiratory problems, allergies, and other diseases.

Sleeping in an unvented room using a propane or gas heater is particularly dangerous.

Space heaters can reduce indoor relative humidity.

This one applies even if you’re using an electric space heater.

Here’s a bit of a science lesson. 

When the heater warms the air in the room, it increases the air’s capacity to hold moisture. 

If you don’t have a source of moisture running—such as a humidifier—at the same time, the relative humidity drops. 

Meaning your air is getting drier.

The relative humidity is the amount of water the air is holding compared to how much it can.

Is low indoor humidity such a bad thing? 

Yes. 

It can damage your eyes, your skin, and your respiratory tract. 

A lack of moisture will irritate your eyes, making your skin flaky and itchy. 

It also dries out and inflames the mucous membrane that lines your respiratory tract. 

This increases the risk of colds, the flu, and other infections.

Low humidity also causes viruses to linger in the air longer, and these days, none of us want to be anywhere where there’s a virus hovering in the air around us.

Some studies also show that a lack of air humidity can hurt our performance and productivity.

Are Space Heaters Bad for Your Health? No.

Sometimes, space heaters are bad for your health, but at other times they’re not.

There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation floating around the internet regarding different kinds of space heaters.

Infrared heaters do not give you cancer.

Despite what some claim, you don’t have to worry about your infrared space heater giving you cancer. 

Apparently, since these heaters operate by producing radiation, some assume they’re a cancer risk. 

However, studies have proven that infrared radiation won’t cause cancer since it’s non-ionizing.

Do not confuse (UV)ultraviolet rays or x-rays with infrared. 

Both UV and x-rays are carcinogenic. 

They can cause cancer cells to grow, resulting in skin cancer. 

This is the result of ionization, and as stated above, infrared isn’t ionizing.

Are Space Heaters Bad for Your Health? Maybe.

There are no definitives in the maybe category.

Electric space heaters probably aren’t bad for your health.

Since there’s no fuel in an electric heater, you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes or carbon monoxide poisoning. 

However, that’s not to say they’re entirely danger-free.

An electric heater will suck the moisture out of the air like any other heater.

It may be a good idea to run a humidifier using a space heater. 

As mentioned above, dry air can cause the following problems.

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Flaky, itchy skin
  • A dry, inflamed respiratory tract can lead to an increased risk of colds and cases of flu
  • Viruses live in linger longer in dry air
  • Performance and productivity can be negatively impacted
  • Nosebleeds
  • Sinus problems

Space Heater Hazards

Regardless of what kind of space heater you use, there are some hazards to be aware of.

While there are some cool-to-touch space heaters, they will be hot to touch in many cases. 

This is potentially hazardous to anyone in the home, especially young children and pets.

You should also never operate any heater near flammable materials, chemicals, or vapors. 

You also need to be careful not to block airflow. 

Always check your space heater’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on where to place the heater from furniture and walls.

Generally, no space heater should be less than 3 feet from flammable objects.

Typical flammable objects found around the home include:

  • Cooking oil 
  • Dryer lint
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mattresses
  • Most laundry products
  • Nail polish, nail polish remover, and many beauty products
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Some draperies

Slim, your space heater will be near your cooking oil or dryer lint.

But many people have a space heater in their bedroom or bathroom—near your mattress or beauty products. 

Is your space heater 3 feet away from danger? 

If not, third-degree burns would be horrible for your health.

The Different Types of Space Heaters: Pros and Cons

We’ve talked about a few different types of space heaters in this article.

Let’s briefly discuss the pros and cons of each type regardless of their impact on your health.

Gas Space Heaters Pros

Fuel-operated space heaters produce the highest heat output— often at the lowest cost.

They operate much like infrared space heaters in that they heat the objects in a room instead of the air.

Gas Space Heaters Cons

As detailed above, fuel-operated space heaters can emit harmful carbon dioxide.

You typically spend more on a gas heater when compared to an electric heater, and there’s an array of features you should look for.

Ensure your gas heater has a low oxygen sensor, overheat protection, automatic shut-off, and high-temperature safety guards. 

All of these things add to the cost.

Infrared/Radiant Space Heater Pros

Like gas-powered heaters, infrared heaters heat bodies and objects instead of the air. 

This typically means that you’ll feel the heat immediately. 

These are excellent options for smaller rooms or rooms with high ceilings.

If you have children or pets in the home, these heaters are often the best choice since they stay cool to the touch.

Infrared heaters offer superior efficiency.

Infrared/Radiant Space Heater Cons

To enjoy the heat of an infrared heater, you must place it within a direct line of your seating area.

Final Thoughts

As you can see from above, while some space heaters may be worse than others when it comes to your health, others will have little to no impact.

Heaters that use kerosene, gas, wood, or oil come with the threat of releasing carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.

Both of which are carcinogenic, meaning they can give you cancer. 

They can also trigger a host of other symptoms.

Electric space heaters may be relatively healthy, but they still cause the humidity in your home to drop.

And lack of humidity is known to cause health issues.

And if your concern was whether infrared heaters cause cancer, that’s not true.

Regardless, with the proper ventilation and/or humidifier, no space heater should cause any serious problems. 

And for additional security, consider getting a CO2 air quality monitor if you don’t already have one.

Can an Air Purifier Cause a Sore Throat?

So, air purification is an important topic. 

Depending on where you live, it might even be important to your longevity. However, can air purifiers cause a sore throat?

The answer is, “That depends”.

If you go on Quora or any other online Q&A forums, you’ll find many people asking this exact question. 

It’s not uncommon for people to experience a sore throat, among other systems, and for their air purifier to look like the most likely culprit.

Reported Adverse Effects of Air Purifier Exposure

The anecdotal evidence that air purifiers make people sick is abundant. 

Many people complain of headaches and sore throats, alongside less common complaints of other issues.

The reality is that some types of air purifiers can cause harm.

Air Ionizers

According to the Mayo Clinic, some air purifiers can cause adverse effects. 

Specifically, air ionizer purifiers have been shown to produce several health problems:

  • Coughing
  • Throat irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Increased risk of respiratory infections

However, these effects are only reported from the use of ozone inhalation. Air ionizer air purifiers produce ozone to mask indoor odors. 

When inhaled, ozone can irritate the lungs, producing adverse effects, particularly in those with asthma.

Ozone is a naturally occurring gas important to Earth’s upper atmosphere. 

However, at ground level, it doesn’t produce a helpful result in terms of air pollution. In fact, at ground level, ozone is classified as an air pollutant.

Air ionizers release small amounts of ozone, but prolonged exposure, even to small amounts, can be irritating to the lungs. 

Air ionizers are not a healthy response to poor air quality. 

They are, however, proven to produce harmful gas.

When inhaled, ozone can cause multiple problems:

  • Throat soreness
  • Throat irritation
  • Lung irritation
  • Coughing

These occurrences are so common that ozone is probably the reason if you’ve heard rumors of air purifiers causing a sore throat or other problems.

How Much Ozone is Too Much?

Ozone in any amount won’t have a positive effect on your respiration. But the amount officially considered “dangerous” depends on the relevant regulatory bodies in your locality.

In California, the safety standard for ozone is that the air purifier should not produce more than 70 parts per billion during 8 hours.

Like many other localities’ regulations, California’s regulations are very specific.

There is no universal standard as to how much ozone is harmful.

Do All Air Purifiers Cause Respiratory Problems?

Actually, only some types of air purifiers aggravate the problems they are supposed to solve.

Some types of air purifiers work as intended and filter harmful elements out of the air. 

The most effective air filters you can use for this purpose are HEPA filter-based air purifiers.

HEPA Air Purifiers

High-Efficiency Particulate Air Delivery (HEPA) filters are also “mechanical filters.” 

They are the best option if you aim to remove the vast majority of pollutants 0.3 micrometers in size. 

In practice, that means that HEPA air purifiers will effectively filter out:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Other allergens and pollutants

Of course, removing harmful pollutants and allergens from the air doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t experience discomfort.

Overall, certified HEPA air purifiers, when operating normally, are incredibly safe.

Can HEPA Air Purifiers Cause A Sore Throat?

HEPA air purifiers operating as intended will not cause a sore throat.

To ensure the air purifier is “operating as intended,” you must read the manual and maintain the air purifier as instructed.

The only case where a HEPA air purifier will not work or cause problems is when you do not use them for a long time.

When an air purifier is unused for an extended period, sometimes bacteria will form on the filter. 

Mold can also develop, leading to more direct and painful distress. 

Then, once you turn the purifier on, these germs will be released into the air and inhaled by everyone.

Despite the concern, this may cause you, the good news is that these problems are easily avoidable in HEPA air purifiers. 

You need to do a few things to make sure this doesn’t happen:

  • Change your air filter regularly, as instructed by the manufacturer
  • If you aren’t going to use your air purifier for a long time, remove the filter and store it safely

If you can follow those steps, a HEPA filter is almost sure to work as intended and improve your air quality.

What About Other Types of Air Purifiers?

We’ve already gone over the least harmful and most effective air purifiers. But there are a few other types:

  • Ultraviolet
  • Activated carbon (most use HEPA filters)
  • Electronic air cleaners (most use HEPA filters)
  • Air-to-air exchangers

Overall, no other type of air purifier is proven to cause any of the problems that air ionizers do. 

This is especially true of any kind that uses a HEPA filter.

What is the Difference Between a HEPA Purifier and a HEPA Filter?

“True HEPA” air purifiers meet the Department of Energy’s HEPA standards. They are superior to alternatives that use HEPA filters.

A HEPA filter is a pleated mechanical filter that meets the air quality measures set by the US Department of Energy. 

They are defined by their ability to capture 99.97% of airborne particles sized 0.3 microns. However, a “HEPA-type filter” only needs to remove 99% of such particles. These are known as the most penetrating particle size (MPPS). 

That means that they are capable of removing the following:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Mold
  • Any other airborne particles

Conclusions

Only a few kinds of air purifiers cause sore throats when misused. 

Most other air purifiers won’t cause sore throats or any other symptoms unless they aren’t properly maintained.

If you’re worried about the harmful effects air purifiers can cause, you should avoid ozone-emitting devices. 

True HEPA air purifiers are the most healthy and effective of all air purifiers. 

They should not cause any adverse health effects when appropriately maintained.

How to Clean a HEPA Filter

Nearly all air purifiers on the market feature a HEPA filter as part of the filtration system.

And unlike UV air purifiers, those with a HEPA filter must be cleaned regularly to function properly.

When I first bought my air purifier, I had no idea what a HEPA filter even was, never mind that I needed to clean it.

So, if you’re wondering how to clean the HEPA filter in your air purifier, you are in the right place.

In this guide, I will show you step-by-step how to clean a HEPA filter safely, so you can prolong the filter’s lifespan and use it for longer.

On top of that, I’ll go over how often you should clean your HEPA filter, the risks of doing it, and other relevant information I wish I had known back in the day.

Before going into any details, I want to familiarize you with HEPA filters.

What Is a HEPA Filter?

HEPA stands for High-efficiency Particulate Air.

A HEPA filter is a mechanical filter that consists of an amazing fiberglass mesh designed to capture 99.97% of solid particles as small as 0.3 microns.

0.3 microns in size is practically invisible to the eye, so you can imagine how fine the fiberglass mesh is to capture such solid particles.

In this size bracket, you’ll find particles such as dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles in the air.

The size of particles your particular HEPA filter can capture will depend on the HEPA filter itself.

This is because HEPA filters come in ratings between 1 and 16, with 1 being the worst and 16 being the best.

I recommend against going for any HEPA filters below H13, as they won’t be as effective.

In other words, the lower your filter’s HEPA rating, the larger particles it will let slip through.

Why am I telling you all this?

It’s nice to know and essential when cleaning the HEPA filter itself.

The fiberglass mesh is so fine that any damage caused by your cleaning can render the filter useless.

And before we go into the next section, there’s one more thing I need to tell you about.

It’s how to spot fake versus authentic HEPA filters.

Since HEPA filters are extremely popular amongst consumers, you can expect there to be a lot of fakes on the market.

Such filters are not only a waste of money but might lead you to believe air purifiers are useless when the filter is at fault.

So, when shopping for a HEPA filter, ensure it’s a “true HEPA filter.”

These filters have passed all the standards necessary and are guaranteed to do the job.

Types of Cleanable HEPA Filters

There are two types of cleanable HEPA filters: washable and permanent.

If you don’t see any of these descriptors on the packaging or manual of your air purifier, then don’t clean your HEPA filters.

Instead, it would help if you replace the HEPA filters after a couple of months to keep your air purifier running correctly.

But if you have a washable or permanent HEPA filter, here are the steps you should follow.

Cleaning a Washable HEPA Filter

This type of HEPA filter is washable.

To clean a washable HEPA filter, all you need to do is run it under cold water.

All these filters need is a quick rinse every couple of months, which will work wonders for their lifespan.

When doing this, avoid any cleaning agents you think might help.

Scrubbing or brushing the HEPA filter can significantly damage it as it can destroy the delicate fiberglass mesh used to capture different particles.

Once you’re done rinsing it, you must leave it out to dry before reinstalling it in the air purifier.

That’s all it takes to wash these filters, but you have to ensure it’s dry before reinstalling them.

You risk damaging the machine if you put it back in the air purifier when it’s wet.

Mold and mildew will develop inside the air purifier, which isn’t something you want.

If the weather is warm, 48 hours should be plenty; if not, leave it out for a few days until you’re confident it’s thoroughly dry.

Cleaning a Permanent HEPA Filter

You can only clean your HEPA filter with water if it explicitly states it’s washable.

If you have a permanent HEPA filter, you can also clean it, but you should not use water.

If you use water on these filters, you risk doing irreversible damage to the filter.

Instead, you should clean these filters carefully using a vacuum with a soft brush.

To clean a permanent HEPA filter, remove any significant chunks of dirt you can see using the vacuum.

Remember, these filters capture dirt and dust, so a little build-up is fine.

When cleaning a permanent HEPA filter, your goal should only be removing large dust clumps, as getting deep into the filter could damage the mesh.

This is also why you need to replace your HEPA filter with a new one after a few cleans.

How to Tell if I Should Clean or Replace My HEPA Filter

For best results, it’s always good to completely replace your HEPA after you’ve used it for 8-12 months.

If you have an air purifier for pets, and your furry animals shed a lot of fur, you should do it more often.

However, that’s unnecessary in most cases, as you can clean the filter and prolong its lifespan.

Determining whether your HEPA filter can do with one more clean before replacing it can be a tough call for the untrained eye.

There are two things to consider when making this decision.

You want to consider how long the filter has been used and how many times you’ve cleaned it already.

If you’ve cleaned the filter several times and have had the purifier for over a year, it’s safe to assume it’s time for a replacement filter.

How to Clean a HEPA Filter Safely and Effectively

There are definite risks that come with cleaning a HEPA filter, even if you have a washable or permanent model.

That said, there are still many benefits to cleaning your HEPA filter regularly, especially if you aren’t keen on replacing the filter every 6 months.

So, if you plan on cleaning your HEPA filter, the least you can do is ensure that you’re doing so safely.

I’ll go through some tips to remember when cleaning your HEPA filter to ensure that you are as safe as possible when cleaning your air purifier HEPA filter.

Take Your Air Purifier Outside

If the weather allows, there’s no better place to clean your HEPA filter than outside.

This is because the second you open your unit, dust, pollen, and other solid particles will start to fly out of it.

And if you’re inside, all the particles the unit has captured up to this date will end up in your indoor air, get stuck in the carpet, or cover surfaces nearby.

If that were to happen, it would have defeated the whole purpose of running your air purifier all that time.

Clear the Room (If Cleaning the Filter Inside)

While I highly suggest cleaning your HEPA filter outside, there are times when you have no choice but to clean it indoors.

When doing this, it’s best to make sure that the only person in the room is the one who will clean the air purifier.

That way, no one else is at unnecessary risk of inhaling harmful particles.

If there are people at home with respiratory conditions, they are the least viable to clean the filter.

So, I suggest asking anyone with respiratory conditions to exit the room when you clean the HEPA filter to keep the risks as low as possible.

Wear Gloves and a Mask

The last tip I can give you is to wear the appropriate protective gear when cleaning your HEPA filter.

When you do this, ensure that you don’t inhale or come into contact with harmful particles when cleaning the filter.

The best protective equipment to wear when cleaning a HEPA filter is gloves and a mask.

But if you can, I suggest wearing goggles, as getting dust and other harmful particles in your eyes are far from ideal.

Take Out the HEPA Filter

Once you’ve established a place where you’re going to clean the HEPA filter and have all the equipment ready, it’s time to take apart the air purifier.

The first thing you need to do is make sure it is off and unplugged from any power source.

Next up, you need to open up the casing of your air purifier.

This process can vary from model to model and brand to brand, so check out the user manual for more instructions.

I use the Levoit 300S, and all I have to do to access the filter is to rotate the unit’s base to the left until it opens up.

Once you’ve opened the casing, find and remove the HEPA filter.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner

Once out of the casing, a vacuum cleaner is the only way to clean it if you have a permanent HEPA filter.

Ideally, you want to use the gentlest setting on your vacuum cleaner and avoid using attachments that can damage the filter.

Additionally, it’s best to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter so the harmful particles won’t end up floating around the air.

And if you own a permanent HEPA filter without a vacuum, consider cleaning it every now and then.

You should only clean permanent HEPA filters with a vacuum cleaner. 

If you don’t have one, you’re better off not cleaning it and just replacing it as necessary.

Are All HEPA Filters Cleaned the Same Way?

Generally speaking, yes, all HEPA filters are cleaned the same way.

This is because no matter how big or small, at the end of the day, they are the same, just different in size.

So, practice the advice I provided you above when cleaning your particular HEPA filter, and you should be fine.

And if you encounter any trouble, refer to your unit’s user manual or watch a video on YouTube.

That’s what I did when I had to clean my HEPA filter for the first time all those years ago.

How Often Should a HEPA Filter Be Cleaned?

As per the recommendations of experts, I use my air purifier 24/7.

And as a result of that, my air purifier will collect much more particles compared to someone using their unit for just 8 hours a day.

So, when it comes to the regularity between which you need to clean your HEPA filter, there are three things you need to consider.

How often you use your air purifier, how polluted the air in your area is, and how big your air purifier’s HEPA filter actually is.

The more often you use your unit, the more polluted your area is, and the smaller the HEPA filter, the more you need to clean it.

To give you a rule of thumb, I clean my HEPA filter every 2-4 weeks, use my unit all the time, and live in the city center in one of the biggest cities in the country.

How Many Times Can I Clean My HEPA Filter Before Replacing?

It’s not recommended that you clean your HEPA filter because you can’t clean it as well as needed to make it as clean as new.

Instead, manufacturers suggest that you replace your HEPA filter every 8-12 months.

With that in mind, as someone who wants to maximize their money, I decided to clean the HEPA filter myself and prolong its lifetime by at least another 50%.

And to be honest, it worked.

After taking proper and regular care of my HEPA filter, I replace my HEPA filter every 14-16 months.

Regarding the cleaning-to-changing ratio, that depends on how often you use your unit.

Risks to Cleaning a HEPA Filter

Even if there are certain HEPA filters that you can clean to extend their lifespan, it might not be the best idea.

I still recommend cleaning these filters every now and then so you won’t have to replace them often.

But before doing so, I suggest learning about the different risks and what you can do to mitigate them when cleaning your HEPA filter below.

You Might Damage the Filter

The most significant risk that you want to consider when using a HEPA filter is the damage you might cause to the actual filter.

Let me explain why.

As mentioned earlier, HEPA filters consist of a fine fiberglass mesh that captures tiny particles.

And when I say fine mesh, I mean it.

The mesh on the HEPA filters used for air purifiers is usually small enough to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns.

That means that the fiberglass mesh is very delicate.

When you clean your HEPA filter, you must be as gentle as possible, as even a light force can tear and damage the mesh.

Once you damage the mesh on a HEPA filter, larger particles can start escaping through the filter, so your air purifier won’t capture particles as effectively as before.

While this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t clean permanent or washable HEPA filters, it does mean that you have to take extra care when doing so.

You Will Release Harmful Airborne Particles 

When you clean the HEPA filter of your air purifier, you have to open up the appliance to reach the filter.

Opening an air purifier risks releasing all the dust and harmful airborne particles it has already captured into the air.

And while the dust that comes from the pre-filter isn’t something you should worry about, the dust inside the HEPA filter is much finer and hard to see.

When you remove the HEPA filter from your air purifier, you risk inhaling all the trapped particles.

This can be very dangerous, especially if you struggle with allergies and other respiratory conditions.

If you must clean your HEPA filter, I recommend doing so outdoors.

That way, the harmful particles trapped inside the filter are dispersed into the air.

If you do this indoors, the dust and other particles might circulate around the room or get on different surfaces.

This completely defeats the purpose of using an air purifier.

It’s also one of the reasons why some people don’t recommend cleaning your HEPA filter at all and just replacing it every 6-8 months.

Another thing you can do when cleaning your HEPA filter is to make sure you’re wearing a face mask and other PPE.

That way, any dust particles that try to enter your lungs won’t be able to, keeping you as safe as possible.

You Need a HEPA Filter to Clean a HEPA Filter

If you have a washable HEPA filter, this won’t be that much of an issue, as you can rinse the filter under cold water to clean it.

However, if you have a permanent HEPA filter, you can’t use just any vacuum to clean it up.

If your vacuum cleaner doesn’t have a HEPA filter, the whole cleaning process is pointless.

Cleaning a HEPA filter with a vacuum without a HEPA filter means various particles are released back into the air.

Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters can capture dust particles and ensure they stay inside the bag or dust container.

That way, you can remove all the dust build-ups in your HEPA filter without worrying about the particles entering indoors.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your HEPA Filter?

The consequences of not cleaning your air purifier can be severe both for the filter and the appliance.

When I first bought my air purifier, I didn’t clean the HEPA filter for nearly 3 months until I found out it’s something I need to do much more often.

The results weren’t as devastating, but the filter was extremely clogged up, and I could tell the air purifier was struggling.

This is because when the filter clogs up with particles, it will have difficulty pushing the clean air past the filter, causing the unit to work harder.

If you don’t clean your HEPA filter, you’ll impact the effectiveness of your air purifier.

On top of that, you also risk tearing the filter or damaging the motor, at which point, you might as well buy a new air purifier.

So, to get the most out of your unit, keep an eye on it and conduct regular maintenance.

How To Clean A HEPA Filter: Conclusion

Cleaning your HEPA filter regularly is a fantastic way to ensure it serves its purpose for longer than intended.

For best results, clean your HEPA filter every 2-4 weeks, depending on how regularly you use your air purifier.

That said, keep in mind that only some HEPA filters can be cleaned, and you have to take care when cleaning them to ensure you don’t damage the filter.

So, before you open up your air purifier to clean the filter, make sure that you check whether or not the filter is cleanable.

Then when you finally get to cleaning the filter, make sure to follow my tips above to ensure you do it effectively and safely.

How to Clean Your Levoit Air Purifier

Levoit is one of the top brands of air purification appliances on the market today.

The brand is so reliable and creates excellent air purifiers that I needed a little convincing to get one myself (I own the Levoit 300s).

I immediately put it to use the door the second I got my unit through the door.

Within hours, it made a massive difference to my quality of life by cleaning the air from all irritants that typically trigger my asthma.

After some weeks, I knew it was time to clean it, but I had yet to learn how.

Read more

White Dust from Air Purifier – What Is It and How to Remove It?

I bought my air purifier because I was suffering from severe allergies and wanted all irritants in the air gone.

And while my air purifier did a fantastic job, not long after, I noticed that my air purifier was releasing white dust, or at least that’s what I thought.

In the beginning, I was shocked just as much as I was confused.

Nobody told me I could expect white dust to come out of my unit; frankly, I didn’t either.

I was scared that I might have damaged my unit or that it might be releasing toxic waste that I didn’t know about.

That made me quickly search around to see what other people had to say about white dust coming out of an air purifier.

And if you’re in a similar boat to when I was just a few months ago, you’re in the right place.

In this article, I’ll go over why your air purifier releases white dust and what you can do to stop it.

But, before I do any of that, I first want to put you at ease by telling you what white dust is and if it’s dangerous or not.

What Is White Dust?

White dust is the byproduct of certain air purifiers, which is why you may see it around your home or the air purifier itself.

White dust is often a good sign because the unit works as intended.

The dust is the dried-up leftover mineral content in the water often used in dehumidifiers and water-based air purifiers.

In other cases, white dust can be actual dust from your basement, evidence of a carbon monoxide leak, or other events.

But is white dust something to worry about?

In the following section, I’ll get into more detail about the safety surrounding white dust.

Is the White Dust Dangerous?

One thing I was thrilled to learn when researching the cause of white dust around my air purifier was that white dust usually isn’t dangerous.

Generally, white dust from humidifiers or water-based air purifiers is harmless to humans and pets.

So, the main concern is that it can make your house and various surfaces appear dirty or dusty, but that’s about it.

Since the white dust is usually a result of excess mineral deposits from the water you use in your appliances, you don’t have to worry about them.

The minerals that end up as white dust are likely also present in our drinking water and are entirely safe.

That said, if you notice white dust around your home and aren’t sure if it’s 100% your air purifier, it could be coming from your vents.

In such a case, it could be a result of a carbon monoxide leak, which is a situation that requires immediate attention.

Why Is There White Dust Coming From My Air Purifier?

Sometimes, the white dust can come directly from the air purifier.

This is only the case if you have a water-based air purifier loaded with hard water.

Loading hard water with many minerals in these air purifiers can release some minerals into the air.

And once these minerals dry up, the byproduct you will find around the unit, and your home is white dust.

But if you don’t have a water-based air purifier, the white dust likely isn’t coming from this appliance.

I know this because I don’t own a water-based air purifier, yet I had white dust in my home.

You’ll find white dust around your home for many reasons, and I’ll explain them in the following section.

You Use an Ultrasonic Humidifier

First, using an ultrasonic humidifier, you might find white dust in your home.

These humidifiers balance the humidity levels indoors by releasing moisture into the air.

This can be helpful during the winter months when the air starts to dry.

Suppose the water you load into the humidifier is packed with minerals.

In that case, the humidifier will release minerals along with water vapor.

And while the water vapor makes its way into the air, the mineral deposits eventually fall onto different surfaces, which is the cause of white dust.

This is especially true if you use hard water in your humidifier, which refers to water packed with various minerals.

This isn’t necessarily bad, but you’ll have to do more cleaning than usual.

So, if you have an ultrasonic humidifier at home, that’s one of the biggest reasons behind white dust.

The Dust Is Coming from Your HVAC System

If you’re unsure that the dust is coming from your air purifier, check if you have a centralized HVAC system at home.

If you do, then that can be another source of white dust.

HVAC systems use an intricate network of vents around the house to give you complete control over indoor air conditions.

These systems are great for heating and cooling entire homes without buying multiple appliances.

However, there may be gaps in the ducts and vents that allow dust from the basement and other rooms to enter the HVAC system.

And when the HVAC unit releases air into different rooms, that dust might come with it.

I suggest getting an in-duct air purifier IF you have an HVAC system to prevent this.

Or, you can use air purifiers in different rooms in the house to capture this white dust and prevent it from getting into your respiratory system.

Chemical Reaction in Your Furnace

If you have a furnace at home, there could be a chemical reaction involving zinc, galvanized steel, and the furnace exhaust.

This reaction results from white dust, which you might find on different surfaces in your home.

If this is the case, you should clean the furnace properly and keep an air purifier on in the home so it captures the dust immediately.

Mass Use of Paper Products at Home

This probably won’t be the primary cause of white dust at home, but it’s something I came across on a forum during my research.

Using paper products like notebooks, sticky pads, tissues, and other similar items could add to the white dust at home.

Whenever you rip up tissue or paper, it produces fuzzies that enter the air.

Most of the time, you won’t notice these fuzzies, and your air purifier should capture them right away.

But sometimes, the fuzzies can build up over time and stick to different surfaces at home, which you might see as the white dust we’re talking about.

White Dust Coming Out of the Air Vents

When I read about the different causes of white dust at home, I figured that my air purifier wasn’t the culprit.

Since I used a HEPA air purifier, I knew it wasn’t the cause of the white dust I find on various surfaces at home.

That’s when I decided to look at the air vents of my HVAC unit.

And when checking it out, I learned that the white dust was coming from my air vents.

This is a problem that many people encounter with HVAC systems, and many things can cause it.

If you have a new HVAC system, the white dust could be remnants of oil and film in the vents.

This is relatively harmless and disappears after a while.

But if your HVAC unit isn’t new, there could be other issues.

To start, white dust from your vents could indicate a carbon monoxide leak, which is very serious and something you need to address immediately.

Granted, this isn’t that common, but it’s essential to keep it in mind and check if you see white dust coming out of your vents.

Another reason that white dust could leak out of the vents is because of the humidifier present in some HVAC units.

As mentioned earlier, if you use hard water for your humidifiers, you might find mineral deposits on various surfaces at home which look like white dust.

And if you live near the coast, the white dust could be caused by the high salt content in the air.

There are many ways to fix the issue of white dust coming from your HVAC unit.

If the HVAC unit is new, you must wait for the leftover oil and film in the vents to be released.

For old HVAC systems, you can prevent white dust by ensuring the unit is always clean and well-maintained.

And to add an extra layer of protection, you can also use an air purifier to capture the white dust before you breathe it in.

How to Get Rid of White Dust at Home

Until you resolve the cause of white dust, the best way to get rid of it is to wipe down your surfaces with a dampened cloth.

The best way to resolve the issue with the white dust from your air purifier is to start using soft water or water that doesn’t contain as many minerals.

Most of the time, tap water has a high mineral content, so you might want to switch to distilled purified water to eliminate white dust at home.

So, I highly suggest putting soft water in your humidifier or air purifier, as it’s the easiest way to eliminate white dust.

Another effective measure you can take is using a demineralization cartridge.

Most modern humidifiers and water-based air purifiers have a slot where you can put the cartridge.

When you do this, you will filter out white dust and other mineral deposits before they leave the appliance.

But suppose the above techniques aren’t ideal for you.

In that case, consider switching out your air purifier and humidifier.

For example, use a HEPA air purifier. You will never have to deal with white dust as these devices cannot produce it.

But at the end of the day, white dust isn’t dangerous to humans, so if you notice it at home, you should have no reason to panic.

Making Sure Your Air Purifier Eliminates White Dust

Your air purifier likely isn’t the cause of the white dust around your home.

But did you know that you can use your air purifier to ensure you don’t deal with white dust?

Remember, air purifiers are designed to filter out particles like dust from the air and keep them from getting into different surfaces and away from your lungs.

To ensure your air purifier effectively eliminates white dust, you must place it in the right spot.

Air purifier placement is crucial if you want the device to function correctly.

Ideally, you want to place the air purifier in the middle of the room or in an area with the best airflow.

When you do this, you ensure that most of the air in the room passes through the air purifier so it captures white dust and all other particles.

Additionally, elevate the air purifier slightly and ensure no obstructions.

If you don’t have much space in your room and need to place your air purifier next to a wall, feel free to read my guide to get the best results.

Lastly, ensure you get the right air purifier for the room.

If you have a large room, you need an air purifier with the power to match.

That way, it captures all the room particles, including white dust from other appliances.

Conclusion

If you just bought an air purifier and noticed white dust around your home, chances are that the air purifier isn’t the reason for the dust.

Most of the time, the white dust comes from ultrasonic humidifiers, HVAC systems, and other appliances in your home.

But if you see white dust in your home, you don’t have to panic as the dust is safe for humans and pets.

If you use your air purifier properly, you won’t have to deal with white dust as much.

So, ensure that you place your air purifier in the appropriate spot and have the right air purifier for the room.

And you won’t have to deal with white dust at home often when you do that.

Red Light on My Levoit Air Purifier: Meaning

I’ve owned the Levoit 300S for over 4+ years, and I’ve never had any problems with it.

It made a difference in my life as I no longer suffer from seasonal allergies as I did before owning it.

However, about 10 months into owning it, a red light started to flash, quickly worrying me.

The last thing I wanted was for my air purifier to have broken or not to operate properly.

I needed clarification about what this red light meant, especially since it seemed like my air purifier was working like it usually does.

That’s when I started asking around in my friend group and going as far as speaking to strangers on the internet about it.

Now that I know what the red light on my Levoit air purifier means, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about it in this article.

What Does the Red Light on My Levoit Air Purifier Mean?

If you see the red light on your Levoit air purifier blinking after a couple of months, it’s no reason to panic.

The red light on most Levoit air purifiers indicates that it’s time to check on the filtration system.

This means that the filter can stay the same.

It could be because the filter is starting to clog up, or it may have been misplaced.

Whatever the case, checking out the filter as soon as the red light blinks is essential.

This is important because all Levoit air purifiers rely on their filters to clean the air.

Most Levoit air purifiers have a pre-filter, HEPA, and carbon filter.

These are all designed for different tasks, but they all work together to clean the air.

That said, the filters can get clogged after some time and require cleaning or replacing.

When the filters are clogged, it affects the air purifier’s ability to capture particles, resulting in poorly purified air.

This is why the red light on Levoit air purifiers usually turns on after a couple of months or years of use.

That said, the lifespan of the filters on your air purifier depends on several factors.

Some people might get the light flashing after 6 months, while others can get it after 18 months.

To start, if you have poor air quality at home, this could lead to the filters capturing more particles, so they will wear out sooner.

Additionally, you always keep the air purifier on 24/7 (which I highly recommend).

In that case, you will need to change or clean the filters more often.

But what are you supposed to do when the red light on your Levoit air purifier starts blinking?

As I said earlier, you shouldn’t panic when this happens, as you can quickly correct the issue in a few minutes.

What to Do If There’s a Red Light Blinking on Your Levoit Air Purifier

Suppose you own a Levoit air purifier and use it regularly. 

In that case, the red light will definitely start blinking after a while.

This red light is designed to remind the owner to check the filter and clean or replace it as it’s starting to clog up.

When my air purifier started blinking, I began to panic a little.

But when I went online to look for help, I found the solution was straightforward.

So, here’s what you need to do if you notice the red light on your Levoit air purifier is blinking.

Check the Filter

The red light on your air purifier is a check filter light that reminds owners to look at their filters from time to time.

So, if you notice that the red light is blinking, you first need to check the filter.

From there, you can assess if it’s time for a cleaning or replacement.

Remember, the pre-filter is the only filter you can clean on most Levoit air purifiers like the Core 300s.

Unlike other air purifiers, Levoit models don’t have washable HEPA filters.

So if you notice that the HEPA or carbon filter is used up, you will have to replace it.

Once you’re done checking the filter, you can either put it back in if it’s still clean, clean the pre-filter if necessary, or replace the HEPA and carbon filters if they’re used up.

In the following sections, I’ll explain how you can do all of those things.

Cleaning the Filter

If it’s your first time seeing the red light on your Levoit air purifier blinking, you probably won’t need to change the filters.

The first thing you need to do is clean the pre-filter.

To do this, you need to clear the room and wear a mask since you’re at risk of inhaling dust when cleaning the filter.

The only thing you need to clean the pre-filter on your Levoit air purifier is a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush.

From there, vacuum up the dust and other particles you see on the filter until all of it is removed.

Once finished, put the filter back in, and your air purifier should usually work.

This also means that the red light that was bothering you should now be gone.

If it’s been 6-8 months since you first started using the air purifier, you might need to replace the filters.

Replace the Filter (If Needed)

After some time, you will have to replace your air purifier’s HEPA and activated carbon filter.

What I like about Levoit air purifiers is how easy the filters are to replace.

They often come pre-packaged, and all you have to do is pop the new filter instead of the old one.

Changing the filters on a Levoit air purifier may also vary depending on your model.

This is why it’s best to refer to the manual before changing the filters to ensure you’re doing everything correctly.

There are also plenty of videos on platforms like YouTube where people show you how to change the filter on your particular model.

Reset the Indicator

After changing the filter or cleaning it, you have to reset the indicator to ensure that the light stays off until it’s time to recheck the filter in the future.

To do this, you must hold the button until the red light turns on.

When the light turns on, please press the button for another three seconds until it turns off.

Once the light is off, the indicator has been reset, and you can return to using the air purifier.

Note that every air purifier has a slightly different design, so check the manual for further instructions on your specific model.

Conclusion

Seeing a red light on your Levoit air purifier can be concerning, but there’s no reason to panic.

All this means is that the air purifier’s filters need to be checked, which you can accomplish in just a few minutes.

If you see that the pre-filter is dirty, you can vacuum it up to clean it.

And suppose it’s been between 6-8 months of using the air purifier.

In that case, you will have to replace the filters to ensure the air purifier is working properly.

Once you do that, you must reset the indicator, and your air purifier should work just as well as it did when you first bought it.