Can One Air Purifier Work For An Entire Home? What You Need To Know

I first decided to buy an air purifier while living in a small studio apartment. 

Since it was one large room, one air purifier was all I needed to keep the air clean and myself safe from the pollutants and contaminants from the city. 

However, when I finally decided to move out of the city and into a larger home with my family, I wasn’t sure if my apartment air purifier could cut it.

This got me asking, “can one air purifier work for an entire home?”.

As you might have guessed, the answer to this question largely depends on your home size and what kind of air purifier you have. 

While one air purifier might be good enough for a one-bedroom or studio apartment, it may not have the capacity to handle a whole room.

The thing is, determining whether or not your house only needs one air purifier is pretty tough.

That’s why I’ve made this guide.  

My point is to answer if one air purifier works for an entire house.

I will also show you how to calculate the correct area an air purifier can clean.

Lastly, I’ll jump into some other things to remember when buying an air purifier for a house.

So, by the end, you’ll know exactly how many air purifiers you need and which air purifiers may be able to do the job effectively. 

Read on to learn more.

Air Purifier Per Square Feet Cheat Sheet

Suppose you’re having difficulty figuring out how many air purifiers you need for your home. In that case, you can check out the table below. 

I’ve estimated the number of air purifiers you need to achieve at least 4ACH in different-sized homes.

More on the 4 ACH measurements and what they mean later…

Remember that these are rough estimates, and the number of air purifiers you need for your home will vary on several factors.

House SizeEstimated Number of Air Purifiers Needed for 4 ACH
800 square feet1 air purifier
1,200 square feet3 air purifiers
1,600 square feet4 air purifiers
2,000 square feet5 air purifiers
2,400 square feet6 air purifiers
2,800 square feet7 air purifiers
3,200 square feet8 air purifiers

Will One Air Purifier Work for an Entire House?

The answer to this question depends. 

If you own a 10,000-square-foot mansion, one air purifier won’t be enough. 

On the other hand, if you have a relatively small house, then one air purifier might be able to do the job. 

So, deciding how many air purifiers you want or need at home could help you measure your home to figure things out beforehand.

Aside from the size of your home, you also need to consider the air purifier’s capacity or the maximum space it can clean. 

But don’t worry, I’ll explain these two different considerations in full detail in this section.

The Size of Your Home

The first consideration and factor that goes into figuring out whether or not one air purifier will work for your entire home is the size of your home. 

Before buying an air purifier, it’s essential to determine the size of your home so you can find air purifiers specifically designed to handle homes of that size.

It’s always best to get the exact square-foot measurements of your home. 

Finding this out will make it much easier to compare the size with the air purifier’s capacity. 

Then you’ll be able to determine whether one air purifier can handle the airborne contaminants in your home.

Air Purifier Capacity

An air purifier’s capacity refers to how much air it can clean at any time. 

This is usually expressed in cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). 

However, it isn’t uncommon to also deal with the air purifier’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR).

Usually, air purifiers will state how many square feet the machine can handle on the box. 

This can make it much easier to determine whether the air purifier you have in mind is ideal for your needs.

The average air purifier can deliver around 200CFM. 

It would be much better if you could find the exact CADR of your air purifier. 

If you know this, you’ll be able to compare the air purifier’s capacity with the size of your home and find out if you need another one.

What is Air Changes Per Hour or ACH?

How Many Air Purifiers Do I Need for My House?

Generally, houses that are 800 square feet or smaller will be able to get by with just one air purifier. 

But again, this will largely depend on your own needs and the layout of your home. 

Suppose you have a home larger than 800 square feet. In that case, it’s usually best to invest in multiple air purifiers for the best results.

When I moved out of my studio apartment, I moved to a relatively large home, over 800 square feet. 

I already had a feeling that my tiny apartment air purifier wouldn’t do the job, but just to make sure, I tested it out. 

When I turned on the air purifier, I did notice that the air quality improved slightly, but not as much as when I turned it on in my tiny apartment.

So, I had to get another air purifier. 

And when both of the air purifiers were on simultaneously, I noticed a much more significant difference. 

The thing is, a small air purifier may be able to handle all the air in your home.

However, it will likely only give you 1 air change per hour (ACH).

You want an air purifier that delivers at least 4 ACH for the best results.

How to Tell If an Air Purifier Can Handle a Room

To calculate whether or not an air purifier can handle the size of a room, you need to calculate the total air volume of the space. 

To do this, you must multiply the square foot measurements by the height of the ceiling. 

For example, if the room is 1,200 square feet and the ceiling is 10 feet high, then calculating the air volume will look like this:

1,200 square feet x 10 feet= 12,000 cubic feet

This means you have 12,000 cubic feet of air in the room. 

Again, if you want to get the best results from your air purifier, we recommend at least getting 4ACH. 

So, the ideal capacity of your air purifier for a room with 12,000 cubic feet of air will be 48,000 cubic feet per hour (12,000 cubic feet x 4ACH = 48,000 cubic feet per hour).

So, since the average air purifier can produce 200CFM per minute, you must multiply the CFM by 60, which equals around 12,000 square feet. 

So, if you have a room of this size, you will need around 4 air purifiers working simultaneously to deliver 4ACH consistently.

Most air purifiers list their CFM on the packaging or product description, giving you a good launching point.

And while it may take a fair amount of effort to do all these calculations yourself, it’s crucial to determine whether or not the air purifier can handle your house.

Why Do I Need Multiple Air Purifiers At Home?

The main reason you might need multiple air purifiers in your home is the fact that most air purifiers won’t be able to handle a whole house. 

Even air purifiers that are premium and designed for larger rooms won’t be able to handle a house. 

For example, look at the Bissell air400, which commonly ranks as one of the best air purifiers on the market. 

This model can only handle rooms of up to 432 square feet, which means you will need more than one of these to manage a whole home.

If your air purifier doesn’t have the capacity for your home, it won’t give you the desired effects. 

While you might breathe cleaner air when you’re closer to the air purifier, the farther you are, the more contaminated the air.

Ideally, you want all the rooms in a house as clean as possible. 

If having an air purifier per room isn’t practical, a great option is to get a couple air purifiers to rotate around the house. 

That way, you can bring the air purifiers to the rooms that need the purifying and make adjustments.

What Particles Can an Air Purifier Remove?

Air purifiers are such worthwhile investments because they can remove a ton of particles from the air. 

Of course, the types of particles you can remove with an air purifier depend on the machine’s filtration system. 

However, just about all filtration systems can effectively eliminate particles in the air that cause harm.

For example, suppose you have an air purifier with a HEPA filter. 

In that case, you can eliminate very fine solid particles from the air. This includes PM2.5, dust, and pollen. 

These can cause a lot of harm when you breathe them in, so I highly recommend getting a HEPA air purifier.

On top of that, air purifiers with carbon filters can eliminate strong odors like smoke from the air. 

These filters absorb gaseous particles that might cause harm, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

How To Choose the Right Air Purifier for Your Home

Now that you know that you may need multiple air purifiers for your home, you might wonder how you can find these air purifiers. 

Well, it can be tricky, so I’ve made this guide with some of the main things you need to keep in mind when buying an air purifier for your home.

Get the Size & Dimensions of the House

The first thing to consider is the size of your house. 

As I mentioned, the air purifier that would work best for you depends on your home’s exact size and dimensions. 

So, if you don’t know the measurements of your house yet, this is the best place to start if you’re looking to buy an air purifier that can handle the size of your home.

Check the Air Purifier Capacity

Once you have the size of your home, it’s time to check for air purifiers with that capacity. 

Now, you might be able to find air purifiers that can handle pretty large spaces and rooms. 

However, finding an air purifier that can take on an entire home can be a bit more complicated.

So, once you have the air volume of your home, you can use the capacity of the air purifier to see how many of them you need to effectively clear the air. 

If you have a big house, it’s best to get larger air purifiers, so you don’t have too many to clean the air.

Figure Out What Type of Pollutants You Want to Remove

The type of pollutants the air purifier can remove depends on what you want to eliminate in the first place. 

The two primary filters you need in an air purifier are carbon and HEPA. 

Generally, carbon filters are ideal for gaseous particles, while HEPA filters are best for solid particles.

But for the best results, I recommend getting a multi-stage filtration system with a carbon and HEPA filter. 

That way, you get the best of both worlds without having to compromise at all.

Can One Air Purifier Work For An Entire Home? Conclusion

Getting an air purifier can be a complicated process. 

But once you find an air purifier to handle your needs, all the efforts will be worth it. 

With that said, if you plan on cleansing the air in your house, there’s a high chance one air purifier won’t cut it.

So, to clean the air in your home, you’ll likely need multiple air purifiers. 

That way, you can rest assured that the air will be clean regardless of where you hang out at home!