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How to Install an Air Purifier

Learn how to set up a portable air purifier in no time.

an air purifier
An air purifier can help reduce the amount of allergens in a room.
PrathanChorruangsak/Getty Images

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET's collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

An air purifier can go a long way toward reducing potentially harmful allergens in your home. If set up and maintained correctly, it can help rid rooms of volatile organic compounds that hurt your indoor air quality. A portable air purifier is particularly useful since it can move from room to room to provide relief where needed. 

Here we'll walk through the steps to install a standard room air purifier. 

Read more: Best Air Purifiers of 2022

Installing an air purifier

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To get the basic steps to install a portable air purifier, I consulted several user manuals from different air purifier manufacturers. Specifically, I looked at installation instructions from Honeywell, Shark, Levoit and Crane. The steps are straightforward, but important to ensure your air purifier works optimally.

Step 1: Install the air filter

Air purifiers come with at least one air filter, sometimes more. Before you begin, you'll need to remove any filters from their packaging and follow the guidelines to install them in your air purifier. Some models come with the filter already in place, but it still needs to be removed from its packaging before operation. If your air filter is already installed, check to make sure it isn't still in its packaging before you start using your air purifier. If it is in its packaging, remove it and reinstall your filter. 

Step 2: Position it for use

Most air purifiers require a certain amount of space away from walls, furniture or other objects in your room to function correctly. Again, check your specific use and care manual for the exact distances, because they'll likely vary from brand to brand and model to model. Shark suggests setting its unit "at least" 3 inches from walls, whereas Levoit stipulates a minimum of 15 inches and Crane says its unit needs to be at least 3 feet from walls. 

Depending on the size of your room, these distances can make a big difference and could help you decide which unit to buy. If you want to use your air purifier in a smaller room, having to install it three feet from the wall (like the Crane user guide suggests) might become an inconvenient tripping hazard. 

Step 3: Avoid blocking the grilles

Whatever distance the manufacturer suggests, you also want to make sure the grilles are clear of furniture, curtains and other obstacles that could impede the air purifier's performance. Always face the purifier into the room, rather than toward a wall or furniture. 

Still have questions? Read more about how to position an air purifier for best performance and learn how to clean and maintain an air purifier so it lasts as long as possible.

Other things to note

Keep in mind that these steps could vary slightly depending on the specific model you have. Be sure to consult the user manual for your product before you get started to make sure you're following the proper use and care guidelines. If you have questions, check with the manufacturer directly. 

For some other simple home hacks, consider adjusting the temperature of your water heater, weatherstripping your windows and doors and changing the rotation of your ceiling fan.