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Your Air Purifier Might Be in the Wrong Spot. Move It Here

Here's where to put your air purifier to maximize its particle-cleaning potential and better rid your home of allergens.

air purifier on a wood floor
Your air purifier works best when it's set up a certain way.
Hildegarde/Getty Images

Air purifiers can do a lot to rid your home of potentially harmful allergens. But before you start using one, you'll want to make sure it's set up correctly to maximize its benefits. Otherwise, you might end up spending hundreds on a product that isn't doing as much as it could to clear out dust, pollen and other indoor particles. 

Here's where to put your air purifier to ensure optimal performance. (You can also find out if you're putting your fan in the wrong place when trying to cool down a room, and if you're putting your houseplants in the wrong place and accidentally killing them.) 

Read more: Best Air Purifiers

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Where to install your air purifier

Using an air purifier isn't quite as simple as plugging it in and turning it on. Fortunately, it isn't that complicated either. There are just a few things you want to do when you first set yours up to give it the best possible chance of cleaning your air. 

  • To begin, you want to make sure you have between 18 and 24 inches of room around the unit for it to operate correctly, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (PDF). 
  • You should also keep the doors and windows closed in the room where the air purifier is working so more allergens aren't coming in from other rooms -- or from the outdoors. 
  • Whirlpool, a manufacturer of air purifiers, suggests picking a "firm, level and flat" spot to install its units, as well as facing the front of the air purifier toward the center (or most open section) of the room. Lastly, the company recommends putting a mat underneath an air purifier if it's in a room with light carpet to avoid stains.

One final thing to keep in mind

It's important to note that other factors can determine how your air purifier operates, such as regular maintenance and cleaning. An air purifier might be set up correctly in a room, but if you aren't cleaning it regularly (once every few months or so), its performance could suffer. You also want to make sure you have the correct size air purifier to tackle the room (or rooms) where you plan to use it the most. If it doesn't have the right capacity for the space -- either if it's too big or too small -- you might also run into issues. 

Take a look at our list of the best air purifiers to get more information on how they work and what to look for before you buy. You can also find the best deals on air purifiers available now.