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The Location of Your Air Purifier Actually Matters, Here's Why

Whether you're filtering out allergens or wildfire smoke particulate, you'll need to be mindful of where you put your air purifier in your home.

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor
3 min read
air purifier on a wood floor

Your air purifier will work best when it's set up in the right location in your home.

Hildegarde/Getty Images

Summer is here, and that unfortunately means wildfire season is here, too. Although it can feel like there's no way to avoid exposure to wildfire smoke, there's a home gadget that can help get rid of smoke particulate and other allergens: an air purifier. Before you start using one, though, you'll want to make sure it's set up correctly to maximize its benefits. Otherwise, you might end up spending hundreds of dollars on a product that isn't doing as much as it could to clear out smoke, dust, pollen and other indoor particles. 

Here's where to put your air purifier to ensure optimal performance. For more, take a look at our guide on how to clean your air purifier so it runs optimally and these expert-approved tips to protect yourself from wildfire smoke

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The best place 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 smoke and 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.

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to air purifiers

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. You can also find out if you're putting your Wi-Fi router in the wrong spot and getting a spotty internet connection, and if you're putting your houseplants in the wrong place and accidentally killing them.

More things you put in the wrong place