can i use an air purifier with windows open
Kristina Davis

A lot of people ask, can I use an air purifier with windows open? Would it function in the same way when the room is sealed and closed?

I’ve put some thought into this and tried finding the truth behind it. So, what I did was looked for information online, and of course, I had to experience and do it myself.

Yes, you can still use an air purifier with open doors and windows. However, doing so will definitely reduce its effectiveness.

Before I dive deep into this topic, it would be helpful and beneficial to understand how air purifiers work first.

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How Do Air Purifiers Work?

air purifiers work

The best, simplest, and easiest way to explain how air purifiers work is that they suck the air in the vicinity or area, and they filter it through the multiple filters they have.

Once done, they’ll send the cleaned air back into the space for you to breathe.

The primary purpose of air purifiers is to cleanse the air by removing allergens, viruses, mold, and toxic material in the air that you breathe.

Can I Use an Air Purifier With Windows Open?

I’ll be presenting this to you in a well-explained and well-thought manner. I’ve done tons of research about it, and I also tried doing so myself.

Here are some of the factors and how they were affected when I opened a door or a window while using my purifier.

Factor #1: Time to Cleanse and Purify

cleanse and purify

One thing I noticed most when I opened a door or window is that the purification took longer than it did when the space was enclosed and confined.

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The time it takes an air purifier to complete its job depends on the size of the room, as well as the quality of the air that’s circulating.

Several studies and researches explain that atmospheric particles were reduced by up to 90% in just 20 minutes with the windows closed.

But when a window was open, it was just at 50 to 60% in the same timeframe.

Factor #2: Purifier Impact and Maintenance

Think about it, having a window open when your air purifier is turned on can impact it greatly.

This is because of the contaminated air, pollutants, and other particulates that enter the space through the window.

With a window or a door open, the air purifier will be forced to clean more air, not just regular air, but dirty air as well.

That being said, your device will be more likely to be damaged and faulty. By the law of wear and tear, the dirtier it gets, the faster its lifespan will be.

So, in conclusion, if you keep your window open with an air purifier, there’s a big chance that your air purifier will be damaged and broken.

Factor #3: Efficiency and Effectiveness

the effectiveness

By now, you should get it. Your air purifier will work regardless if a window is open or closed. However, it will work less effectively in the former.

Due to the constant entrance of dirty air, pollutants, allergens, and toxic particles, your purifier will run continuously.

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Compare that to having all windows and doors closed, it’ll clean and recirculate already-filtered air inside.

Factor #4: Energy and Electricity Costs

Last, but most definitely not least would be the energy and electricity costs.

Think of it as turning an electric fan on while having an AC unit on, it’s a waste of money because the AC will be doing its job, and the fan would just spread it around.

In my experience, turning the purifier on while the window is opened was a waste because it does not stop filtering.

Irritants, pollutants, allergens, and dirt continued to enter the space, it didn’t have time to rest and recirculate.

In case you were asking, do air purifiers work with windows open, then this is the answer you’ve been looking for!

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Yes, it will still work, and it can still do its job. However, the speed and efficiency of the process will be less because of external factors.

Should I Always Keep My Windows Closed When an Air Purifier is in Use?

keep windows cllosed

Keeping it closed is the most ideal and most recommended, however, there are a couple of considerations you need to consider.

This is especially since air purifiers will work to recirculate air inside the space.

Opening Windows Periodically For Ventilation

Just because it’s better to use air purifiers in an enclosed space doesn’t mean you don’t need to open windows from time to time.

If your purpose of using an air purifier is to free the space from allergens and toxic particulates, you can open a window for at least 10 to 20 minutes during a longer-term timeframe.

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This is for you to get better oxygen content in the room and to diminish CO2 or carbon dioxide levels inside.

Based on data, it can remove and cleanse the air for up to 60% in 20 minutes if you have a window opened completely. 

The balance that opening it periodically helps in managing it and reducing pollution.

Two Windows Opened

windows opened

Having 1 window opened can already be challenging for the air purifier, what more if you have 2 windows open?

With this, the airflow will constantly be changing, and therefore, the purification of the air will be more difficult – somewhat impossible.

This can tire your air purifier out, making them faulty and broken faster than you expect.

The Outside Environment

Ventilating the space is important, but if the air outside is bad, polluted, or can cause allergic reactions, it will be better to just keep it closed shut.

Not only does this overwork your purifier, but it can also put you in danger of distributing air that isn’t thoroughly cleansed and purified.

NOTE: Air purifiers are engineered to handle dirty and unpurified air but only at certain limits.

The Indoor Environment

Air purifiers are wonderful equipment, but they can’t solve all problems you have – unless what you’re using is a hybrid air purifier.

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Certain instances like kitchen smell and odors, pest control, burnt smell, and other things can be solved faster and easier by opening ventilation while having your air purifier turned on.

Invest in Good Quality Air Purifiers

good quality air purifiers

Going for cheap air purifiers can do you worse than better even if you have closed doors and windows.

So, you want to make sure that you use high-quality and expensive air purifiers to ensure that you’ll get high-quality air.

The first one I purchased was the cheapest I could get, and after 2 months, it gave up.

Since then, all purifiers I bought were the branded and expensive ones, and they lasted more than 8 months – I even have one I purchased a year before and it’s still working perfectly.

NOTE: Look for air purifiers that are licensed and certified to be allergen and asthma friendly.


questions about air purifiers

In case you still have doubts about it, here are a few frequently and commonly asked questions regarding it.

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How Many Hours a Day Should I Run My Air Purifier?

To maximize its efficacy, it’s advised to run and activate your air purifier for as much as 24 hours a day.

Yes, you can have it turned on for a full day so that it can capture and get rid of all intoxicants and allergens in the air.

Where is the Best Place to Put My Air Purifier?

The placement of your air purifier varies at every possible angle. To help you, here are the best and most ideal locations of placement for your air purifier.

  • Place it in locations with the highest airflow
  • Raise it 3 to 5 feet above the ground
  • Position it at a spot where the worst air pollutants are
  • Avoid placing it in the corner of the room
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How Can You Tell if Your Air Purifier is Working?

You’ll know that your air purifier is working if the purifier is blowing out air from its pipes.

The air it releases should be clear and clean because that’s what it’s made to do.

Most purifiers today have LED indicators, so don't worry. Otherwise, this is one of the few but most important characteristics you need to look for.

The Bottom Line

In case you’re wondering, can I use an air purifier with windows open? Yes, you can!

There isn’t a rule in the book that your space should be enclosed when you use an air purifier.

However, it has been proven and tested that using your air purifier with closed doors and windows allows it to work faster, better, and more cost and energy-efficiently.

There will always be cases where you’ll need to open a window to balance the oxygen in the room, anyways, but not continuously.