Air Purifier vs. Air Conditioner: Main Differences


Both an air purifier and an air conditioner are common home appliances people use in their daily lives. As deduced by their name, these appliances have one major characteristic in common: their general purpose, to create a better indoor environment for you — how they do it is where the main difference between them lies. 

Air Purifier vs. Air Conditioner: Comparison

In short and simple terms, we use an air conditioner to cool the air inside our homes and keep it at the desired temperature. On the other hand, we use an air purifier to rid the air in our homes of different pollutants and allergens. To better understand how these appliances work, we deemed it necessary to tackle each and give you an in-depth explanation of their use and purpose.

Air Purifier

As you may have already noticed, even the air inside our homes can become, and most likely already is, polluted. This is because of all the particles usually found in it like pet hair and dander, mold spores, pollen, dust mites, smoke and cooking odors, etc. Though there may not be pollutants like exhaust fumes or factory smoke, the air in our homes needs to be filtered. This is where we use an air purifier. An air purifier is a very practical home equipment that filters out the air in your home, giving you allergen-free air to breathe.

How Does an Air Purifier Work?

Usually portable, an air purifier is a device that is designed to draw in the air in a room and blow it back out into the room filtered. This is made possible by the filters inside the appliance, and the type of filter varies depending on the air purifier. 

Nowadays, most air purifiers use highly efficient HEPA filters to catch pollutants in the form of airborne particles. There are also activated carbon filters that specifically combat odors and other pollutants in the form of gas. One of the latest advancements in filters is the PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) technology, solely used in Molekule air purifiers. This technology combines the two features into one and filters out particles and gas while simultaneously destroying these pollutants. 

Who Should Use an Air Purifier?

Air purifiers are appliances virtually everyone needs, though not everyone realizes it. Air purifiers are a must for people with allergies, for those who deal with pet hair and dander daily, the ones who smoke, etc. Even if you do not fall under those categories, the chances are that you are dealing with some form of air pollution in your home, whether you realize it or not, like mold, dust, pollen, etc. Investing in an air purifier can remarkably improve the quality of the air you breathe, the sleep you get, etc.

How to Use an Air Purifier?

Though a fairly simple appliance, there are some tips for correctly using an air purifier to maximize efficiency. Here are some tips on how to use an air purifier:

  1. Find the right location – Because an air purifier constantly exchanges air while working, it needs some space to do its job properly. Keep it a few feet away from any object to ensure the airflow is good. 
  2. Point it right – This tip is for those who have a larger room and a smaller air purifier. Try to direct the airflow towards a big space to get clean air faster.
  3. Leave it on – Because they run on electricity, you might be tempted to constantly turn your air purifier off. But don’t. Modern air purifiers are relatively energy-efficient, and it is better and far more efficient if it filters out air constantly than to turn it on only when the air quality drops drastically. 
  4. Isolate the space – An air purifier is designed to filter out air for certain square footage, and keeping the windows and doors open will make the air purifier ineffective.
  5. Replace filters – Read the user’s manual for your air purifier to find out when and how to replace the filters because they do become clogged up after use.

Benefits of an Air Purifier

There are various advantages to using an air purifier, like:

  • Alleviates asthma symptoms
  • It gets rid of odors and harmful chemicals 
  • Lessens chances of diseases (airborne)
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Eliminates radon, asbestos particles, etc.

Air Conditioner


An air conditioner is an appliance that is used to lower the indoor temperature and keep it constant. People have been using air conditioners more and more for different reasons, mostly to combat the unbearable heat waves.  

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

There are various types of air conditioners but what they all have in common is their ability to draw in air from the room, lower its temperature, and then blow it back into the room. Ultimately, air conditioners are a great way to control the room temperature and humidity level.

Who Should Use an Air Conditioner?

Because the main purpose of air conditioners is to give you cooler air, they are primarily used in warmer climates to combat heat or heat waves. 

How to Use an Air Conditioner?

Here are a few tips for getting the best out of your air conditioner:

  • Check and replace filters – This ensures the efficiency and longevity of your AC.
  • Keep the temperature at a constant – This is more efficient than constantly dropping the temperature on your AC to a minimum.
  • Check indoor humidity – If the humidity levels are high, it is best to use the dry mode on your AC.
  • Use the fan mode whenever possible – When it is not too hot, the fan mode will do the trick to keep you fresh and comfortable.
  • Clean the debris on the outer part of your AC.
  • Buy the right size AC – Do this to ensure you get the best out of your AC, all the while being energy-efficient.

Benefits of an Air Conditioner

There are various advantages to using an air conditioner, like:

  • Lowers humidity
  • Reduces asthma attacks
  • Can improve air quality
  • Decreases the risk of dehydration and heatstroke
  • Gets rid of insects and parasites
  • Improves quality of sleep

What’s the Difference Between an Air Purifier and an Air Conditioner?

Though air conditioners do have a filter inside and may filter the air in the process, they are not the same as air purifiers. Air conditioners are appliances that are used to control the inside temperature and humidity, while air purifiers are used to filter out pollutants in the indoor air.

Air Purifier vs. Air Conditioner: Which One Should You Choose?

Though some air conditioners filter the air to some degree, they are not interchangeable with air purifiers. Even though they are both useful, one might not be able to afford both of these appliances. So how do you choose? Ultimately you should consider which is more urgent for you: cleaner air or cool air?

Can You Use Both an Air Purifier and an Air Conditioner Together?

Yes! You can use both of these appliances simultaneously as they have different functions. You will have cleaner and cooler air as a result.

The Bottom Line

Both the air conditioner and the air purifier are modern-day solutions to problems with air quality indoors. Though many get them mixed, they are not the same nor interchangeable. Air purifiers give you cleaner air, while air conditioners regulate the temperature.

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