Study of 243 air purifiers reveals the most energy efficient air purifier, the average air purifier power consumption along with insights into their effectiveness (incl. CADR/W and CFM). Get the results below.
The following is based on an air purifier power and energy efficiency study, which analysed 243 of the best air purifiers on the market.
- Air purifiers consume between 47.9 kWh and 769.88 kWh per year.
- Air purifier clean air delivery rate per watt (CADR/W) ranges from .9 to 14.8.
- On average, air purifiers have a CFM of 209.4.
The most energy efficient air purifiers are also listed below by room size and by efficiency at removing smoke, dust and pollen.
Related post: Cost To Run An Air Purifier [10 Cost Saving Tips]
- Air purifier wattage
- How much electricity an air purifier uses
- Air purifier CADR
- Energy efficient air purifier
- Air purifier room size
- Air purifier CFM
- Air purifier power data
- Final thoughts
Air purifier wattage
Air purifiers use between 8.2 watts and 130.8 watts when active, with the average active wattage being 50.2 watts.
In standby mode, air purifiers use between 0 and 1.97 watts. On average, air purifiers use .56 watts in standby mode, with the most common being .2 watts.
Old air purifiers, and those that are not ENERGY STAR certified, typically have a wattage above or on the higher end of this scale.
How much electricity an air purifier uses
On average, air purifiers consume .81 kWh of electricity per day (294.93 kWh annually).
The most common amount of electricity that an air purifier consumes is .92 kWh per day (334.49 kWh annually).
Air purifiers consume between .13 kWh to 2.11 kWh of electricity daily.
The table below shows how much electricity air purifiers use per day, week, month and year.
|Average||0.81 kWh||5.67 kWh||24.58 kWh||294.931 kWh|
|Most common||0.92 kWh||6.43 kWh||27.87 kWh||334.491 kWh|
|Highest||2.11 kWh||14.81 kWh||64.16 kWh||769.881 kWh|
|Lowest||0.13 kWh||0.92 kWh||3.99 kWh||47.90 kWh|
These figures assume that the device is used for 16 hours per day in On mode and 8 hour per day in standby mode.
Air purifier power consumption in standby mode
Per hour in standby mode, air purifier power consumption ranges from 0 kWh to .00197 kWh of electricity.
On average, air purifiers consume .00056 kWh of electricity per hour in standby mode, with .00020 kWh being the most common.
Air purifiers typically consume electricity in standby mode (also referred to as Partial On mode).
Out of the 243 air purifiers in the study, just 5.3% (i.e. 13) did not consume any electricity in standby mode.
94.7% of air purifiers consume electricity in standby mode.
The table below shows how much electricity an air purifier uses in standby mode across various durations.
|Electricity consumption category||Per hour (standby only)||24 hrs (in standby only)||Weekly (standby only at 8rs p/d)||Monthly (standby only at 8rs p/d for 31 days)||Annually (standby only at 8rs p/d)|
|Average||0.00056 kWh||0.014 kWh||0.032 kWh||0.140 kWh||1.648 kWh|
|Most common||0.00020 kWh||0.005 kWh||0.011 kWh||0.050 kWh||0.584 kWh|
|Highest||0.00197 kWh||0.047 kWh||0.110 kWh||0.489 kWh||5.752 kWh|
|Lowest||0 kWh||0 kWh||0 kWh||0 kWh||0 kWh|
Per year, air purifiers use between 0 kWh and 5.752 kWh of electricity in standby mode.
So now we know how much electricity air purifiers use in standby mode and active mode, but is it a lot?
Do air purifiers use a lot of electricity
No. Air purifiers do not use a lot of electricity.
However, if used for a substantial amount of time, they can consume a considerable amount of electricity.
As mentioned, the most common air purifier consumes 334.49 kWh of electricity per year. This assumes 16 hours in active mode and 8 hours in standby mode per day. This, while realistic, is a substantial amount of usage in my opinion. And it is reflected in the amount of electricity consumed.
I use my air purifier for just 2 hours per day on average. As a result, my electricity consumption is considerably lower.
Let’s put air purifier electricity consumption into perspective.
The amount of electricity used by an air purifier per day (i.e. 0.81 kWh on average) is equivalent to:
- The amount of electricity a TV uses after 13 hours and 50 minutes of watch time.
- How much power an electric fireplace uses in 34 minutes.
- How much electricity a fan uses after 20 hours and 45 minutes.
Ultimately, on an hourly basis, air purifiers do not use a lot of electricity. But over time, they can consume a considerable amount, depending on usage.
Interested in the specific running costs? See the cost to run an air purifier, here.
Air purifier CADR
Air purifier CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) refers to the amount of air, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), that an air purifier can clean.
Air purifier CADR is a key performance indicator and a crucial factor when it comes to air purifier energy efficiency.
The CADR per watt (CADR/W) rate helps identify the most energy efficient air purifier.
The higher the CADR/W rate, the more energy efficient the air purifier is.
4.6 is the average air purifier CADR per watt rate, with 2.5 being the most common. Overall, air purifier CADR/W ranges from .9 to 14.8.
Air purifiers tend to clean smoke, dust and pollen particles from the air. And the CADR/W rate for each tends to vary.
Let’s look at these separately to get a good sense of energy efficiency for each category.
CADR per watt for smoke
The average air purifier CADR/W for smoke is 4.4, with 2.5 being the most common.
Air purifier CADR/W for smoke ranges from 1.9 to 14.8.
Most energy efficient air purifier for smoke
The most energy efficient air purifier for smoke is the Powermatic – PM1250 (see price on Amazon, here).
This air purifier has the highest CADR/W for smoke, at 14.8.
As a result, it’s the most energy efficient air purifier for removing smoke.
It also offers the highest CADR/W for pollen and dust.
Therefore, this is the most energy efficient air purifier.
Its style, however, might not suit all as it’s intended for shop use rather than in a home.
The second most energy efficient air purifier is the Blueair – 3231101000 (get details, including price, on Amazon, here).
With a CADR/W for smoke of 13.8, this model follows closely behind the most energy efficient model. However, its style is much more suited for home use.
CADR per watt for dust
The average air purifier CADR/W for dust is 4.44, with 2.59 being the most common.
Air purifier CADR/W for dust ranges from 1.05 to 13.16.
Most energy efficient air purifier for dust
The most energy efficient air purifier for dust is the Powermatic – PM1250 (check out this device Amazon, here).
This shop air purifier takes the top spot again, with a CADR/W for dust of 13.16.
The most energy efficient household air purifier for dust is the Blueair – Joy S (referred to on Amazon.com as Blueair Blue Pure 411+ Air Purifier).
With a CADR/W for dust of 12.87, this air purifier is the most energy efficient model that has a style suited to the home.
CADR per watt for pollen
The average air purifier CADR/W for pollen is 4.81, with 4.07 being the most common.
Air purifier CADR/W for pollen ranges from .9 to 14.71.
Most energy efficient air purifier for pollen
With a CADR/W for pollen of 14.71, taking the top spot again is the Powermatic – PM1250 (get details on Amazon, here).
The most energy efficient air purifier for pollen, with a style suited more to the home, is the Blueair – Joy S (referred to on Amazon.com as “Blueair Blue Pure 411+ Air Purifier” – see the style, price, etc., on Amazon here).
With a CADR/W for pollen of 13.94, this air purifier is one of the most energy efficient models for removing pollen from the air. It’s also one of the most efficient at removing dust and smoke from the air too.
Energy efficient air purifier
Now that we know the most energy efficient air purifiers for the removal of smoke, dust and pollen, let’s take a look at the overall best performers.
To do this, I’ll add the smoke, dust and pollen CADR/W rates together for each air purifier. The air purifier with the highest total is the most energy efficient.
Overall, the most energy efficient air purifier is the Powermatic – PM1250 (get more details on Amazon, here).
This shop air purifier features in the highest CADR/W group for all smoke, dust and pollen ratings.
Another shop air purifier that has an equally high performance is the JET – JAFS-1250.
The most energy efficient air purifier, with a style more suited to a home, is the Blueair – Joy S (referred to on Amazon.com as Blueair Blue Pure 411+ Air Purifier).
This air purifier has the highest combined smoke, dust and pollen CADR/W rating for a household-style air purifier. It follows closely behind the two shop air purifiers to take the third most energy efficient spot
However, these models don’t use the lowest amount of electricity. This is because they’re intended for larger areas.
The most energy efficient air purifier will depend on room size, in many cases.
Using the most energy efficient air purifier for specific room sizes will reduce electricity wastage. So let’s look at the most energy efficient models by room size.
|Room size||Most energy efficient overall||Amazon link||Electricity consumption (monthly)|
|Less than 100 sq. ft.||BLACK+DECKER – BAPT01||See product||6.84 kWh|
|100-199 sq. ft.||Blueair – Joy S||Get product details||4.77 kWh|
|200-299 sq. ft.||GermGuardian – AP5800||See price & features||14.25 kWh|
|300-399 sq. ft.||Blueair – 3431101000||Get details here||16.09 kWh|
|400-499 sq. ft.||Carrier – CARRIER-18S||See design and specs||12.70 kWh|
|500-599 sq.ft.||Carrier – RMAP-XL||See product here||18.61 kWh|
|600+ sq. ft.||Powermatic – PM1250||Check it out here||15.02 kWh|
Again, these are the most efficient overall based on the combined smoke, dust and pollen ratings by room size. The most energy efficient for each type of removal (i.e. smoke, dust and pollen) are listed in the Air Purifier CADR section above.
As you can see, the amount of electricity the most energy efficient air purifier consumes varies by room size. Interestingly, the power consumed by the appliance does not increase along with room size in all cases. Some of the most efficient models, developed for larger rooms, use less electricity than their smaller room counterparts.
However, when we take the average consumption (not just the most efficient model), the amount of electricity used increases with room size – let’s take a look at this next.
Please note: the data used for this study was updated recently, the table above may not reflect this. Please reference the data below for more up to date info on the most energy efficient device by room size.
Air purifier room size
Air purifiers typically clean air in rooms between 74 sq. ft. and 698 sq. ft.
On average, the most energy efficient air purifiers clean air in rooms that are 312.56 sq. ft., with 698 sq. ft. being the most common.
On average, the power consumed and, in most cases, the amount of clean air delivered increases with room size.
The table below groups the results of the most energy efficient air purifiers into the room sizes. The average square footage along with the average power consumption and clean air delivered for each category is also included.
|Room Size||Square footage||Average power consumption (monthly)||Average CADR/W for smoke||Average CADR/W for dust||Average CADR/W for pollen|
|Very small||<100 sq. ft.||11.49 kWh||3.02||3.14||3.14|
|Small||100-199 sq. ft.||16.67 kWh||3.68||3.73||3.87|
|Small-medium||200-299 sq. ft.||22.29 kWh||3.64||3.77||4.35|
|Medium||300-399 sq. ft.||26.36 kWh||4.55||4.64||4.93|
|Medium-large||400-499 sq. ft.||29.57 kWh||5.77||5.77||6.30|
|Large||500-599 sq.ft.||35.17 kWh||5.87||5.96||6.49|
|Very large||600+ sq. ft.||43.4 kWh||6.07||5.56||6.06|
To ensure you choose the most energy efficient air purifier, it’s important to know your needs. The room size and the amount of clean air delivered (by type) are important considerations. The table above should help you benchmark air purifier performance.
Now that we know the most energy efficient air purifiers and the importance of room size, let’s take a look at the overall CFM to get a sense of the amount of air they can move.
Air purifier CFM
Air purifier CFM refers to the amount of air, in cubic feet per minute, that an air purifier can move.
This is incorporated into the CADR figures above.
CFM alone is not an indicator of energy efficiency (refer to CADR per watt, above, for this). However, it is useful for identifying the strength / amount of air an air purifier can move.
If you’re less interested in energy efficiency and more interested in moving, while cleaning, the maximum amount of air then air purifier CFM is a useful figure.
So let’s take a brief look at air purifier CFM.
On average, air purifiers have a CFM of 209.4. The most common air purifier CFM is 450.
Air purifier CFM ranges from 48 to 450.
The amount of air moved by an air purifier, while cleaning, varies for smoke, dust and pollen removal.
High CFM air purifier for smoke
The highest air purifier CFM for smoke removal is 450.
The average, most common and lowest CFM for smoke removal is 201.63, 450 and 48 respectively.
The CleanForce – MEGA1000 is an example of an air purifier with the highest CFM. Their CP-MEGA1000 model has an even higher CFM of 600.
At 88W, the power consumption is not extremely high. However, there are more energy efficient models available. The standout energy efficient home air purifier for smoke is the Blueair – 3231101000.
High CFM air purifier for dust
The highest air purifier CFM for dust removal is 432.
To put this into perspective, the average, most common and lowest CFM for dust removal is 203.71, 400 and 50 respectively.
With a CFM for dust of 432, the Hunter – HP980 stands out as one of the most effective air purifiers for removing dust (see the price and more details on Amazon, here).
High CFM air purifier for pollen
The highest air purifier CFM for pollen removal is 450.
For context, the average, most common and lowest CFM for pollen removal is 222.73, 450 and 50 respectively.
With a CFM for pollen of 450, the MEDIFY AIR – MA-112 stands out as one of the most effective air purifiers for removing pollen (price and more details are available on Amazon, here).
While this air purifier has the highest CFM for pollen, it also has the highest CFM for smoke and second highest CFM for dust.
Air purifier CFM vs fan CFM
When compared to fans, air purifiers have a low CFM.
Ceiling fans have the highest CFM, followed by box fans, then table / standing fans and then tower fans. Air purifier CFM takes the last spot.
At just 335, tower fans have the lowest average CFM for fans. At 209.4, air purifiers have an average CFM that’s even lower.
Get more details about fan CFM.
This is to be expected as air purifiers don’t just move air, they clean it too. As a result their CFM is lower.
While researching the energy efficiency of air purifiers and air purifier power in general, I came across a lot of frequently asked questions. These are listed and answered below, along with answers to expected queries relating to the data used in this study.
Air purifier power data
Adding the data for 243 air purifiers into this post doesn’t look great – I tried it but the page became too long and off-putting.
If you’d like to access the data used in this study, please email ecostsavings[at symbol]gmail[dot]com.
The data contains:
- 243 of the most energy efficient air purifier models on the market.
- Annual power consumption for each.
- Standby mode wattage for all models.
- Room size for each model.
- CADR/W for smoke, dust and pollen.
- CADR, in CFM, for smoke, dust and pollen.
- Whether or not each air purifier is ENERGY STAR certified.
Air purifiers don’t use a lot of electricity per hour. However, over longer periods of time they can use a considerable amount.
As a result, energy efficiency is an important consideration.
The most energy efficient air purifiers consume between 47.9 kWh and 769.88 kWh of electricity per year.
That’s a huge difference in consumption, which works out to $108.30 (assuming a kWh price of $0.15 – the US average).
Choosing the energy efficient air purifier based on your room size and needs will help ensure your power consumption, and carbon footprint, is kept to a minimum.
That’s the purpose of this post – I hope it helps.
You might also be interested in seeing the cost to run an air purifier.
Also check out this post comparing the CFM and power consumption of different types of fans.
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