Do Air Purifiers Overheat? [Ways To Prevent]

Did you recently purchase an air purifier and are now wondering if it’s safe to leave it on while you’re sleeping or out of the house?

Well, you’re not alone. Purifiers are wonderful devices, but for the best results, they have to run for extended periods of time. We all know that most electronic appliances when left on for long hours tend to overheat. So, are air purifiers any different?

Just like any electrical appliance, air purifiers can overheat and become a fire hazard. The top factors that cause an air purifier to overheat are dirty filters, low-quality electrical components, and electrical power surges. 

While most models are designed to run continuously, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions. Being on top of the device’s maintenance is your best bet to prevent overheating. 

When in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s user manual and always be cautious.

What can cause an air purifier to overheat?

There are several causes for an air purifier overheating, such as dirty filters, old/faulty or cheap purifiers, and unforeseen power surges and voltage spikes. Overheating can on rare occasions lead to electrical fires, so you will want to keep a close eye on your machine. 

The following are some of the reasons why overheating can occur in an air purifier:

1. Dirty Filters: Dirty filters are one of the most common and easily avoidable reasons for purifiers overheating. Purifiers are designed to collect dust and particles, but when filters get clogged up, the machine works harder than it’s supposed to, resulting in overheating.

2. Old Air Purifier Model: Purifiers, like most other electrical appliances, can get faulty when their parts wear out over time. This can lead to a purifier that overheats. Unless the weathered components can be identified, an older model might need to be replaced.

3. Power Surge: Power surges can occur at random but often happen during storms. A random spike in energy can fry any device that is directly plugged into affected power outlets. This can cause a purifier to suddenly overheat and damage internal parts.

4. Budget Air Purifier: Low-budget purifiers can’t be trusted with regard to the quality of electrical components used. Often the performance and longevity of cheaper models are far worse when compared to that of top brands. In the end, problems like overheating or unresponsive purifiers should be expected.

How can you prevent an air purifier from overheating?

You can prevent air purifiers from overheating by regularly replacing old filters, plugging the device into a surge protector, and ensuring it is in perfect working condition.

Take the following steps to prevent your air purifier from overheating:

1. Replace dirty filters with new ones

Dirt and debris block airflow, which gradually causes heat to build up in the interior, forcing the device to work harder and overheat. 

2. Plug your air purifier into a surge protector 

Consider plugging your purifier into a surge protector. Surge protectors divert a sudden increase in power away in case of a power surge, thus decreasing the likelihood of starting a fire. 

3. Use your air purifier at a lower setting 

Prevent overheating by running the purifier at its lowest setting to reduce the amount of power output. Overheating is more likely to occur in high-powered devices.

4. Get an air purifier from a reputable brand

Get an air purifier from reputable brands, such as Coway, Blueair, and Winix, who perform thorough tests on their products. Online reviews from customers can also help you make better decisions when buying.

Always check the life expectancy of your device so that you can replace it at the appropriate time.

Note: Extension cords and surge protectors are two different accessories even though they look similar. Extension cords are known to cause voltage overload when multiple devices are plugged in at once. Surge protectors on the other hand are recommended for all electrical appliances to protect them from unexpected power surges and voltage spikes.

How often should air purifier filters be cleaned?

Air purifier filters should be cleaned every 1 to 3 months. However, anyone suffering from asthma or other respiratory illnesses should clean or change the filters more frequently. 

Check your user manual to see the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning schedule.

If you continuously run your purifier throughout the day, it will collect dust faster and require frequent cleaning. The signs of a dirty air filter, such as dirt, dust in your home, and smell are easy to identify, so don’t hesitate to examine and clean or replace dirty filters.

The type of filters your purifier uses also determines how you should clean them. Some filters are safe to wash with water, while others are not. The user manual should clearly state whether or not it’s water safe.

Why does my air purifier keep shutting off?

An air purifier can keep shutting off due to clogged filters, overheating, damaged cables, or because the device itself is faulty. Usually, there are fixes to these problems, but if you are unsure of what to do, consult a technician or call the manufacturer for support. 

Let’s take a look at the various reasons why your air purifier could be shutting off and how to solve them:

1. Damaged Power Cord: A power cable that has become frayed or has exposed wires could be the reason why your air purifier keeps shutting off, especially if it disconnects power. 

Thoroughly examine the entire cord and check for sharp bending or loose wires. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it would be wise to replace the cable.

2. Clogged Filters: When filters are not frequently cleaned, the air purifier is not able to run efficiently. This restricts airflow and leads to an air purifier that suddenly shuts off. 

Luckily, this is one of the most manageable issues to fix since it only requires you to remove the filter and clean or replace it.

3. Overheating: Most air purifiers are built with a security feature that shuts off the device when it gets too hot. If this feature fails, your device could shut down suddenly from overheating. 

4. Faulty Device: Sometimes, a device that keeps shutting off could be due to a factory defect. This issue can be a bit frustrating, especially if you just recently purchased the product.

Make sure to call the manufacturer as soon as possible with the hope of getting a replacement or refund. Most companies will have a 30 to 60-day return policy.

See also:

Are air purifiers a fire Hazard?

surge protector

Air purifiers can be a fire hazard, especially those that have problems with overheating, but chances are rare. Taking safety precautions like frequently changing filters, buying a high-quality purifier, and using a surge protector are great ways to minimize the risk of a fire.

Also, since people often leave their purifiers running all day, there’s a low likelihood of these devices overheating and potentially starting a fire. 

According to recent data, there are around 51,000 at-home electrical fires each year. Learn measures to take in order to avoid electrical fires at home for all appliances.

How often should you run an air purifier?

You should run an air purifier as often as possible. The device can take 30 minutes to a couple of hours to thoroughly purify the air in a room. And as soon as it’s turned off, harmful particles and toxins start to creep right back into your home. 

During the spring and summer months, when pollen is in the air, people with allergies should make a point to run their purifiers throughout the day.

However, if you’re concerned about raising the electricity bill or starting an electrical fire, keep your air purifier switched on only while there’s someone at home. 

If your air purifier’s noise is causing sleep distraction, try switching it to a lower setting during the night and raising it during the day. 

Keep in mind that running an air purifier 24/7 can increase its chances of overheating. That’s why it’s crucial to get an air purifier from a reputable brand that you are sure has undergone thorough testing before distribution into the market.

Conclusion: Do air purifiers overheat?

Like all electrical appliances, air purifiers can overheat and become a fire hazard. But since they use a relatively low amount of energy there is a low risk of that happening.

Always clean or replace filters at the appropriate time. Keep your air purifier plugged into a surge protector to protect it from unexpected power surges, and only use a machine from a creditable manufacturer. 

Purifiers work best when they are run all day long, so you will want to take responsible precautions to avoid overheating and electrical fires.

Eustace is a technology enthusiast and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunication and Information Engineering. His passion and knowledge of computers, and technology in general, is channeled towards helping others understand complex concepts, solve problems, and make informed decisions.