Can an Air Purifier Make You Sick?

Air purifiers are designed to make the air you breathe cleaner and safer. But there’s a rumor lurking that they could actually make you ill. Is there any validity to this? Can an air purifier make you sick? If so, how can you prevent this from happening in your home or office? Let’s explore!

Can an Air Purifier Make You Sick? Here’s the Truth

Yes, they can — but this comes with a huge “but.”

There are two specific scenarios that can lead to an air purifier making you sick:

  1. Your air purifier produces excessive ozone.
  2. You opt for a washable filter that you have to handle manually.

Let’s talk about each of these in a little more detail (and what you can do about them).

Some Air Purifiers Produce Ozone

Some air purification systems emit large amounts of ozone, which is the main component of smog. Ozone is an odorless and colorless gas that occurs naturally in the environment. So, why would it be so bad if your air purifier emitted it?

Well, perhaps ironically, ozone can hurt the lungs and respiratory system by irritating the lining and causing inflammation. The result could be coughing, headaches, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. 


Man with headache rubbing his eyes


If you suffer from asthma, an ozone-emitting air purifier could make your symptoms worse. (It could even lead to the development of asthma.) Ultimately, all of this can lead to permanent lung damage — and the damage can be even worse if you’re already suffering from other health issues (like allergies). Children and the elderly are especially susceptible.

So, it is air purifiers in general that cause this trouble? No. It’s ozone-emitting air purifiers specifically. Well good thing Sans is 100% ozone free! :)

Thankfully, this is completely avoidable. Before you purchase an air purifier, ensure it doesn’t produce ozone. You should also be on the lookout for terms like “activated oxygen,” “energized oxygen,” and “super oxygenated.” Manufacturers sometimes use these terms instead of saying that the purifier produces ozone — but that’s exactly what they mean. It’s just a prettier way of wording it.

Washable Filters Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Next, we need to talk about filters. There are two types of filters an air purifier can utilize: washable and replaceable. With a replaceable filter — which is what Sans uses — when it comes time to replace it, you simply toss it in the trash and replace it with a new, fresh filter.

With washable filters, on the other hand, you have to clean them yourself. Imagine that: After weeks or months of the filter capturing all kinds of icky particles — including some that can make you sick — you have to take it to your sink and wash it yourself. You expose yourself to all of those particles, and it’s actually very hard (impossible, really) to get these filters completely clean.

We understand that washable and reusable filters sound nice because they save you money. However, they put you in a vulnerable position and won’t work as effectively even after you’ve tried to clean them. This means that your air purifier can’t properly do its job, so the air in your home won’t be as clean as it could otherwise be.

The solution to this one is simple: Stick with replaceable filters.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Outside of ozone and washable filters, what else do you want to be on the lookout for when it comes to choosing an air purifier for your home? The best tip we can give you is to use a purifier that utilizes multiple layers of filtration and protection — and the right type of layers.

For instance, a medical-grade HEPA 13 filter is a must. In a nutshell, this type of filter is capable of stopping very tiny particles — ones that you can’t even see. Think of it as the Cadillac of air filters.

While this is where a good majority of the work is done, additional layers can ensure that the purifier works at optimal levels. For example, Sans uses a pre-filter, medical-grade HEPA 13 filter, and an activated carbon filter. Between the three of them, particles big and small don’t stand a chance. Lastly, the device uses pulses of UV-C light. With all four of these layers working together in harmony, the air in your home will be crystal clear — and, most importantly, safe to breathe.

It’s important to change the filter once it’s run its course so that it can continue functioning properly. (It can provide up to three months of continuous protection.) Sans will tell you when it’s time to change it, removing any of the guesswork. It’s safe to leave running (and it comes with a child lock) and produces absolutely no ozone. Sans is ultra-quiet, so it won’t disturb you while you’re working or sleeping. Additionally, we designed it to be convenient: The air cleaning is automated based on the air quality of your home. The sensors on the device will even tell you the quality of your air in real time.

Pet hair and danderDustGas stovesSmokeCarbon monoxideMold. There are all sorts of threatening particles lurking in your home. If you live with children, elderly people, or anyone dealing with health issues, you need to be even more vigilant. Keeping your home clean and ensuring you have proper ventilation is an excellent start. Where those fall short, technology can stand up to the challenge. Learn more about how Sans works to keep the air that you breathe perfectly pure.