Are Air Purifiers A Fire Hazard? (Uncovering The Truth)

  • Author: Irene Batres
  • Date: February 22, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Fire hazards are a serious concern for any homeowner.

One accident could easily cause significant damage to your home or even loss of life.

So this caused me to wonder, are air purifiers a fire hazard? 

Perhaps you have wondered the same thing.

So, in this post, I will address the safety concerns with air purifiers and provide tips for preventing accidents and fires associated with these air-cleaning devices.

Enough with the small talk. Let’s dive in…

Are Air Purifiers A Fire Hazard?

Are Air Purifiers A Fire Hazard?

Yes, air purifiers depend on electricity to function and are at risk of catching on fire. At the end of the day, they are just another technological device and can be a potential risk of overheating.

Your air purifier can catch fire if: 

  • It gets overheated 
  • There is a short circuit
  • There is a sudden high voltage increase.

Thus, ensuring your air purifier is an energy saver is wise, meaning it functions on lower amounts of energy than other devices. 

A lower requirement of energy means a lesser chance of a fire hazard. It would be best to keep your air purifier in an open space where it can ventilate efficiently. 

Always use a good quality wire because cheaper wires are bound to be a fire hazard.

It is also wise to buy a fire extinguisher and keep it around your air purifier so that you can be prepared in the event of a fire. 

Do Air Purifiers Overheat?

Yes, air purifiers do have the tendency to overheat. 

However, whether or not this will happen depends on your purifier’s quality and how you use it. If you use your air purifiers for hours without giving them a break, they will frequently overheat. 

But, if you invest in a high-quality air purifier, you can probably keep it switched on for a more extended period than a second-hand or low-quality air purifier. 

Your Air Purifier Is Likely To Overheat If:

  • You made it yourself without proper knowledge of circuit mechanisms
  • It has no brand and was bought from wholesale online platforms 
  • It is refurbished
  • The filter is overused, expired, or damaged 
  • Your main wire is damaged. This may also cause your air purifier to burn out completely.

A short circuit can wreak havoc on any device, including an air purifier.

Similarly, an unstable voltage can heat up and destroy the air purifier.

That said, air purifiers are a must-have investment, so you cannot settle for a cheap device.

Also Read: Can You Leave An Air Purifier On All Night? Is It Good Or Bad?

Do Air Purifiers Catch On Fire?

Negative Side Effects Of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers purify the air we breathe in and are very beneficial to have around. 

However, they also have some harmful aspects that you should be aware of. Air purifiers are a fire hazard but may also affect your health. 

If you don’t clean your air purifiers, you could be breathing in dirty air – which is exactly what you were trying to avoid. 

Hence, you must clean your purifier, change its filter, and maintain it religiously.

Also Read: How To Tell If Your Air Purifier Is Working?

Some air purifiers are also famous for generating ozone and ions, which significantly affect people’s health. 

These purifiers are experts in removing impurities from the air and surrounding, but they aren’t the best when it comes to toxic odors and gases.

● Ionizers

These are air purifiers that are responsible for eliminating negative ions. They are dependent on chemicals to do their job.

Negative ions target pollen and dust in their surroundings and attack them till they are forced to get stuck on the wall or ground. 

Ionizers can’t target these particles and aren’t permanently removing the pollen and dust that contaminates the air. 

They are only brushing it under the mat (literally), meaning you are still exposed to these particles, not through the air you breathe but the solid objects around you.

Ultimately, these particles resurface in the air again after some time.

However, when you purchase an air purifier, you expect it to purify the air around you, but ionizers don’t meet these expectations.

● Ozone Purifiers

Ozone purifiers are actually a more dangerous option than ionizers. If the ban on ozone purifiers isn’t alarming enough, let me break down some facts for you. 

Ozone purifiers have never been proven to actually have a positive effect on air quality, even temporarily. No results are showing us that ozone purifiers purify the air. 

Unlike ionizers, which can still temporarily hold back pollutants, ozone purifiers can’t even do that! 

Ozone found in ozone purifiers makes its way into the air we breathe.

In fact, when we inhale ozone, they react with the compounds in our bodies, triggering chest pain and asthma attacks. 

Those suffering from frequent chest infections or asthma should not include ozone purifiers in their daily lives. 

It is proven that ozone purifiers can’t even independently remove particles.

Ozone also relies on negative ions to attract pollen and dust, which basically makes them useless as ionizers.

If you feel shortness of breath, irritation in your throat, burning, irritation in your lungs, chest pain, or congestion, the culprit might be that new air purifier you just invested in! 

Looking for an air purifier that does not give off ozone is essential. Not only can it affect you, but it also affects your family and pets.

Are some types of air purifiers more prone to fires than others?

Final Thoughts- Do Air Purifiers Catch On Fire?

Air purifiers can catch fire if the ion generator starts overheating. To avoid mishaps, you want to ensure that you don’t place the air purifier near anything flammable and regularly maintain it.

Air purifiers have been all the craze for quite a while now. If you still want to try them out for yourselves, you may. 

However, as mentioned above, try to maintain your air purifier and frequently clean it. 

If you do buy an air purifier, ensure it is high in quality and doesn’t require a lot of energy. This helps somewhat eliminate the chances of the purifier catching on fire. 

I hope this post answered your question: are air purifiers a fire hazard? If you like this article, check out our blog section with other helpful air purifier posts. (1.) (2.)

Air Purifier Fire FAQ

air purifier catching on fire

Can Air Purifiers Explode?

Air purifiers are pretty safe, and you don’t gotta worry about them exploding or anything like that. However, they can malfunction and produce gaseous by-products such as ozone.

Do Air Purifiers Come With Safety Features That Can Prevent Or Minimize Fires?

Air purifiers have safety features like automatic shut-off. This feature turns off the purifier if it overheats or malfunctions, and they also have built-in thermal fuses that prevent fires. Some models also use fire-retardant materials for added safety. These features give peace of mind and reduce the risk of fire. (1.)

Tips For Avoiding An Air Purifier Fire

Here are some easy tips For Avoiding An Air Purifier Fire

1. Protect the air purifier from flammable materials like curtains, furniture, and paper.

2. Don’t place the air purifier on a soft or uneven surface, such as a bed or a carpet, as this can obstruct the airflow and cause the unit to overheat.

3. Keep the air purifier clean and well-maintained. Regularly change the filters and remove any accumulated dust or debris from the unit.

4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the air purifier only as intended. Don’t modify or alter the unit in any way.

5. For added peace of mind, consider purchasing an air purifier with safety features, such as automatic shut-off or thermal fuses.

Looking For Air Purifier Guides?

If you’re looking for more air purifier resources, consider checking out our other posts on air purifiers.

irene mills author of freshairdevices


Irene Batres is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.