Should I Run A Ceiling Fan With An Air Purifier?

  • Author: Irene Mills
  • Date: September 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Nothing beats the feeling of having a fan running with clean air around you.

So, this made me start to wonder should I run a ceiling fan with an air purifier?

I decided to look into it and for a quick summary here’s what I learned:

It is a bad idea to run an air purifier with a ceiling fan. Any extra airflow added to the room from a ceiling fan will make indoor air quality worse. When temperature control is a priority turn the fan on to cool down the room. Run fan separately whenever possible.

But that’s just a quick snapshot.

So in this article, we’ll be diving deeper into clearing up common myths and misconceptions about ceiling fans and air purifiers.

Let’s get right into it!

Should I Run A Ceiling Fan with an Air Purifier?

Plenty of folks will tell you that it is ok to use a fan with an air purifier. And that you should be using them every time you turn one or the other on.

Well, from what I have learned that this is the last thing you should do – especially if you want clean air to breathe indoors.

You see, flipping on a ceiling fan creates positive pressure inside of a space.

That positive pressure forces air to get sucked in from negative pressure spaces. This means that all kinds of air are going to push into your space, bringing dust, particulates, and allergens in along with it.

All of a sudden your air purifier has to work double overtime just to keep indoor air clean.

The air purifier filter will get gummed up pretty quickly and your air quality will drop like a rock.

No, it’s a good idea to run either your air purifier or your ceiling fan separately whenever possible.

Do Air Purifiers Work as Fans?

Some air purifiers have fans built-in. These can (usually) be run without any worry.

The fans built into these air purifiers are engineered with circulation in mind. They don’t create the positive pressure spaces created by ceiling fans, that’s for sure.

Instead, they swirl air around, encouraging pollen pollutants, and dust to get scooped up in these air currents before getting circulated through the purifier again.

They usually create a bit of a gentle breeze at the same. This might not help you beat the heat in the middle of a heatwave, but it’s better than nothing for sure.

It’s important to remember that you don’t necessarily need a lot of airflows to get your air purifier working, though.

Also Read: Do Air Purifiers Cool Down The Room

You’d be making a huge mistake adding extra fans into space to boost airflow, potentially overwhelming the filtration system.

A lot of people make that mistake and then wonder why their air purifiers break down all the time.

Let the internal fan designed for that unit specifically run alone and you’ll be good to go.

What’s The Difference Between An Air Purifier And A Fan?

The major distinction between air purifiers and a fan is that one (the purifier) wants to clean your air while the other (a fan) wants to circulate air.

Air purifiers (like we mentioned a moment ago) usually circulate the air a little bit just to guarantee that all dust and particulates get sucked into the filter. And removed from the air you breathe.

This generates a bit of a gentle breeze, but sometimes the airflow these purifiers produce isn’t even strong enough to be noticeable.

Fans, on the other hand, are never going to clean or scrub your indoor air.

The only thing that a fan wants to do is circulate air, helping you beat the heat and cool down space.

In fact, if you crank your fan up high enough the odds are pretty good it’s going to lift and release more dust and particulates into the air!

Like we mentioned a moment ago, though, this doesn’t mean you should run a ceiling fan with an air purifier at the same time.

You’ll only overload your purification system, causing it to work harder than it needs to while producing worse results as the filter gets clogged up.

Run your ceiling fan fast enough (and long enough) with your purifier running and you could burn your purifier out.

Do Fans Help Air Purifiers?

Not that much, it turns out.

Yes, you’ll need some airflow to promote better circulation to move dust through the filtration unit of your air purifier. But you don’t need a mini-tornado to clean the air indoors.

A gentle breeze is (usually) enough to scrub a space of dust, dirt, and particulates or pollutants.

This is especially true if floor spaces and soft materials (like furniture, blankets, etc.) are kept nice and clean as well.

People wondering “Can I run a ceiling fan with an air purifier” really be asking themselves whether or not they should be running a vacuum at the same time.

That would give you much better results, scrubbing the dust and dirt off of the floor while allowing anything the vacuum kicks up into the air to get sucked through the purifier.

This approach creates a little bit of negative pressure, too, allowing the air purifier to do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.

Can I Use an Air Purifier and a Fan at the Same Time?

There is certainly no law against running air purifiers and fans at the same time, but it’s not recommended.

Sure, you can certainly run the internal fans on your air purifier at the same time. But those fans have been specifically engineered and designed to work with your purification system.

In fact, without those fans working your purifier probably won’t be all that effective.

What you don’t want to do, however, is use any extra fans at the same time.

Lots of folks think that this kind of approach will only speed up the purification process.

But instead of improving the efficiency of your purifier (which can only clean so much air per minute), you’ll actually end up overloading it.

That means you’ll pick up more dust and allergens that don’t get captured simply because the filter can’t handle anymore.

You’ll end up making the air quality worse when you think you are improving it!

No, it’s best to let your fan cool you down before or after you run your air purifier.

Run them separately and you’ll be much happier with the results.

Final Thoughts – Can You Use A Fan with An Air Purifier?

At the end of the day, if you’re still wondering “Can I run a ceiling fan with an air purifier” we can tell you – unquestionably – that that’s a bad idea.

It’s going to cause a lot more headaches than you expect.

Ceiling fans are overkill when you’re trying to purify the air in a room.

The small, internal fans built inside of air purifiers can handle the airflow and circulation needs of this hardware.

Any extra airflow and you’ll only be making your indoor air quality even worse, just like we mentioned a moment ago.

All in all, run your air purifier to clean indoor air when temperature control is not mission priority number one. Flip the fan on when you want to cool down.

It’s not a bad idea to have your air purifier programmed to pop on in the middle of the night when you know you’ll be asleep, even.

Just make sure that your ceiling fan kicks back on again, though.

You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night sweating just because your ceiling fan never came back on!

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

(writer & chief editor)

Irene Mills 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.