Guide to Air Purifier Repair

Indoor air pollution is a fact of life, and in many cases the air indoors is less healthy than the air outdoors. Between dirt, pet dander, dust, and various microorganisms, indoor air can get quite dirty. Many people use air purifiers to make the air that they breathe inside their homes cleaner. But like every other electronic appliance, air purifiers get dirty, and when that happens they run far less efficiently, but there is a lot you can do to improve its efficiency if you’re a reasonably confident do-it-yourselfer.

air-purifier-repair Home air purifiers are fairly simple devices, and periodic maintenance according to the instruction manual can keep them running efficiently.

You’ve probably at some point noticed a layer of dust built up on top of your television or on a table in your home and wondered just how much of the stuff their is floating around in the air. Believe it or not, in an average home, every cubic foot of air has some 3,000,000 particles of dust suspended in it! Air purifiers come in two basic types: mechanical and electronic. With a mechanical air purifier, a fan draws air through one or more filters. Typically, a pre-filter removes the biggest matter (such as pet hair), and then a filter with activated charcoal is next in line to remove odors. Third is usually a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which removes more than 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter or larger. Electronic air purifiers use a simple device called an electrostatic precipitator to remove particles like pollen and smoke from the air. Electrostatic precipitators charge air particles positively and then traps them on a grid that is negatively charged. This type of air purifier often contains a pre-filter and perhaps an activated carbon filter to get rid of dust and odors as well. Some of them also contain an ionizer, which is not the same thing as an electrostatic precipitator. An ionizer releases negatively charged ions (and sometimes ozone) into the surrounding air to trap dust particles.

Possible Air Purifier Problems

Depending on how many different filters and features an indoor air purifier has, a number of things can go wrong. Many of them are simple problems that you can fix yourself. Problems such as a dirty precipitating cell, dry motor bearings, clogged filters and air intake, bent collector plates, or broken ionizer wires can often be fixed right at home.

How to Fix Common Air Purifier Problems

1. Cleaning Grill and Filters

cleaning-grill-and-filters For a mechanical air purifier, the first step is to turn the machine off and unplug it from the wall. Usually there will be release buttons that allow you to remove the intake grill containing the foam pre-filters. Do this and remove the filters. To clean the foam filters, remove them and vacuum them through the grill (so the vacuum won’t attach itself to the filter while you’re using it). Next remove the screws that hold the filter housing. Vacuum or clean with a soft cloth. If you use a vacuum, keep the screws and other small parts that could be sucked up by the vacuum away from the part you’re vacuuming.

2. Cleaning the Fan

fan-air-purifier If you need to get to the fan, take out the long screws that hold the housing together and gently pull the two halves of the housing apart. The fan will have a locking ring on the end of the motor shaft. Put on a pair of safety goggles and remove the fan by twisting or prying the locking ring, but be very careful that you don’t bend the ring. Take out the screws that hold the motor housing and the switch together. Pull the motor housing apart so you can see the motor. At this point, the switch module should slide out from the housing. You can clean the parts off with a soft cloth.

3. Replacing Broken Ionizer Wires

Ionizer Wires You can replace broken ionizer wires with replacement wires. Your owner’s manual for the air purifier will tell you where you can get replacement wires. Making sure that the air purifier is turned off and unplugged, remove the precipitating cell according to the owner’s manual instructions. Generally, you use a pair of needle nose pliers to disengage the wire spring from the connector on each end. You may need to press down on the connector with a screwdriver to free the wire. then you reverse the procedure to put a new wire in place.

3. Testing the Precipitator Cell

Multimeter If you want to test the precipitating cell, you need to be familiar with using a multimeter. If you’re not, you probably shouldn’t do this. First, remove the precipitator cell from the machine. Set the meter for Resistance x 1, which may be labeled Rx1 on your meter. Clip one probe to the frame of the precipitator cell, and then touch the other probe to the ionizer terminal, then touch it to one outer collector terminal, and then the other outer collector terminal. If your reading is “1” (which means “infinity”), the cell is working properly. If you get a lower reading, the cell has a short circuit and you need to replace it. With the right tools and information you can pretty much repair any living air, shaper image (ionic breeze), oreck, ecoquest and even the full range of Honeywell purifiers. If you follow our guide and your purifier still does not work then you will likely have to take it to a electronic appliance specialist. If after reading this post you decide that it might be easier to just replace your air purifier then be sure to check out the top devices we recommend for 2020:

1.Austin A250B1 – Best Overall
Austin Air A250B1 HealthMate Plus Junior Air Purifier, Black
  • Designed for people living in smaller spaces and specializes in the reduction of harmful chemicals, noxious gases, VOC’s, formaldehyde, and sub micron particles for individuals in the most contaminated of settings
  • Broad spectrum adsorption offers protection for people exposed to smoke from wildfires, those living close to busy highways, and people with sensitivity to certain chemicals and gases found in the home
  • True medical grade HEPA filter removes 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns; over 270 cubic inches of activated carbon impregnated with potassium iodide and zeolite filtration removes odors, gases and chemicals including formaldehyde and benzene
  • 3 speed settings for fan; 360 degree intake system draws air into all sides of unit, passing air through a 4 stage filter
  • Eases headaches and reduces nausea related to chemical exposure; helps reduce coughing, wheezing and sneezing, dry mouth, runny nose; reduces night time allergies and asthma attacks, snoring, and helps you sleep better; strengthens the immune system

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2. Medify MA-40 2.0 – Great if you can afford

Medify MA-40W2 V2.0 Medical Grade Filtration H13 True HEPA for 840 Sq. Ft. Air Purifier, 99.9% | Modern Design - White (2-Pack)
  • Medical Grade H13 Filters (higher rated than True HEPA) 99.9% particle removal. H13 True HEPA is considered medical grade air filtration, the unit alone is not a medical device.
  • Cleans a room up to 1,600 sq ft in one hour, 840 sq ft in 30 minutes, 420 sq ft in 15 minutes (CADR 330)
  • To make V2.0 quieter in 'Sleep Mode' and Speed 1 the ionizer is automatically turned off, on speed 2 and 3 it can be turned on/off as needed | CARB, Energy Star & ETL certified.
  • Tempered Glass panel (like your cell phone, easy to clean, won't scratch like cheap plastic models), Sleep mode and 3 fan speeds, 8 hr timer, night mode, child lock
  • Genuine Medify Replacement Filter: B07MTQFFNT, 110 Volt units, USA registered Lifetime Warranty

3. LEVOIT CORE 300 – Quite a machine for less than $100

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies Pets Hair Smokers in Bedroom, H13 True HEPA Air Purifiers Filter, 24db Quiet Air Cleaner, Remove 99.97% Smoke Dust Mold Pollen for Large Room, Core 300, White
  • Genuine Replacement Filters: Search for core300-rf or core 300 replacement filter for Replacement Filters. Use genuine Levoit replacement filters to maintain the best performance and to ensure what you're buying is worthy of your investment
  • Higher Purify Performance: Use the Core 300 to fill your environment with crisp, clean air. Its Vortexair Technology creates a stronger air flow, CADR number is 230+m3/h, allowing it to cover up to 219 sq. ft. AC 120V/60HZ for USA and Canada
  • Improved Filtration: With larger expansion area and longer length than others, the H13 Ture HEPA filter works with ultra-fine Pre-filter and activated carbon filter, trapping 99. 97% of fine particles and allergens as small as 0. 3 microns and large pollutants such as dust, pet dander, smoke, mold, pollen
  • Most Silent Air Cleaner: The noise level is nearly voiceless at sleep mode with only 24db, its QuietKEAP Technology reduces noise so you can sleep in a restful and soothing indoor environment
  • Ultra-long Service Life: Industry leader provider's bearing makes this levoit core300 hepa air purifier durable and reliable. The AC capacitor motor uses durable high-precision bearing, and excellent internal structure increases abrasion resist, which obviously extends the life of machine

4. Coway Airmega 300 – Not cheap but great for large spaces

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
  • Coway Mighty (AP-1512HH) is designed to accommodate room sizes up to 361 sq.ft (CADR: Dust 246 / Pollen 240 / Smoke 233 cb. ft.).
  • 4 Stage Filtration System (Pre-filter, Deodorization filter, True HEPA filter, Vital Ion) captures and reduces up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in the air, including pollen, pollutants and other allergens. It also reduces volatile organic compounds and reduces odor.
  • Coway Mighty pollution sensor communicates indoor air quality in real-time. The brightly colored LED lets you know how clean or dirty your indoor air is every minute of the day. And it features a timer, and filter lifetime indicator.
  • Fan speeds available in 1, 2, 3 stages by manually setting up. While auto mode automatically optimizes the speed setting 1 through 3 based on the level of indoor air quality. When no pollution is detected for 30 minutes, the fan will automatically stop and set as Eco mode to save energy.
  • Timer feature allows the machine to run 1/4/8 hours before automatically powering off.

5. Sharp FPF30UH – Great for small spaces and tight budgets

Sharp, White FPF30UH True HEPA Air Purifier for Home Office or Small Bedroom with Express Clean. Filters Last up-to 2 Years for Dust, Smoke, Pollen, Pet Dander, 143 Square Feet
  • SMALL ROOMS: Designed for Rooms up to 143 sq. ft.
  • CADR Dust (101) / Smoke (92) / Pollen (109)
  • Long-Life TRUE HEPA Filter Lasts Up-to 2 Years (actual filter life will differ depending on the environment)
  • True HEPA Filter Captures 99.97% of Allergens as Small as 0.3 Microns that pass through the filter
  • The Library Quiet, Sleep Setting is Perfect for the Bedroom or Home Office (as low as 23 dba)

Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2 thoughts on “Guide to Air Purifier Repair”

  1. This is a cool article and the closest I have come to having good repair info for these units. I have an EcoQuest Flair that will not ionize. New plates have been installed but no luck.

    Any ideas on things to check with this particular unit? What is the most common cause of failure?

    Any help is appreciated.


  2. I have a similar problem in that mine will start and shutdown in a few seconds. It worked great for 2 months. One day it said to clean it as I have before. Cleaned it and now it don’t work. I thought maybe there’s extra dust on the electrode under the blades, cleaned them but still no go. I’m hoping warranty will fix it but I suppose $hipping. It’s a shame. I proudly showed the Ionizer to a friend and next day it don’t work.

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