a graphic of a guy wondering if air purifiers and air conditioners can be used together

Can You Use Air Purifiers and Air Conditioners at the Same Time?

by Karl von Luckwald / January 2, 2024

In many homes, especially in hot and polluted areas, you’ll often find two important devices: air purifiers and air conditioners.

But the big question is, can you use them together without any problems? This easy-to-understand guide will help you figure that out.

Key takeaways

Air purifiers and air conditioners can be used together effectively; purifiers clean the air while ACs cool it, offering relief, especially for allergy sufferers. However, with central air systems, be aware that they might circulate unclean air from other rooms. Solutions include using multiple air purifiers, turning off the AC, or adding HEPA filters to air ducts.

What are Air Purifiers and Air Conditioners?

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers clean your indoor air. They have special filters called HEPA filters that catch tiny particles like PM2.5, dust, pollen, viruses, bacteria, and other bad stuff in the air. The benefits of air purifiers are well-researched. They are especially great for people who have allergies or asthma, or who live in places with dirty air.

a graphic of the sqair air purifier displaying the simple mechanics behind air purifiers
Air purifiers improve indoor air quality by using a HEPA filter

Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are all about making your space cool. They take the warm air out of your room and swap it with cooler air. They also help to reduce the moisture in the air.

The main difference between air purifiers and air conditioners lies in their function. Air purifiers clean the air. Air conditioners cool the air.

an air conditioner next to a compressor
Unlike air purifiers air conditioners don’t purify but cool the air

Can Air Purifiers and Air Conditioners Work Together?

Absolutely! When you use an air purifier with an air conditioner, you get the best of both worlds: cool air and clean air.

This combo is really good for people with breathing problems or allergies. The air purifier cleans the air, and the air conditioner helps to keep the air from getting too damp, which can make breathing problems worse.

But Wait, There’s a Catch with Central Air Conditioners

There are two common air conditioner types: split units and central units.

a wall mounted air conditioner next to a central air conditioning hvac system in an office building
Two common types of air conditioners: split units vs. central units

If your home has split units, you don’t need to worry. Air purifiers work perfectly well with these.

However, if your place has a central air conditioning system, using an air purifier can be tricky. Here’s why:

The Problem with Central Air Conditioners

Unlike split units, these systems move air all around your home or office, even between different rooms.

So, if you turn on your air purifier in your bedroom but the central air conditioner is also on, it might bring in not-so-clean air from other parts of your home. This makes it hard for the air purifier in your bedroom to keep the air clean.

a central air conditioner system in a condo building
A central air conditioner system might circulate dirty air from other rooms.

Solutions: Making Air Purifiers Work Well with Central Air Conditioners

Solution 1: Turn On All Air Purifiers:

If you have an air purifier in each room, turning all of them on can help. This way, the central air conditioner will move clean air around instead of dirty air. Be aware, this will increase your electricity bill a bit.

Solution 2: Turn Off the Air Conditioner:

This might not be the best option, especially if it’s really hot, but turning off the air conditioner stops the movement of dirty air, making the air purifier’s job easier.

You could use a fan instead if this works for you.

Solution 3: Add HEPA Filters to Your Air Ducts:

You can put HEPA filters in the air ducts of your central air system. These filters will clean the air as it moves through the ducts. However, this might make your system use a bit more energy.

Please consult with your local air conditioner specialist on how to insert HEPA filter inlets into your system.

an hvac technician inserting hepa filter inlets into a central air conditioner system
Inserting HEPA filter inlets into central air conditioner outlets can improve air quality

Bottom Line

Using air purifiers and air conditioners together is a great idea. It can make your indoor space both cool and healthy. Just remember, if you have a central air conditioning system, you might need to think a bit more about how to use your air purifier effectively. By choosing energy-efficient models and understanding how they work, you can create a comfortable and healthy environment in your home or office.


Yes, you can use an air purifier and an air conditioner at the same time. Air purifiers clean the air, while air conditioners cool the air. They work well together.

Air conditioners cool the air, while air purifiers clean the air. If you are particularly concerned about indoor air pollution you should consider air purifiers as a complementary add-on to improve air quality.

You can’t directly add an air purifier to a regular AC unit, but you can use them in the same room. If you have a central AC system, you can add HEPA filter inlets to the air ducts to purify the air.

The main benefits are: that you get both cool and clean air, it’s great for people with allergies or breathing issues, and it can help reduce dampness and mold growth in the air.

Karl von Luckwald

Karl von Luckwald

Since moving to Thailand in 2019, Karl noticed the lack of scientific integrity in air purifier and water filter reviews. In response, he founded WE DO AIR to champion unbiased, science-based evaluations and empower consumers to make better-informed decisions.

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