Skip to main content

Free Shipping*. 24/7 Customer Service 888.866.8862.

Can Air Purifiers Make Allergies Worse?

As concerns about indoor air quality continue to escalate, people are increasingly looking out for methods to mitigate allergens and pollutants in their living spaces. One of the more popular options in recent years are air purifiers. The issue, however, is — can air purifiers make your allergies worse?

In a nutshell, no. An air purifier won’t make allergies worse. There is evidence that ozone can exacerbate allergy symptoms in high concentrations. Because some air purifiers produce ozone, that has led to the mistaken assumption that they can make allergies worse. 

All Rabbit Air purifiers have been tested to comply with the ozone safety requirements set forth by the California Air Resources Board.

In the article below we will explain how air purifiers work, and whether they can exacerbate existing issues or not.

Understanding How Air Purifiers Work

In order to explain whether air purifiers make your allergies worse or not, we first need to explain how they work. Now, air purifiers operate by filtering and cleaning indoor air to remove pollutants and allergens. The primary mechanism involves filtration, typically using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. 

HEPA filters consist of dense mats of fibers that capture microscopic particles like dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores as air passes through. Additionally, some air purifiers employ activated carbon filters to adsorb odors, gasses gases, and chemical pollutants.

Certain models use UV-C light technology to neutralize airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. UV-C light disrupts the DNA of microorganisms, rendering them inactive and unable to replicate. 

Finally, some air purifiers utilize ionization to remove particles from the air by emitting negatively charged ions. While effective at particle removal, ionizers may produce ozone as a byproduct.

How Air Purifiers Can Make Your Allergies Worse

When we take the above into account, how can a functioning high-quality air purifier make your allergies worse? The short answer — it can't. 

However, there are two instances where an air purifier can cause more harm than good:

  • Not properly maintaining your air purifier
  • Buying purifiers that generate ozone above safe limits

One big factor that contributes to an air purifier making your allergies worse is improper maintenance. 

Over time, air purifiers can accumulate dust, allergens, and other particles on their filters, reducing their effectiveness. 

However, if they become saturated enough, they can reintroduce allergens back into the air. That’s something you can easily avoid by replacing your air filters as recommended by the filter’s manufacturer.

Another potential risk factor associated with air purifiers is the emission of ozone or other harmful byproducts. 

Air purifiers can generate ozone through a process called ionization. In ionization-based air purifiers, negatively charged ions are released into the air. 

These ions attach themselves to airborne particles, causing them to become heavy and fall to the ground or get trapped on nearby surfaces. 

This process improves air filtration by keeping contaminants out of circulation. 

Ozone generation occurs when oxygen molecules (O2) in the air are broken apart and recombined into ozone (O3). 

While ionization can effectively remove particles from the air, the production of ozone raises concerns, as high concentrations of ozone can be harmful to respiratory health, exacerbating allergies and causing other health issues.

For that reason, we go to great lengths to ensure that Rabbit Air filters meet ozone safety standards. Additionally, the MinusA2 Rabbit Air purifier has zero ozone emissions when used without the negative ion generator feature.

Practical Tips for Using Air Purifiers Safely

We recommend you always check with the manufacturer on whether the models you are interested in are equipped with ionization technology, and whether they produce harmful ozone levels or not.

As for how to maintain your air purifiers, here are some tips we believe you should adhere to:

  • Schedule regular filter replacement: Check the manufacturer's recommendations for filter replacement intervals, typically every 6 to 12 months, depending on usage and filter type. 
  • Clean pre-filters: Many air purifiers have pre-filters that capture larger particles before they reach the main filter. Clean pre-filters regularly, usually once a month, by vacuuming or rinsing with water to remove accumulated dust and debris.
  • Cleaning permanent filters: If your air purifier has permanent or washable filters, clean them according to the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, this involves rinsing the filters with water and allowing them to dry completely before reinstalling.
  • Wipe exterior surfaces: Periodically wipe down the exterior surfaces of the air purifier with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt buildup. Pay attention to vents and grilles where air enters and exits the unit.
  • Inspect for damage: Regularly inspect the air purifier for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracks in the casing or frayed cords. If you notice any issues, discontinue use and contact the manufacturer for repairs or replacement parts.
  • Check airflow: Ensure that the airflow vents on the air purifier are unobstructed and free from dust or debris. Blocked vents can reduce airflow and compromise the unit's effectiveness in filtering the air.
  • Cleaning the air intake: If the air purifier has an intake grille or vent, remove any obstructions and clean the area around it to allow for unrestricted airflow.

Investing in a high-quality air purifier can also be financially manageable through the use of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Both FSAs and HSAs allow you to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses with pre-tax dollars, potentially saving you money.


In conclusion, while there may be concerns about whether air purifiers can worsen allergies, scientific evidence suggests that when used properly, air purifiers can be effective in reducing allergen concentrations and improving indoor air quality. They can be used with other natural ways to manage allergy symptoms.

By understanding how air purifiers work, addressing potential risks, and following practical guidelines for safe use, you can harness the benefits of air purification to create a cleaner and more comfortable living environment.

Older Post
Newer Post

Our Products

Stay in the loop!

Sign up to receive exclusive offers and product updates.

Close (esc)

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Shopping Cart
Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now