Air Purifier vs Air Conditioner: Both Are Vital

Between air purifier vs air conditioner, which one do you really need?

I would say that you need both. Take for example, a place like Utah. This state experiences very hot summers with the temperature ranging from 85°F/29.4°C to 100°F/38°C in July.

Also, consider the fact that Salt Lake City is ranked number 14 in the list of worst cities for ozone air quality… and you can just see why you need both the air purifier and the air conditioner if you live there.

In fact, in summer, you might have to run both appliances concurrently. Come the winter season, Utah has some of the driest air.

Thus, if you have been asking: Do I need an air purifier if I have air conditioning? You definitely do because both appliances operate differently.

You will definitely need a cool mist humidifier such as the Honeywell HCM humidifier, which we reviewed earlier.

Quite a number of appliances, eh? According to research, a two-person home in the US has an average of 13.8 home appliances.

Anything to make your indoor space comfortable!

Back to our topic, what do you need between an air purifier and air conditioner? First, you have to see what each appliance does.

What Does An Air Purifier Do?

Image of air purifier or air conditioner

An air purifier works in a very simple way. First, it pulls air with airborne particles inside and passes it over a filter.

The filter captures these particles, which could be fungi, dust, pollen, bacteria and even viruses. It depends on the filter type and quality, with HEPA filter being the top rated one.

After purifying the air, it then pumps it out using a fan. Therefore, it simply pulls in the air in the room, cleanses it and releases it so that you can inhale pure air.

Some air purifiers are also able to remove odor, such as kitchen smoke odor from the air. These might require activated carbon filters.

What an air purifier cannot do but an air conditioner can do

Air purifiers do not cool the air. Rather, they just pass it through a filtration system to remove most of the impurities.

Thus, if it takes in hot air, it will release hot air back into the room, only slightly cooled from the fan whipping.

What does an air conditioner-unit do?

An air conditioner also pulls the air inside, removes the humidity (to some extent only) and then it releases the cooled air back into your indoor space.

But just how does an air conditioner cool the air?

The air conditioner has evaporator coils, which contain refrigerant. This liquid (refrigerant) cools the air as it passes over the evaporator coils. This cooled air is then passed into a compressor and then it is pumped back into the room.

Both the air purifier and air conditioner come in different sizes, from central units that work for the whole home to small portable units for one room.

In the case of air conditioners, you can get window frame units or small portable units for one room.

What an air conditioner cannot do but an air purifier can do

An air conditioner cannot remove impurities from the air. It can only remove humidity if there is too much and cool down the air.

Thus, if your indoor air is too contaminated with impurities, even after cooling, it will still be polluted.

Air Purifier vs Air Conditioner: Which Should You Buy?

The simple answer is … buy both of them. Considering that you are comparing the two side by side, it means you might need both.

Image of air conditioner and air purifier

When to buy a purifier

  • If your indoor air is contaminated with mold, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, fungi, bacteria and viruses, you will need an air purifier.
  • If you live in an air that has smoke particles in the air, you might need an air purifier designed to remove such
  • If you or a family member has asthma or other respiratory condition


When to buy an air con

  • If the air in your house is too hot
  • If the indoor humidity is too high and you do not have a dehumidifier
  • If you or a family member has asthma or another respiratory condition


Air Purifier vs Air Conditioner FAQ?

It can be confusing for a beginner to know what they need between an air conditioner and air purifier.

The commonly asked questions that we bring you here will clarify matters some more for you:

Does an air conditioner provide oxygen?

An air conditioner does not produce oxygen. However, it can introduce air from outside into the room, which will contain oxygen. To do that, you would have to connect it as required.

Can air conditioners purify air?

They cannot. But they can remove a small amount of humidity and cool it down. Some air conditioners have filters, which might remove the big particles from the air, but not the minute ones.

Is an air purifier the same as an air con?

An air purifier is very different from an air conditioner because it does not cool the air. It also does not remove humidity from your indoor air.

Can you leave the air purifier on through the night?

Yes you can and nothing can happen. It has no side effects but you need to keep the air purifier at the recommended distance. That way, there will not be too much air movement close to your head.


In this short post, we have made clear the differences between air purifier vs air conditioner.

These two appliances operate in different ways. One cools the air while the other purifies it.

Thus, you should buy both of them! They can even work simultaneously inside one room. They do not interfere with each other.

If you can have a central air purifier or air conditioning unit installed by a professional, so much the better!

But if your house was designed without systems for each, window air conditioners and portable air purifiers will do just fine.