air purifier taken apart with 4 layers of filters exposed

Air purifiers are the latest innovation in home cleanliness that everyone is raving about. They help to make the air clean and safe, and depending on the model, they can remove harmful allergens or contaminants. If you’ve recently bought an air purifier, or are thinking about getting one, you probably have a few questions about how they work, and how frequently you’ll need to replace your filters. So how long do air purifier filters last? Let’s dive in.

What Is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that removes contaminants and impurities from the air of an indoor space. Many people find them beneficial, such as those who suffer from allergies or respiratory problems. Most air purifiers work by sucking in air through a fan and passing it through one or more filters. Each air purifier will have slightly different outcomes, depending on number of filters, types of filters, and size. 

What Types of Air Purifier Filters Are There?

There are many types of air filters to choose from when shopping for air purifiers or their replacement filters. The main types of filters used in households are:

  • HEPA
  • UV light
  • Electrostatic
  • Pleated 
  • Media 
  • Carbon

Depending on the model of air purifier you have bought (or are thinking about buying), it may use one or several types of these filters at once. Different filters are used to remove different things from the air, and it’s important to know what you’re trying to remove when selecting the right filter. 


A HEPA filter, or high efficiency particulate air, is designed to remove dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. They are one of the best types of filters for removing a vast majority of contaminants from the air. Some air filters are not classed as HEPA filters, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. 

UV Light

These types of filters use short-wave ultraviolet light to deactivate airborne pathogens and microorganisms like mold, bacteria, and viruses. A UV light filter is a great choice for someone in an area with a high probability of these types of contaminants in the air.


An electrostatic filter is a type of particle filter. It adds a positive charge to the air particles as they enter, making them more likely to get trapped on subsequent layers of the filter. 


Pleated filters are specially designed to trap air pollutants such as dander, pollen, dust, and mold. The pleats within the filter increase the surface area, which in turn increases the amount of particles captured compared to flat filters. Another benefit of a pleated filter is that it doesn’t reduce the amount of airflow through the device.


Like the pleated filter, media filters are designed to trap air pollutants such as dander, pollen, dust, and mold. They are an upgraded version of a pleated filter, with much deeper pleats made from a paper-like material. 


A carbon filter is the only one on this list specially designed to tackle VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air. The air is passed through a bed of activated carbon, which combats the VOCs released by common household products. They also can be used to remove odors from the air, like tobacco smoke and cooking smells.

Can You Change an Air Purifier Filter?

How often you change an air purifier filter depends on what kind of filter it is, and how often you use it. Most air purifiers are designed to be run all day long, so most manufacturer suggestions for replacement take this into account. 

Can You Wash an Air Purifier Filter?  

Some filters are specially designed to be washed or cleaned periodically to extend their life. As this is a great selling point, most filters with this capability will tell you up front. UV and electrostatic filters are often built into the air purifier, meaning instructions should be included with the appliance of how to do this. 

Carbon filters are one of the exceptions in that they cannot be washed or cleaned and must be replaced. Depending on the level of VOCs or odors in the air, they may need to be changed as often as every three months, or as infrequently as once a year. 

When Should You Replace an Air Purifier Filter?

Most specific air purifiers will advise on how often to replace the filters if necessary. Some of the higher-tech ones even have it built into their programming to alert you when this needs to happen. For the most part, manufacturers recommend changing the air filters every three to six months with air that requires a lot of cleaning. If   your filters are staying relatively clean, replacing them once or twice a year should suffice. 

Looking For a New Purifier? Meet the VEVA 8000

If you’re now sold on the idea of getting an air purifier, or you’re looking to upgrade, we absolutely recommend the VEVA 8000. The VEVA 8000 uses both HEPA and carbon filters to remove dust, allergens, VOCs, and odors from the air. It’s perfect for the home or office, and it can be used as a tower or as a table top filter with its removable base. As expected from an elite air purifier, the VEVA 8000 can expertly clean the air of any area up to 325 square feet.

With three dynamic air speeds from Extra Quiet to Ultra Turbo, you can get the air purification and flow that you want. If the front panel is removed, the automatic shut-off is activated, making it safe for places with curious pets or children. The VEVA 8000 comes with four carbon filters, meaning you won’t have to purchase more for at least a year, but the replacement filters are sold as a set and are really easy to replace. 

View Veva 8000 on Amazon


Bottom Line

Knowing how long any given air filter will last is an essential part of owning an air purifier. Replacing or cleaning the filters at the right time will prolong the life of your air purifier, keeping long-term costs down. Being able to clean and replace them with confidence will increase your peace of mind when it comes to the health and cleanliness of the air around you.