Facility Management
May 9, 2022
Last Updated On:
May 25, 2022

What Are The Energy Costs Of Air Purifiers

Learn why you should choose an Energy Star Certified Air Purifier and how to calculate associated energy consumption and costs.

Last Updated On:
May 25, 2022

Air purifiers are essential tools for businesses, schools, and organizations alike to improve indoor air quality in their facilities. But, does running these portable air filtration systems 24/7 come at the price of high-energy costs and consumption? The short answer is no; the right commercial air purifier can be remarkably energy-efficient while still providing practical indoor air quality improvements. Read on to learn why and how to calculate projected energy consumption and costs related to air purifiers.

Energy Efficiency of Portable Air Purifiers

Similar to many modern electronic appliances, portable air purifiers are typically Energy Star Certified. According to Energy Star's guidelines, certified air purifiers are over "25% more energy-efficient than standard models, saving over 120 kWh/year or $15 annually on utility bills."

Sanalife's highest-rated air purifier, the Beyond Guardian, consumes up to 80W on its max fan speed. Running the system 24/7 would equate to 58.3 kWh per month and 701 kWh annually for energy consumption. The associated energy cost of the Beyond Guardian would be $8.77 per month and $105.19 per year at 15¢ per kWh. In comparison, a typical 100W Incandescent Light Bulb would cost $131.49 per year.

Not All Commercial Air Purifiers Are Energy Efficient

Commercial air purifier brands often use outdated technology to achieve the necessary high airflow ratings for high-density indoor environments. By using older non-energy efficient designs with larger fans and unsealed filtration, these systems generally do not meet Energy Star Certification. As a result, high-coverage commercial air purifiers often consume energy from 350W to 400W. These systems can, on average, consume over 3,000 kWh per year, 430% greater than Sanalife's leading Energy Star Certified alternative.

How To Calculate Air Purifier Energy Consumption

When researching what commercial air purifier to purchase for your school, business, or organization, it's always crucial to know each system's energy consumption. Here's how you can calculate the energy consumption of air purifiers using the following mathematical formula:

E = P * (t/1000)

E (Energy consumption measured in kWh)

P (Power units measured in watts)

t (# of hours power is consumed)

Step 1) Locate The System's Power Consumption Rating

For air purifiers, the wattage rating may vary depending on fan speed. Most manufacturers will list power consumption as a range between two wattage values. These power consumption values can often be found at the bottom of product web pages under "specifications" or within the product brochure, flyer, or "sell-sheet." 

For example, the Aerus Guardian Angel's power consumption is listed as "16 Watts - 28 Watts." The higher number listed in the range is the power consumption at the highest fan speed correlating to maximum rated airflow (CFM or CADR). When calculating annual energy consumption, always use the highest wattage value. In the energy consumption formula, watts are represented as P.

Energy Efficient HVAC Induct Air Purifier

Step 2) Determine Maximum Projected Runtime

The next step is to determine the maximum projected runtime of the air purifiers you plan to install. In high-density indoor environments such as classrooms or offices, a standard recommendation is to have air purifiers operate 24/7. Operating 24 hours per day ensures the systems have the greatest efficacy in reducing airborne contaminants and increasing air exchanges. If you plan to follow this recommendation, then t in the energy consumption formula would be 24 (representing 24 hours).

Step 3) Calculate Daily, Monthly, And Yearly Energy Consumption

Now that you have all the variables needed for the formula plug in each value to determine the air purifier's daily energy consumption.

E = 28 * (24/1000)

E = 0.68 kWh

To calculate monthly energy consumption, multiply E by the number of days in the desired month. For example, May has 31 days. 

31 * 0.68 kWh = 21.10 kWh

To calculate yearly energy consumption, multiply E by 365, the number of days in a year.

365 * 0.68 kWh = 248.20 kWh

Facility Manager Examining Roof Solar Panels

Step 4) Calculate Associated Energy Costs For Your Region

Now that you have the daily, monthly, and yearly energy consumption calculated. You can now determine the average energy costs of the air purifiers over the same duration. To find out the average price per kWh in your region, use the U.S Energy Information Administration's (EIA) "Table 5.6.A: Average Price of Electricity." For example, in the state of Massachusetts, for the Commercial sector average cost per Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is 17.28¢. At 248.20 kWh per year, this would equate to $42.88.

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