What is an air purifier pre-filter?

We know that the air purifiers that we use inside our homes have a filter installed inside them that cleans the air. But when the pollution is terrible, it affects the efficiency and lifespan of the filter. The filters will be worn down early and can even get damaged sometimes. Therefore, your air purifier’s filter needs protection. There is one thing that can reduce the strain on the main filter of the air purifier and protect it from damages. Do you know what it is? It’s the pre-filter. Using an air purifier pre-filter is good for your air purifier and its filter. So, let’s know more about an air purifier pre-filter. 

What is an air purifier pre-filter?

An air purifier pre-filter is the first step of air filtration and it captures larger particles like hair, dirt, and dust. It prevents the clogging of the main filter, enabling it to be more effective in removing small pollutants. The pre-filters are used in numerous air purification systems that are installed in commercial buildings, homes, transportation systems, and public areas. 

Some recommended air purifier pre-filters:

  1. Honeywell Premium Odor-Reducing Air Purifier Replacement Pre-Filter
  2. Honeywell HRF-A300 Air Purifier Pre Kit Filter
  3. HPA300 Carbon Pre Filter Replacement
  4. LEVOIT Air Purifier LV-H132-RF Replacement Filter
  5. VEVA Air Purifier Filter Replacement

Benefits of air purifier pre-filter

As important as the air purifiers have become these days, the need to change their filter often makes it a bit expensive appliance. Regularly changing filters is necessary to ensure clean air inside your home. Numerous factors such as level of air pollution, size of the area, etc. affect the useful life of a filter. Too many pollutants present in the air will put too much pressure on the filter. 

air purifier filter
Image Credit: Pixabay

Here, pre-filters are a beneficial addition. Pre-filters capture the bigger pollutant particles, reducing the strain from the filter. By doing this, they prevent the filter from clogging and increase its usable life. Pre-filters are cheaper and help in reducing the cost of replacing filters too often. There are many reusable pre-filters in the market as well. You can just put them underwater and clean them up. The pre-filters also prevent any damage to the main filter that can be caused due to any debris flowing inside the air purifier. It also increases the efficiency of the air purifier as the main filter is required to clean only the fine particles from the air.

Is investing in pre-filter worth it?

Besides the benefits that come with pre-filter, there are also some negative points. The two negative points of the air purifier’s pre-filter are increased noise and reduced airflow. To get proper airflow while using pre-filter, the fan of the air purifier should be faster or stronger. 

Although pre-filters help in decreasing maintenance costs, increasing filter life, etc., it’s not a compulsory thing to have. However, if you have a pet like dogs, cats, etc. that shed fur or bigger pollutant particles in your environment, getting a pre-filter will be a good idea. 

How often do you need to change the pre-filter of an air purifier?

It is important to clean or replace the pre-filter of your air purifier at least once every month. But, if you have a pet or a particularly dusty environment, you are required to take care of the pre-filter more often, maybe twice a month. The pre-filters are easy to clean. You can just put them directly under water and remove the dirt from them or use a vacuum. 

Some recommended filters for air purifiers:

  1. LEVOIT Air Purifier Replacement Filter
  2. Germ Guardian FLT4825 HEPA GENUINE Air Purifier Replacement Filter
  3. Philips AC1215 1000 Series Activated Carbon Filter
  4. Mi Air Purifier HEPA Filter

Regularly cleaning or replacing the pre-filter is necessary as once it gets too disty, it starts putting pressure on the motor of the fan to work harder. The harder the motor works, the more energy is consumed. 

What are the types of air purifier pre-filters?

Like the main filters, there are different types of pre-filters as well. The type of pre-filter that you can use in your air purifying system depends on the type of main filter used. There are two types of pre-filters that you can choose from, such as:

  1. Mesh pre-filter: The mesh pre-filters are made of netting or small pores and are capable of trapping dust, hair, or other such debris while allowing proper airflow. Their only purpose is to capture the larger pollutant particles before they reach the main filter. These mesh pre-filters can only trap solid pollutants. 
  2. Carbon pre-filter: A carbon pre-filter is a little advanced in comparison to the mesh pre-filter. This filter is capable of trapping both solid and gaseous pollutant particles. The activated carbon pre-filters can capture gaseous pollutants like VOCs, odor molecules, and chemical vapors. They help in getting not only cleaner but fresher smelling air as well. 


Considering both the benefits and negative points of the pre-filter, its importance is obvious. It not only increases the efficiency of the filter but also increases its life. So, get a pre-filter installed in your air purifier if there isn’t one already. However, many purifiers come with a pre-filter already present in them so, if you are planning on buying one, get the one with a pre-installed pre-filter. Every air purifier can use a certain type of pre-filter, based on the filter used in it. Just the way you check for must-have features for an air purifier, check what type of pre-filter you can get and if your system already has one, make sure to keep it clean.

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