Is your air purifier not working or turning on? The appliance might be overheating. Here are 5 quick fixes.

What would be of our lives without air purifiers? Not only do they provide a wonderful air cleaning solution while keeping our electric bills low, but also make our lives easier by collecting the dust floating around in our homes.

What is there not to love?

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who bought one of these appliances, and has buyers remorse. Sure, they’re not the cheapest machines out there, but can you really put a price tag on your health?

Now, before you close this page because you think I’m trying to sell you on a new model, wait. I promise you I’m not, I just want to help you. If you’re reading this, you already own one of these incredible units, and it is, unfortunately, not working or turning on.

There are many reasons why this could be happening to you. From a faulty power source, to a gigantic room. For such seemingly simple appliances, air purifiers sure can be sensitive to suboptimal operating conditions.

In order to fix the problem, you need to know exactly what you should be looking for. This is why I’ve prepared the list below, where you’ll find the most common causes to this occurrence, and the simplest solutions you can implement to address them.

I’m confident that, if we go over them together, and you follow them religiously, your machine will be back to normal in the blink of an eye.

Ready? Let’s dig in!

Fixing a Faulty Air Purifier

You’d be surprised at how many people spend copious amounts of money and time trying to find something wrong with their appliance’s internal components, only to find too late, that the source of the malfunction lied elsewhere.

Before we start undoing screws and removing filters, we must look at every other factor out there that could be contributing to the manifestation of this issue. I’m not saying it’s impossible for the culprit to be internal, but it’s definitely not the only explanation.

We shall leave no stone unturned.

Taking out filter from air purifier
An air purifier or air cleaner is a device which removes contaminants from the air in a room to improve indoor air quality

#1 Check the Outlet

A faulty outlet could be the first sign of a greater concern

Faulty power outlets are very tricky to diagnose, as the signs of malfunction are very similar to those of a broken internal component. If your air purifier stopped working suddenly, or is no longer turning on, chances are your outlet is to blame.

Depending on the severity of the damage to this power source, it could be intermittently supplying power to your unit. This is extremely dangerous, and could cause short-circuiting, and overheating, both of which can do permanent damage to your purifier.

It is of the utmost importance that, as soon as you suspect this to be the culprit, you stop using your appliance immediately.

Solution: Try a different outlet.

Carefully unplug your appliance, and let it cool down. Once you’ve done that, take it to a different section of the house, and plug it back into another outlet.

If you want to DIY challenge and own a multimeter, you can also test the outlet for continuity. This is completely optional, but strongly advised, as a faulty outlet could be the first symptom of a greater malfunction in your home’s electrical wiring.

It’s best to nip whatever is going on, in the bud.

#2 Test the Power Cord

Your power cord might have sustained some damage

Assuming that your outlet is unscathed, we can safely move on to checking your power cord.

While this cable seems thick and sturdy on the outside, you must remember that, inside the rubber housing, there are several smaller cables that can be very easily damaged.

I’m not saying that operating your air purifier normally will break the cord, but seemingly unimportant bad habits, such as storing it improperly, keeping it tangled or pressed against a wall in a weird angle, are more than enough to do it in.

Just that happens with your wall outlet, if the damage is total, your air purifier might not even turn on, but if it’s only partial, it could be intermittently supplying it with electricity.

Solution: Test a different cable.

I know you probably don’t have another one just lying around waiting to be tested, but in case that you do, feel free to use it. Just make sure that it meets the same amperage and voltage requirements as the broken one.

Provided that you do not have another one, that’s fine too. In this case, all you need to do is Google search your make and model to find the right replacement at any online marketplace.

#3 Be Wary of Overheating

Protect your air purifier from overheating at all costs

This is any household appliance’s worst enemy.

Overheating can manifest itself for a wide variety of reasons. From dirty filters, to compromised power sources. The possibilities are nearly endless.

And while pinpointing the right source can be a little difficult, one thing’s for sure. This issue must be addressed immediately.

While not true for all models, several air purifiers out there are built with a safety measure that deactivates them, and renders them unusable when there are excessive temperatures inside the machine.

This would explain why yours is not working or turning on.

Failing to find and fix the source of overheating quickly can cause permanent damage to your appliance, so please, do not put this off.

Solution: As stated above, more often than not, the source of overheating could be a dirty or obstructed filter.

If you suspect this to be your case, please follow these steps to clear it from debris:

  1. Unplug your unit, and let it cool down
  • Remove the outer plastic panel (it should come off easily)
  • Remove the outer filter vent
  • Remove the filter
  • Carefully vacuum it to remove any debris, and then clean it under running water
  • Let it dry completely

Now, this will only work for filters that are not older than six months. If your part is older than that, no amount of cleaning will work, and you will need to replace it.

Solution: Please follow the steps from the previous point to remove your filters and give them a good cleaning.

#4 Clean Your Filter

You should clean your filters frequently

As stated above, keeping your filter clean and clear of any obstructions, is essential.

If you’re in the habit of waiting too long between cleaning cycles, chances are your air purifier has overheated often, and sustained some damage over time, which would explain why it’s no longer working, or turning on.

Most manufacturers recommend that you clean your filters every month, and replace them at least twice a year. If you suffer from asthma, or allergies, this recommended period is considerably reduced to between one, and two months.

Hand cleanning Air Purifier Filter
Regularly cleaning your air purifiers extends their lifespan and maximizes the number of pollutants and allergens filtered out of your air. 

#5 The Room Is Too Big

Check your appliance’s specifications

In case your air purifier is working normally, but you feel like the air in the room you’ve put it in is not clean enough, chances are you need to relocate it.

As you can probably imagine, these appliances are designed to clean specific air volumes. You can’t expect to buy a unit meant for home use, and have it clean a concert hall as efficiently as it would the smaller space.

This is one of the things that most people overlook when purchasing their machines.

And while you might not be purifying the air in a concert hall any time soon, even using the appliance to clean a large living room can yield noticeably different results from those obtained in a small room.

Solution: Make sure to read your user manual again. More often than not, you will find in there the optimal room dimensions for your unit.

When Should You Call a Pro?

The answer to this question will depend greatly on your warranty, and the problems you’re encountering.

If none of the solutions above worked for you, and you’re still under coverage, by all means, go ahead and give your manufacturer a call. Unless specified otherwise, they should take care of the repairs for free.

Provided that your warranty has expired, and you don’t want to pay for a technician’s visit, feel free to try and do your own repairs, but please only do so if you feel qualified enough.

I know how annoying it can be to spend your hard-earned money on repairs, but can you really put a price tag on your well-being?

Moreover, if you determine that the cost of repairing the appliance is too high, considering buying a new model, is not too crazy. As a general rule, paying for repairs that are equal to 50% or more of the price of a new unit with similar features, is a bad investment.


To have your air purifier stop working, or turning on, can be very inconvenient.

Especially if you suffer from any breathing-related conditions, as a compromised clean air source can worsen them.

Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned on this piece, addressing most of the issues behind this occurrence is fairly simple, and not very time-consuming.

More often than not, making sure to clean your filter regularly, and operating your air purifier within a properly-sized room, should keep it working like clockwork.

Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, why not keep the learning going through other incredible resources below?