Air Purifier Troubleshoot: Why Is My Air Purifier Crackling?

Here is an example that may have been a personal experience (I will never admit it). It is midnight when the house is quiet.

The new air purifier is running in the background of the bedroom. You are at the stage where sleep almost takes over you when the mild crackling noise reaches your ears.

If you consider a dark night that resounds silence at home, this noise can be nightmarish. So why is my air purifier crackling? This is what I asked myself with goosebumps all over my skin.

And to think it provides such a simple reason!

Crackling Noise in an Air Purifier

Did you check before buying? I am not suggesting the quality or manufacturing defect.

What I mean is – did you know what the unit uses to operate the purification process? Various manufacturers apply different types for the consumers to have a choice. Here are some options:

  • HEPA
  • UV (Ultraviolet)
  • Ionic
  • Activated Carbon
  • Electronic, etc.

Ionic Air Purifiers

We can verify that your device is ion-generated based on the occasional crackling noise. When it captures large dust particles or debris, the unit creates a noise that sounds like a bug zapper or a crackle.

How does it happen? Ionic air purifiers form an electric field that draws the charged particles in the air into the unit. There are oppositely charged plates inside the machine.

When charged particles collide with the plates, a burst of energy is created momentarily. A large particle forms enough energy to generate an audible crackling sound.

Other Plausible Causes of Crackling Noise in an Air Purifier

One can hear the crackling noise even when the unit is not electrostatic (ionic). Then what is making this stubborn sound that interrupts your focus?

  • Moisture

Do you have a humidifier in the same space that has an air purifier? Is the weather humid in your area?

Check for moisture buildup and then relocate the unit to a different place where it is less exposed to humidity.

  • Dirt

Simply leaving the device running for days will not do. It purifies the air you breathe in return for taking the dust particles, allergens, etc.

Therefore, internal components tend to get dirty and make a sound if not cleaned regularly. Try using a vacuum to clean them.

  • Inaccurately Placed Filters

Whenever you disassemble the components, a tiny error can occur when reassembling them. Make sure everything sits tightly in its place as you replace the filter, or the crackling noise will never stop.

  • It Just Functions That Way!

Have you considered the plainest explanation? Perhaps the make and model of the unit operates in a way that creates a mild crackling sound.

So long it does not overheat, you should sit back and watch your favorite show!

  • Manufacturing Defect

If none of the factors seems to apply in your case, perhaps it is the worse luck. You are not crazy to consider factory defects.

Make sure the warranty still covers the unit, then contact the manufacturer. 

Final Words

So why is my air purifier crackling? It is probably nothing or could be a minor alert trying to notify you of something.

Nevertheless, if you do not want to run out of the room, ready to call the Ghostbusters, you better clear the doubt of your mind.

Hope this guide has helped you all the way. Good luck!

Last Updated on November 5, 2022

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Billy J. Weber

Hi. It’s Weber, founder and author of this site Currently you are reading. I am dedicated to provide valuable insights and practical tips to air enthusiasts and anyone interested in improving their indoor air quality.

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