Can you use an extension cord for an air purifier? In this article, we’re going to explore the art of using extension cords with air purifiers and how to stay safe at all times!
Extension cords can pose a risk when not used appropriately. While air purifiers generally consume much less power than similar devices (such as portable air conditioners), safety precautions are still essential.
Most extension cords can handle the little power an air purifier draws. But a very bad quality extension cord that can’t handle the required power can pose a risk of melting or even catching fire.
The risk with air purifiers is not the power, but the running time: Oftentimes, you run your air purifier for 4 to 8 hours a day, sometimes even longer. This can cause heat buildup.
That’s why you need the right-sized extension cord for your air purifier.
Quick answer: Yes, you can use an extension cord for an air purifier. But make sure your extension cord supports the wattage and amperage of your air purifier. Otherwise, you risk a fire. Most air purifiers typically consume between 30W to 200W, translating to about 0.25 to 1.67 Amps. Your extension cord should safely accommodate this.
Not sure if your extension cord at home can handle it? Keep reading. I will recommend a few extension cords you can buy that can handle typical currents for air purifiers.
Recommended Extension Cord for Air Purifiers
Before we dive into what makes an extension cord safe for air purifiers, I’ll share some of my personal favorite extension cords.
For air purifiers, I recommend this 25 ft. extension cord (click here to view it on amazon). It’s rated up to 13 Amps at 125 V. So, it supports 1625 Watts of power, more than enough for any household air purifier.
If you need an extension cord longer than that, consider this 50 ft. extension cord (click here to view it on amazon).
It’s always good to have a slightly longer cord for versatility
Both of these extension cords are absolutely bulletproof and 100% safe to run even the strongest air purifier.
Probably you can also get a smaller-gauge extension cord. But I find that smaller gauges are harder to find. And, if you find one, they are neither cheaper nor do they look very trustworthy.
So, get a good extension cord. Then, you are also free to use that cord with any other device in the future.
Prerequisites for Extension Cords for Air Purifiers
All extension cords are not created equal. They vary in gauge (thickness of the wire) and the materials from which they’re made. Different cords are best suited for different devices.
For an air purifier, the extension cord must be rated to handle at least the amount of current the device uses. It’s good practice to leave some tolerance room.
For example, if your air purifier draws 2 Amp of current from the wall outlet, don’t opt for an exactly 2A-rated extension cord.
( I am not sure if such small gauges even exist – at least not in the realm of extension cords )
Using an extension cord at its maximum limit consistently can risk damage.
The principle remains consistent: Always opt for safety. It’s better to invest in a quality extension cord than risk potential damage or danger.
How much current do Air Purifiers use?
Air purifiers vary in their power consumption based on their size, capacity, and efficiency. A smaller purifier meant for a bedroom may only use 30W to 60W, while a larger unit for a spacious living room might consume 100W to 200W.
Translating this to current, most air purifiers draw between 0.25 to 1.67 Amps.
Here’s how I calculated these values:
- Power Equation: The power (P) consumed by any electronic device is the product of the voltage (V) and the current (I) it draws. This relationship is given by the equation:
P = V × I
- Common Voltage Standard: In most households in the United States, the standard voltage is 120V. Using this standard, we can rearrange the power equation to solve for current:
I = P ÷ V
- Calculating for Smaller Air Purifiers: Taking a smaller purifier that uses 30W as an example:
I = 30W ÷ 120V = 0.25 A
A 30W purifier draws a current of 0.25 Amps.
- Calculating for Larger Air Purifiers: For a larger purifier that uses 200W:
I = 200W ÷ 120V = 1.67
A 200W purifier draws a current of 1.67 Amps.
It’s essential to remember that these calculations provide a general estimate. Always refer to the specific product’s user manual or label to get the exact power and current values, as they can differ between various models and brands.
Always refer to your air purifier’s user manual to find its specific power and current ratings. When in doubt, it’s better to overestimate the power requirements to ensure safety.
Air purifier peak currents on “High” fan speed
Sometimes, air purifiers consume more power than their specification label indicates.
For example, the Levoit Core 300 (which is the air purifier I use), officially draws 33W. Here’s the proof:
But, according to power-meter measurements, that’s only the average wattage on the “Medium” fan speed setting.
If I run my air purifier at “High”, it consumes up to 47 Watts of power.
That’s 42% more than the specification indicates!
So, we have to account for that as well when using an extension cord with an air purifier.
When a strong air purifier is rated at 200W, you can assume peak power usage on the highest setting to be 300W.
( Which would draw a whopping 2.5 Amps from a US standard outlet )
Additional Safety Tips for Using an Extension Cord with an Air Purifier
Even though most extension cords can easily handle an air purifier, you should get a quality extension cord to reduce the heat buildup. Air purifiers typically run for many hours a day, or even 24/7. The risk is not power consumption, but running time and the corresponding heat accumulation over time.
Here are a few things to remember when running your air purifier with an extension cord:
- Unroll the Extension Cord: This prevents heat buildup. Even if air purifiers don’t draw as much power as ACs, it’s still crucial to avoid bundling up the cord.
- Ensure a Proper Connection: Make sure the extension cord is firmly connected to both the air purifier and the wall outlet.
A loose connection increases electric resistance and can result in a power cord meltdown.
- Choose the Right Length: An unnecessarily long cord can lead to increased resistance and potential tripping hazards. Opt for the length that suits your needs.
Can you use a regular extension cord with an air purifier?
Yes, you can use any regular extension cord with an air purifier. Most likely, the old leftover extension cord in your garage is capable of handling even a strong 200W air purifier.
Still, before you use “any” extension cord, ensure it can handle the power requirements of your air purifier.
Check the Amperage rating on the extension cord itself. You should find a print label on the power cord itself.
For most air purifiers, an extension cord rated for 3A or 5A should suffice.
If you don’t find a label specifying the gauge and amperage of the extension cord, I suggest you simply try to run your air purifier with the cord for a few hours in a safe place (outdoors, in a garage, etc.) to check that everything works.
Extra safe extension Cords for heavy-duty appliances
If you still are afraid of running your air purifier with a regular extension cord, you might consider an extension cord with a built-in surge protector.
While not essential, it can provide additional peace of mind, especially during electrical storms or fluctuations.
Or even better: Use a heavy-duty extension cord. My favorite heavy-duty extension cord is this Clear Power extension cord (click here to view it on amazon).
The best thing about these heavy-duty extension cords is that they support any electric device. You might not need them for your air purifier, but you can use them.
A heavy-duty extension cord is never wasted money!
There will always come a time when you need one.
To conclude, using an extension cord with an air purifier is perfectly safe as long as you take the necessary precautions.
Ensure the extension cord can handle the purifier’s power requirements, and always prioritize quality products.
This way, you can enjoy cleaner air without any worries.
If you want to be 100% safe, get a good heavy-duty extension cord. Even though a heavy-duty cord is way beyond what an air purifier needs, there will be a time in your life when you need such a heavy-duty cord anyways.
So, you’re versatile and already prepared!