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8 Common Holmes Air Purifier Problems (And How to Fix Them)

Last updated January 21, 2023

This post may contain affiliate links.

Author
Author avatar Marie Cookson

Based in Manchester, Marie is one of the writers at HouseFresh and our resident dust expert. She works together with our in-house researchers and our Managing Editor to produce in-depth articles offering practical advice on how to tackle indoor air quality issues.

Founded in 1982, Holmes is an American company that produces various appliances, including humidifiers, fans and air purifiers. With their carbon and HEPA filtration systems, Holmes’ purifiers, such as the HAP625 model, can reduce odors and eliminate harmful, airborne particles. 

However, some customers have experienced problems with these devices, such as the unit and fan not working and reduced airflow. Luckily, we’re on hand to help you fix any issues. You’ll find some of the most common problems in Holmes air purifiers, along with our solutions. We’ll also educate you about your unit’s correct power rating and room size, and explain how to contact Holmes directly.

⚠️ As with all electrical devices, ensure your air purifier is unplugged before trying to perform any of these solutions, especially when opening up the unit. Always consult the manual before doing anything.

Problem 1: My Holmes Air Purifier Isn’t Working

If your device won’t switch on or isn’t functioning, you can try these solutions:

Is the unit properly plugged in?

Ensure the air purifier is well plugged in, and there is power coming from the outlet (120V). 

Is the power switch on?

Double-check that the power button is set to the “On” position. You can then select a speed to turn on the unit.

Is the door firmly closed?

The purifier’s door needs to be fully closed to operate efficiently.

Have you checked the front grille?

If the front grill doesn’t fit properly, your purifier won’t operate. Be sure that the front grill is seated correctly and also that the filters are properly installed.

Is the purifier in the ideal room size? 

Your Holmes purifier needs to be placed in a room that’s suitable for its capacity. Check your device below. 

Holmes Air Purifier ModelIdeal Room Size in Square FeetIdeal Room Size in Square Meters
True HEPA ConsoleHAP865034932.4
Mini Tower HEPAHAP941311610.7
Personal Air Purifier HAP120SmallSmall
Tower True HEPA HAP942319217.8
Desktop HEPAHAP924110910.1
Smoke Grabber Ashtray and Odor Eliminator HAP75SmallSmall
HEPA Type TowerHAP120318817.4
Tower True HEPA HAP943518817.4
Small Room HEPAHAP600746.8
Desktop HEPAHAP242SmallSmall
True HEPA Allergen Remover HAP706857.8
True HEPA 360° Air PurifierHAP36015514.4
Desktop True HEPAHAP924313212.2
Mini Tower True HEPAHAP941513812.8
Tower HEPAHAP942520218.7
Personal Space 2-Speed HAP116SmallSmall
Germ-Reducing True HEPAHAP53725023.2
Allergen Remover True HEPAHAP208120118.6

Problem 2: The Orange Light Is Flashing

Generally, there’s one primary reason why this is happening, and it’s to do with the filters…

Have you checked the carbon filter?

When the orange light flashes, the carbon filter needs to be replaced. It’s recommended that you change this filter every one-three months. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Firstly, switch off the purifier and unplug it from the outlet.
  2. Next, you need to access the filter compartment: open the front air inlet grill door by pressing the “Door Release Button”.
  3. Remove the old carbon filter from the unit by pulling it towards you carefully.
  4. Using the plastic tab as a guideline, insert the new carbon filter (be sure to remove the plastic wrapping/bag). 
  5. Close the front air inlet grill door.
  6. Finally, you need to reset the filter life indicator. To do this, insert a small object such as a paperclip into the tiny hole under the light. Then hold down the “Filter Reset Button” for three seconds. You should see the green light indicating that the filter monitor has been reset successfully.

Problem 3: The Red Light Stays On

In most cases, you’ll find that this problem is also connected to the filter.

Have you checked the HEPA filter?

Although these can last between 12-18 months, a red light means that you’ll need to replace the HEPA filter. 

Simply follow the first two steps from problem two then: 

  1. Remove the carbon and HEPA filters by pulling them towards you gently.
  2. Dispose of the old HEPA filter carefully (don’t attempt to clean it). 
  3. Place the carbon filter back on the new HEPA filter. 
  4. Insert the new HEPA filter into the unit by sliding it onto the hang tabs. 
  5. Close the front air inlet grill door.
  6. Reset the filter life indicator as above.

Problem 4: The Fan Isn’t Working

If you’re experiencing this problem, you can try a couple of troubleshooting methods:

Have you attempted to spin the fan blade by hand?

Spinning the fan blade by hand will let you know if you need to replace the motor because the blade won’t be able to spin freely. However, if the blade does spin easily, you can test the motor for continuity using a multimeter — a device that can measure such things as voltage, current and resistance. 

You might need to replace the motor if it doesn’t have continuity. Be sure to contact Holmes customer service if you need any assistance.

If the motor does spin freely and it has continuity, the next thing you can do is make sure that it’s getting enough power. If the motor isn’t getting power, you’ll have to replace it.

Does the fan need cleaning?

It’s possible that the fan simply needs a good cleaning. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  1. Switch off and unplug the purifier from the outlet, then place it on a table.
  2. Remove the front grill from inside the unit. 
  3. Hold the indentation on the right side of the purifier’s front cover and pull it open gently. Then grab the top area of the grill and pull it up and out of the unit slowly.
  4. Fill a sink with warm, soapy water using two tsp of mild liquid dish soap. Place the grill into the water. Using an old rag, gently wipe the grill to remove dust and dirt. Rinse the grill thoroughly in warm water and dry with a dish towel.
  5. Wipe the cover of the purifier with a soft, clean cloth, using an old toothbrush to remove any dirt in the air vents. Then wipe the inside of the device with a cloth.
  6. Dry the grill completely and place it back inside the purifier.
  7. Close the purifier door, ensuring it snaps shut.

❓ Is the power rating inaccurate?

It’s important to use the correct power rating for your purifier so that it works successfully. Use our table below to find the right wattage for your device.

Holmes Air PurifierPower Source Rated Power 
True HEPA ConsoleHAP86502-Prong Plug (Polarity type)100W
Mini Tower HEPAHAP94132-Prong Plug (Polarity type)38W
Personal Air Purifier HAP120USB4.5W
Tower True HEPA HAP94232-Prong Plug (Polarity type)95W
Desktop HEPAHAP92412-Prong Plug (Polarity type)38W
Smoke Grabber Ashtray and Odor Eliminator HAP75D BatteriesNA
HEPA Type TowerHAP12032-Prong Plug (Polarity type)High: 87 – 102W Medium: 63 – 80W Low: 50 – 60W
Tower True HEPA HAP94352-Prong Plug (Polarity type)90W
Small Room HEPAHAP6002-Prong Plug (Polarity type)38W
Desktop HEPAHAP2422-Prong Plug (Polarity type)45W
True HEPA Allergen Remover HAP7062-Prong Plug (Polarity type)43W
True HEPA 360° Air PurifierHAP3602-Prong Plug (Polarity type)30W
Desktop True HEPAHAP92432-Prong Plug (Polarity type)37W
Mini Tower True HEPAHAP94152-Prong Plug (Polarity type)37W
Tower HEPAHAP94252-Prong Plug (Polarity type)90W
Personal Space 2-Speed HAP1162-Prong Plug (Polarity type)36W
Germ-Reducing True HEPAHAP5372-Prong Plug (Polarity type)60W
Allergen Remover True HEPAHAP20812-Prong Plug (Polarity type)High: 30W Medium: 26W Low: 22W

Problem 5: The Air Flow Has Decreased

It’s super important that your purifier has sufficient airflow. Let’s have a look at why this might not be working properly.

Have you checked for blockages?

Be sure to check the air inlets for any blockages obstructing the flow of air and clear them away.

❓ Does the air inlet grill need cleaning?

Washing the air inlet grill in warm soapy water (after removing it from the purifier first) should improve the airflow and remove dust and dirt build-up. Remember to let the grill dry thoroughly before putting it back. Tip: You can also clean the outlet grills with a soft brush if you notice lots of dirt or dust.

Does the pre-filter need cleaning?

For your device to work effectively, it’s recommended that you check the washable foam pre-filter every 2-3 weeks and wash it at least every 30 days. Here’s how to clean it well:

  1. Make sure the unit is switched off and unplugged from the outlet
  2. Examine the pre-filter. To do this, open the front door and remove the pre-filter frame.
  3. If there’s a lot of dust, lint or particulate accumulation, wash the pre-filter by hand in warm soapy water. Do not attempt to wash it in an automatic washer. If the pre-filter is damaged or worn out, it’s best to replace it. 
  4. Rinse and dry the pre-filter thoroughly and then replace it with the purifier’s door. Avoid drying it in an automatic dryer; simply dab the pre-filter gently using a dry, cloth hand towel.
  5. Close the door and reattach the pre-filter frame.

Have you checked the condition of the permanent filter?

For optimal performance of the unit, regularly cleaning the permanent filter is recommended and you should check its condition every few weeks. 

Follow our guide on how to clean it effectively:

  1. Switch off the purifier and unplug it from the outlet.
  2. Carefully remove the air inlet grill by pulling on the tab.
  3. Inspect the foam pre-filter and follow the steps from above if it needs cleaning.
  4. Now check the condition of the permanent filters and remove them.
  5. Using your vacuum cleaner, run the brush attachment along both sides of the filter and clean between the pleated layers. Use only this method and do not attempt to clean with water, household cleaners, or detergents.
  6. Don’t worry if the filter appears discolored after vacuuming. This is normal and doesn’t affect the filter’s performance or mean that you need a new one.

Problem 6: The Ionizer Isn’t Working

Many Holmes air purifiers include an ionizer that binds negative ions to help trap dust, smoke, pet dander, pollen, etc. Let’s have a look at why this might have stopped working.

Is the purifier switched on and running?

The ionizer simply won’t work if the unit isn’t running. After switching it on, press the ionizer button to activate this feature. The outer ring of the button should then illuminate in blue, which lets you know it’s working. 

Problem 7: The Ionizer Is Causing a Static Charge

You might notice that the ionizer has caused a static charge to build up on the air outlet grill. Here’s what to look out for when this happens:

❓ Is the purifier grounded properly?

In electrical terms, grounding happens when there’s a fault in the wiring, and extra power is sent away from your devices and into the ground. This helps to prevent a power surge that could overload your purifier.

To avoid a static charge, you can make sure that the unit is grounded well. To do this, plug the 3-prong plug of the purifier into a grounded outlet. Or you can try installing a grounding adaptor. The static charge shouldn’t occur if the ionizer is switched off.

Problem 8: My Holmes Air Purifier Is Producing Excessive Noise

An unusually loud purifier can be a real nuisance, especially if you’re resting or want to sleep. Try these troubleshooting methods: 

Have you removed the plastic packaging from the filters?

It may seem obvious but this can easily happen when you’re eager to fit new filters. Checking for this should hopefully eradicate excess noise.

Are all the parts firmly in place?

Be sure that all the device’s components are secure and in place.

How to Contact Holmes

If you need more assistance with your Holmes purifier, there are lots of ways you can get in touch. For all appliances queries, you can call them on 1-800-546-5637 and they’re available Mon-Fri, 9AM – 5PM ET.

You can also use their chat function by filling out the form on their Contact Us page. It’s recommended that you upload an image of your model to the form so that they can help you as quickly as possible. They’re available to chat Mon – Fri, 8AM – 12 AM EST every day, seven days a week.

Find the Manual for Your Holmes Air Purifier

For more help with your device, click on the link below to access the manual.

Holmes Air Purifier ModelUser Manual
True HEPA ConsoleHAP8650Manual
Mini Tower HEPAHAP9413Manual
Personal Air Purifier HAP120Manual
Tower True HEPA HAP9423Manual
Desktop HEPAHAP9241Manual
Smoke Grabber Ashtray and Odor Eliminator HAP75Manual
HEPA Type TowerHAP1203Manual
Small Room HEPAHAP600Manual
Desktop HEPAHAP242Manual
True HEPA Allergen Remover HAP706Manual
Desktop True HEPAHAP9243Manual
Tower HEPAHAP9425Manual
Personal Space 2-Speed HAP116Manual

SOURCES

Ashton, D. 2021. HouseFresh. Holmes Air Purifier Reviews. housefresh.com
Ashton, D. 2022. HouseFresh. Holmes HAP625 Air Purifier. housefresh.com
Cronkleton, E. 2022. Healthline. A Guide to Holmes Air Purifiers. healthline.com
Holmes. 2022. Air Purifiers. holmesproducts.com 
Holmes. 2022. Care & Usage. holmesproducts.com
Leigh, S. 2017. HomeSteady. How to Troubleshoot a Holmes Air Purifier. homesteady.com
The Indoor Haven. 2021. Holmes Air Purifier How to & Troubleshooting Guide. theindoorhaven.com