Differences Between an Air Cleaner and an Air Purifier

October 19, 2016

Living with poor indoor-air quality (IAQ) can be very uncomfortable, and it could lead to serious health problems. If airborne bacteria, germs, allergens, and other pollutants concern you, then you may have considered purchasing an air cleaner or air purifier for your home. Though, do you know which one is the right weapon for your IAQ strategy?

Truth be known, air cleaners and air purifiers are the same thing — a home appliance designed to remove pollutants from indoor air using media filtration, UV, and/or other means. So, when you're shopping for an air cleaning device, focus your efforts on determining the coverage area, air-cleaning technologies, and features.

Whole-House Air Cleaners

Before you buy an air cleaner, you'll need to decide on the coverage area. Do you want to clean the air in just one room or enjoy clean air throughout your entire home?

Whole-house air cleaners are installed inside your home's air ducts by your HVAC professional. This location gives you the advantage of clean air to all of your living spaces, and cleaner HVAC parts.

Some air cleaners use independent wall-mounted controls, or may be connected to a compatible thermostat you already have. More advanced systems offer smartphone apps so that you can monitor IAQ remotely, and make changes if you need to.

Room Air Cleaners

Room air cleaners don't give you the coverage as whole-house units. However, many operate at decibels quieter than a human whisper, and select room air cleaners offer you the same air-cleaning technologies as whole-house systems:

  • Carbon-activated filters remove odors and gases, such as tobacco smoke, cooking odors, and pet odors.?
  • HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters capture nearly all particulates and micro-organisms to 0.3 microns in size, but they don't do anything to neutralize gaseous pollutants.
  • Electronic air cleaners use electrical charges to attract and trap contaminants on metal plates. The plates may be cleaned and re-used.
  • UV lights emit low levels of radiation that neutralizes micro-organisms.

You don't have to live with poor IAQ in your Des Moines home. Contact Lozier Heating & Cooling and we'll help determine the right air cleaner for you. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).