The indoor air quality in today’s homes is a growing health concern, and it can plummet in the winter when windows and doors are closed up tight. If you’re considering ways to improve your air quality, you may be wondering about the difference between an air cleaner and air purifier and which one is best for your home.
How Air Cleaners Work
Mechanical air cleaners use a filter to capture unhealthy airborne particles and allergens. Whole-home versions are integrated into the HVAC system so that all of the indoors air gets routed through the filter before it’s heated or cooled and circulated through the ductwork. There are various brands and models on the market that provide different degrees and types of filtration to remove particulates like:
- Soil, ash and dust
- Plant pollen
- Dust mites
- Animal dander
- Fungus spores like mold and mildew
- Tobacco smoke
There are also different types of electronic air cleaners available but they release ozone as a byproduct, which is a known lung irritant that can worsen respiratory problems.
How Air Purifiers Work
Although air purifiers also scrub the air, they operate differently than air cleaners. Instead of a filter, air purifiers use ultraviolet (UV) light to zap contaminants and pollutants. Just like air cleaners, whole-home air purifiers are also installed in the ductwork. This ensures that return air is sent through the unit and cleaned before it sent out into the supply ducts for distribution. An air purifier’s UV “germicidal lamps” can remove smoke, and kill bacteria, viruses and other airborne biological contaminants.
Which is Better: An Air Cleaner or Air Purifier?
Before you decide on a particular type of system to improve your air quality, talk to an experienced HVAC professional. Depending on your needs and your HVAC system, you may be advised that one or the other is the best choice, or that a system that combines both filtration and UV light is ideal.
For expert advice about whether an air cleaner or air purifier is the right choice to improve air quality in your Monmouth County home, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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