Air Cleaners & Purifiers, What You Need To Know
Air cleaners have been used for a long time in homes. The first system was built to clean the air as it rose through a heated coal oven. Coal dust was trapped within a filter that was attached to the air outlet. This reduced the buildup on the oven walls.
Homeowners later realized that the air cleaner also helped reduce dust in the home. Asthma flare-ups and allergies were less common. Since this time, 1963, air cleaners and purifiers have been adapted to work with forced air systems.
Today, new technologies have changed the term air cleaner into a more appropriate term, air purifier. The latter is more appropriate because the air is actually purified, not just filtered.
An air cleaner is any type of device that removes impurities such as suspended particles from the air, either by filtering, washing, or electrostatic precipitation.
An air purifier is a device that removes contaminants from the air.
As you can see, the terms are pretty much interchangeable. So when you hear someone talking about an air cleaner or air purifier, they could be talking about either.
How Air Cleaners & Purifiers Work
There are different types of air cleaners and purifiers. The technology used during manufacturing will determine what they can remove from the air.
For instance, a plain air filter will only trap particles as air flows through them. But an HVAC UV Light will eliminate all types of contaminants including viruses, bacteria, mold, mildew, and harmful gasses from the air.
Gas-phase air cleaners are composed of filters that remove odor and gasses. The carbon within absorbs the pollutants. These systems will only remove gaseous pollutants that they are made for and none are expected to remove all types.
Portable Air Cleaners & Purifiers Vs. Whole-Home Systems
A whole-home air purification system is recommended instead of a portable air cleaner.
- Portables have to be moved from room to room and are only useful when turned on. Whole-home systems never have to be moved.
- Portables only get a room temporarily cleaned. Unless there is one in every room and hallway, the indoor pollution will only move to other areas. A whole-home system cleans the entire square footage at the same time, keeping the home always clean.
- Portable air cleaners can be noisy. Air cleaners that are installed into the HVAC system are quiet.
- Only whole-home air cleaners and purifiers can keep the air ducts clean. This ensures dirty air isn't being circulated throughout the home through the ducts of the HVAC system.
There are many types of HVAC air cleaners and purifiers. It's good to know what pollutants are in the home and what to do to solve the problem. Those concerned can have an indoor air quality test done and get the advice of a Peachtree City Air Conditioning indoor air quality expert to see which type of system is best for their home. American Freedom Heating & Air are those experts.