The Differences Between an Air Cleaner and an Air Purifier

The Differences Between an Air Cleaner and an Air PurifierIf you are looking for a system to clean the air in your Traverse City home, it’s time to clear the air about the differences between air cleaners and air purifiers. There is none. Whether a unit is advertised as an air cleaner or air purifier, it makes no difference. That’s a confusing point for many people. What does make a difference is the technology and methodology air cleaning systems use to clean indoor air.

Exploring Indoor Pollutants

It helps to know what your new air cleaner is going up against — nasty, foul, and sometimes contagious germs, allergens, and more. Following are types of airborne pollutants and examples:

  • VOCs: VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are harmful gases and chemicals released from everyday materials, such as home building materials and personal care products.
  • Odors/gases: Odors and gases may include tobacco smoke, cooking odors, odors from cleaning products, and more.
  • Particles: Common airborne particles include human and pet dander, pollen, dirt, and dust mite parts.
  • Microorganisms: Common airborne microorganisms include viruses, fungus, mold spores, and bacteria.

Air Cleaner Technologies

More sophisticated air cleaners use multiple technologies and methodologies for removing, destroying, and/or neutralizing airborne contaminants. Following are popular types:

  • HEPA: HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air (filter). This filter type is the best of the best media filter available. HEPA filters capture 99.97 percent of airborne pollutants to 0.3 microns. This includes some viruses, bacteria, and smoke.
  • Electronic: Electronic air cleaners use attraction to capture their airborne prey. As contaminants pass through an electrical field, they are given a charge. Plates with opposite charges trap the contaminants, which then may be washed away in your dish washer.
  • UV: UV light systems utilize short-wave ultraviolet light to neutralize microorganisms.

HVAC Efficiency

Whole-house air cleaners installed in the HVAC system affect efficiency. A true HEPA filter is going to make your HVAC system use more energy to pull airflow through the dense filter. On the other hand, electronic air cleaners and UV light systems don’t impede HVAC airflow at all.

For more information about choosing the right air cleaner, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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