Houstonians and residents from surrounding areas are no strangers to air pollution. Between smog and exhaust from refineries, and allergens from the trees and flowers native to the area, breathing clean air is nearly impossible without some intervention.
Many residents have resorted to appliances that can be added to their home HVAC system to improve the quality of air inside their home. When trying to get clean air for your home it is very easy to get lost in all the jargon and technical specifications of such systems.
Many of our customers get confused with the terms air purifier and air cleaner. While some view them as interchangeable terms for the same appliance, they are actually not exactly the same. While the two appliances are similar, they do work in a very different fashion and your needs and home design will dictate which is best for you. By understanding how each appliance works you can begin to make a decision on the best method of obtaining better air in your home.
Air cleaners are designed to filter the air circulating through your home to eliminate contaminants such as mold, dirt, pollen, and other microscopic impurities that may cause discomfort in your home. While air cleaners essentially serve the same end purpose as a purifier, they do so by a different method.
How Air Cleaners Work
Air cleaners don’t actually destroy the particles of contaminants in the air they merely filter them out before passing through your HVAC vents. Using filters installed between the return duct and the furnace or AC unit, air cleaners trap the particles, in effect “cleaning” the air by way of filtration. Air cleaners also extend the life of your HVAC system as it keeps dirt, dust, and other contaminants from building up in your unit and ductwork.
What They Filter Out
Air cleaners filter out a variety of air contaminants such as:
- Pet dander
- Cigarette Smoke
- And many other common contaminants that can be irritants to your family.
Air purifiers serve the same purpose of an air cleaner but in a different and much more complete manner versus just filtering the contaminants.
How Air Purifiers Work
Rather than use filtration to trap contaminants in a filter before letting the cleansed air circulate in your home, air purifiers use UV germicidal lights to destroy, not just filter, contaminants. This method provides much cleaner and contaminant free air for your home and even improves the efficiency of your HVAC unit. With filtration, the particles are still somewhere in the appliance, trapped in a filter where they could still get caught up in your air supply. With the use of germicidal UV light however, the particles cease to exist as they are completely destroyed.
What They Remove
Air purifiers, like air cleaners, are effective on the same contaminants listed before, but destroy the particles instead of just isolating them in a filter. This is especially beneficial for persons with severe allergies or sensitivities to contaminants such as cigarette smoke.
Which Is Best For Your Home?
Since air purifiers and air cleaners essentially perform the same task, the question of which one to buy comes down to your personal needs and the severity of your allergies or sensitivities. Regardless of which you choose, there are many great benefits to installing one of these appliances in your home to obtain cleaner air.
Benefits Of Cleaner Air
Having cleaner air in your home that is cleaned of contaminants can improve many symptoms of conditions that are known to be affected by contaminated air, such as:
- Dry throat
- Itchy skin
Either system will also help in reducing or preventing the spread of airborne diseases such as the flu, which can also help make a positive impact on your wallet.
Things To Consider When Choosing An Air Purifier Or Air Cleaner
Before you run out and invest your hard earned money into one of these systems, there are some things you will want to consider in choosing the system that best suits your needs. Becoming familiar with these key terms will assist you in making a more informed decision.
This term stands for “clean air delivery rate”, which measures how effective an air cleaner/purifier is at removing the contaminants and delivering clean air. You want the highest CADR number possible as this will save you headaches and money in the long run.
MERV stands for the measurement of “minimum efficiency reporting value” and is used to evaluate the efficiency of air purifiers. MERV ratings range on a scale of 1-20 and, just like CADR, you want to look for higher numbers. As is the case with CADR, the higher the number the more effective the unit is going be.
Having the benefits of clean air without an efficient unit is self-defeating. The Energy Star certification on a purifier or cleaner means it meets high standards for efficiency and reducing ozone depleting emissions.
Before you buy an air cleaner or purifier, find out the true cost of the unit, meaning how much it costs to operate it. The main consumables used that will cost money is the actual filter and/or UV lamps. Check on how often the consumables need to be changed, the availability and cost of the filters and lamps, as well as the availability. Poor research can leave you with a unit that may work great but is too expensive to operate properly.
Need Some Direction?
If you find yourself confused or overwhelmed by the technical terms and labels, no need to worry; Airteam professionals are at your disposal to guide you towards a great system that will leave the air in your home crisp and clean.
Lennox Is The Clear Choice In Clean
At Airteam, we are a proud Lennox distributor. Their consistency in quality and reliability set them apart from the rest. Our top pick for keeping the air in your home clean and safe is the PureAir™ system by Lennox. Offering unmatched purification, odor removal, and energy efficient operation, there is not a contaminant in your home that is a match for the pure power of Lennox.
Enjoy A Breath Of Fresh Air Today!
Contact one of our Airteam consultants to have your home air purified and breathe easy knowing your family is safe from contaminants that cause sickness and irritation.