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Air Cleaners vs. Air Purifiers: What’s the Difference?

There’s no slicing it sideways – this pandemic has been a grade A pain-in-the…air. But one thing we here at Frymire Home Services are thankful for is that it’s gotten people to take their indoor air quality more seriously. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. What’s more, children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory or pulmonary illnesses are most susceptible to bad indoor air quality hazards.

For these reasons, many homeowners turn to residential air treatment solutions to help combat the dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other everyday airborne dangers floating around in their homes.

Unfortunately, what starts as an innocent Google search often turns into a frustrating rabbit hole. There are dozens of different air treatment solutions out there, and the most frequent question we get is: What’s the difference between an “air cleaner” and an “air purifier”? Isn’t “clean” a synonym of “purify?” Why all the quibbling?

We understand that this isn’t exactly intuitive, so we’ve broken down the differences between air cleaners and air purifiers for you and have given some basic benefits and drawbacks of each.

Sift, Strain, and Filter – the Air Cleaner’s M.O.

Air cleaners filter your home’s air using specialized, carbon-based filters.

Air Cleaner Benefits

Air cleaners are great at trapping large pollutants like dust and pet dander. Folks with asthma, chronic upper-respiratory issues, or seasonal allergies will thank you profusely for installing one. Air cleaners also improve air circulation in the home, which is correlated with better indoor air quality.

Air Cleaner Drawbacks

Because of the fan needed to circulate and filter the air effectively, air cleaners are often noisy. Further, while they take care of larger particulates, air cleaners are not designed or tested to combat viruses, bacteria, chemicals, cigarette smoke, and other smaller health hazards. Air cleaner filters can also be expensive and must be periodically replaced.

Zap, Pulse, Sanitize – The Power of the Air Purifier

Air purifiers sanitize the air by emitting a cleansing agent, such as heat, ozone, negative ions, or UV light.

Air Purifier Benefits

Rather than just focusing on respiratory irritants, air purifiers zero in on the pathogens that make us sick and cause allergies. Air purifiers are often silent or nearly silent to operate and are overall less expensive than an air cleaner.

Air Purifier Drawbacks

Air purifiers do little or no dust removal, so an air purifier won’t help much if that’s your main pollutant. Furthermore, an air purifier’s effectiveness depends on how good your air circulation in your home is – and if it’s not very good, your air purifier will only purify the part of your home that’s nearest to the installation site.

Not Sure Which is Best for Your Home? Contact Frymire Home Services

Our service professionals are trained and certified in the latest indoor air quality solutions, and we leave our customers better than we found them. We’ll walk you through your options and match you with the solution that’s right for your home’s particular needs and pollutants.

Give us a call at 972-913-2881, or contact us online today.

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