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Air Cleaners: Are They Really Effective?

Air Cleaners: Are They Really Effective?As the name indicates, air cleaners or purifiers improve air quality by filtering pollutants, such as dust, pet dander and mold spores. Homeowners have many choices, depending on budget and what type of pollutants they want removed from their homes. 

  • Table top air cleaners are freestanding machines that are plugged into electrical outlets. These are powerful enough to purify air in one or two rooms. Because they are portable, you can easily move the unit from room to room. Table top air cleaners are perfect for low-budget reasons.
  • Whole-house air purifiers are integrated with your HVAC system and clean the entire home. This system’s greatest advantage is that it requires almost zero maintenance and provides purified air throughout the whole house.

Air cleaners are not created equally and the way they clean the air differs.

Electrostatic (also called ionic) cleaners use metal plates and an electrostatic charge to collect particles from the air. As the air passes over the charged plate, the electrostatic charge captures any dust, spores or any other floating debris. In essence, the air coming out of air cleanser is much cleaner than the air going into the unit.

UV air cleaners use short ultraviolet light to kill biological particles, such as bacteria, mold spores and viruses in the air. However, unless the UV-technology is combined with filtration to capture particles, UV cleaners do not actually remove dust or other impurities from the air.

HEPA cleaners or high-efficiency particulate air purifiers, are mechanical units that use glass-fiber filters to capture impurities from the air that travels through the system. Although HEPA purifiers are considered the gold standard, they can be noisy and the filter needs to be replaced regularly. It is also important to note that not all HEPA filters work well with a whole-house HVAC system. Your HVAC system may need to be adjusted significantly to accommodate HEPA filters.

If you have any questions about air cleaners or other issues related to home comfort, please feel free to contact us at Arpi’s. We’ve been serving Calgary’s HVAC needs for five decades.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air cleaners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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