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Air Purifiers vs Air Filters: What’s the Difference?

Air Purifier and Air Filter in Boca Raton.

Are you worried about the air quality in your home? Contact us and we can help you figure out just what you need for the cleanest, freshest air quality!

    Your air conditioning system is indispensable when it comes to your comfort. Did you know, good air quality in the home can positively impact your health and well-being? According to the EPA, poor air quality can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Long term exposure to air pollutants can cause respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer. Knowing how to protect yourself and family can be confusing. You change your air filter regularly, but you might have also seen advertisements for air purifiers. What’s the difference, and which is right for you?

    What is an Air Purifier?

    An air purifier is a stand-alone or portable unit that filters the air and is detached from your air conditioning system. It can be an upright unit that is placed on your floor, table top, or mounted on a wall. Because of its size, its reach is limited to a single room. Air purifiers run continuously, and some of them are not very energy efficient. Energy Star estimates that some models use more energy than your refrigerator!

    The most popular types of air purifiers have either a HEPA filter or an ionizer. Purifiers with HEPA filters claim they can remove up to 99.9% of indoor pollutants, but this is not the only factor. Their efficiency depends on the size of the room and Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR, which measures the rate that the purifier cleans the air. A higher rating means a quicker cleaning unit. Ionic air purifiers pass air through positively and negatively charged plates to collect particles. There are no filters to replace; the plates must be washed and cleaned periodically.

    What is an Air Filter?

    An air filter, specifically the one in your air conditioning system, improves the air quality in your home by removing the pollutants from home as it circulates the air. It is a vital part of your HVAC system, and replacing the air filter is essential for two reasons. First, a clean filter is vital for cleaning the air in your home. A dirty filter traps fewer contaminants. Second, a dirty filter restricts air-flow in the AC unit which makes it work harder and circulate less air.

    HVAC air filters come in HEPA varieties, too. A MERV rating measures the filter’s quality. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration, but a high MERV rating might restrict air flow too much. A primary source of HVAC problems stems from air filters with inadequate air flow. Ensuring that you use the right air filter and changing them regularly can save on energy usage and monthly electric bills.

    Well, What’s the Difference?

    The primary difference between an air purifier and an air filter is that an air filter is already an integral part of your home AC system. On the other hand, an air purifier is a device that you could purchase separately. An air purifier cleans the air in one room or living area while an air filter works to clean the air as it circulates in your home. A clean air filter can help to stabilize your energy bills, but an air purifier might increase the costs because they run in addition to your AC system.

    Clear the Air with Air Boca

    Not sure which to choose? Let Air Boca take care of your air conditioning needs to ensure your home air quality is at its best. Contact us today, or call us at 561-750-1625.

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    11 comments


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    3. Another thing that you should look at before you decide what is the best air conditioner brands to buy is the energy efficiency of different models. Energy efficiency is important because, when you use cooling, your unit is taking heat from inside the room and converting it to cool air outside of the unit.


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