Indoor air quality is of the utmost importance for health-conscious homeowners. When you have fresh, clean air coursing throughout your home, you’ll feel much more awake and focused. You’ll also be at far lower risk of several respiratory conditions, some of which can have significant consequences if they are left unaddressed over long periods. However, not every homeowner understands how to achieve better indoor air quality— or what their options for doing so are. For instance, do you know the difference between an air scrubber vs an air purifier? If you don’t, keep reading: we’ll clear it up for you (pun intended).
Buying an Air Scrubber vs an Air Purifier: How Do They Work?
Air scrubbers vs air purifiers: when you look at them head to head, both have similar functions. They’re both intended to clean up the air in a given indoor space. However, the mechanics by which each of these systems function tend to be quite different, and the results they produce are not exactly alike. To highlight the differences between an air scrubber vs an air purifier, we’ve provided detailed descriptions of each below:
- Air Scrubbers: the term “scrubber” is used for these devices because they wash contaminants out of the air. There are two kinds of scrubbers — wet scrubbers and dry scrubbers. Wet air scrubbers use liquid to clean the atmosphere in a building, not entirely unlike a spray bottle. Wet scrubbers often rely on water for this purpose. Dry scrubbers, on the other hand, often make use of filters. The filters can be made from fabric, or they can be mechanical in nature. HEPA filters and activated carbon filters are two examples of dry scrubbers. Some people only use the term “scrubber” to refer to wet scrubbers and consider HEPA filters as a form of purifier. An air scrubber, vs. an air purifier, typically removes contaminant gases from the air within a building. As such, they can be particularly useful in lowering the carbon dioxide content of a given space, which improves the air quality for the occupants.
- Air Purifiers: most air purifiers add something to the atmosphere of a building besides water. In many cases, an air purifier also releases quantities of ozone into the space, which has the effect of neutralizing bacteria and spores. Ozone is an extraordinarily effective agent when used for this purpose. However, ozone can also worsen certain symptoms in asthmatics. As such, most homeowners prefer to use HEPA filters instead of ozone-releasing devices.
Why HEPA Filters are so Difficult to Classify
When it comes to an air scrubber vs an air purifier, the debate on whether HEPA air filters fall into either category of is ultimately semantic. No matter how you choose to categorize them, HEPA filters can make valuable additions to an HVAC system. HEPA filters use a fine mesh to trap particles that may not even be visible to the naked eye. As they force air through this mesh, the filters commonly catch contaminants such as cigarette smoke, dust mites, pet dander, and pollen. They can also be instrumental in removing viruses and bacteria from the air, which allows them to raise the indoor air quality significantly in homes.
Supporting Your Air Scrubber or Purifier
So, which should you buy for your home? Looking at an air scrubber vs an air purifier can be a tricky choice. It is important to remember that simply purchasing an air scrubber or purifier for your HVAC will not be enough to guarantee fresh air in your system at all times. You will also have to make sure you take excellent care of your HVAC systems so that it continues to function properly and send air into your building reliably.
No matter what kind of system you are using to clean the air that travels through your HVAC, you’ll need to make sure it is always well-maintained. If you are using a filter of any kind, you’ll have to clean it or change it out for a new one each month. Disposable filters must be replaced, whereas you can usually clean reusable electrostatic filters.
You’ll also have to make sure to arrange for duct cleaning once or twice a year so that the air your system is working stays fresh on its way into your space. If the ducts that carry the air to the rooms of your building are congested with foreign matter, the air that passes through them will become contaminated. The air scrubber vs air purifier debate becomes moot at that point because neither are likely to be able to handle the demand they face appropriately. Calling a licensed professional to clean your ducts periodically will ensure that the air in your system stays fresh until you inhale it.
Choosing an Air Scrubber vs an Air Purifier: Your Call
Who wins the debate between the air scrubber vs the air purifier? Both can be useful, depending on your specific needs and the types of contaminants found in the atmosphere of your building. Use this guide to help you during your decision-making process so that you can select an option with total confidence. Before you buy, make sure that your investment is going to make a difference by doing your research. Consider asking your preferred HVAC contractor for insight into the issue of an air scrubber vs an air purifier, too.
Check with us here at Valley Comfort Heating and Air; our customers love our attention to detail and our friendly, affordable service. (707) 800-6287
Valley Comfort conducts Indoor Air Quality Testing Services in the following communities: Santa Rosa, Napa, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, St Helena, Calistoga, and Windsor