Before You Buy: HVAC Air Purifier Guide

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October 17, 2019

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Besides dust, invisible particles like pollen, bacteria, viruses, pet dander, dust mites, and mold may all be floating around inside your home. One of the ways you can address indoor air pollution is by investing in an air purifier. Here's a quick primer on HVAC air purifiers.

What Do HVAC Air Purifiers Do?

An HVAC purifier removes dust, pet dander, bacteria, viruses, mold, and other minuscule allergens and pollutants from the air circulating throughout your heating and cooling system.

Types of HVAC Air Purifiers

Air purifier types include:

Media Air Purifiers

These affordable units have a thick and dense filter to trap smaller pollutants than standard HVAC filters do. They can use three types of filters, namely:

  • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
  • Activated charcoal or carbon filters
  • Charged filters

They remove more than 99.9% of contaminants from the air.

The downside to using them is that they won't remove pollutants when your blower fan isn't running. Their filters have to be replaced regularly to maintain their effectiveness. Also, the filters can be very thick, making them impede the airflow through your HVAC system.

Media Air Purifiers with PCO (Photocatalytic Oxidation)

In these units, an ultraviolet (UV) light shines on the catalytic filters to destroy pollutants. They don't hinder the airflow through your HVAC system.

The major undoing of these purifiers is their higher initial costs as well as the electricity costs needed to run them.

Electronic Air Purifiers

These typically have a pre-filter to capture large particles and electronic charges to attract tiny particles. Their filters are washable. Replacement costs are low because they can last for more than a year.

These purifiers only trap 95 to 97 percent of the pollutants that flow through them. Unlike media purifiers, they have parts that can break down and require replacement. You'll also need to wash the filter and collector plates regularly.

Combination Purifiers

These combine the different technologies above. They're costly, but give you the distinct advantage of removing not only both large and small particles but also odors.

Each type of air purifier has its advantages and disadvantages. If you live anywhere in the Fort Wayne area and need more assistance with choosing between the different HVAC air purifiers, contact the indoor air quality experts at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning, and we'll be glad to help.

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