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What’s the Difference Between Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers?

What’s the Difference Between Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers?

When trying to improve the indoor air quality in your home, you may consider installing an air cleaner or air purifier. These devices filter unwanted contaminants out of your home’s air, allowing you to breathe easier and healthier air. But how do you know what the difference is between air cleaners and air purifiers, and which you should install in your home?

Air filters and air purifiers work to filter out the same pollutants, including:

  • Pet dander
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Dust
  • Soil
  • Ash
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Fungus
  • And much, much more

So what’s the difference? Below, we’ve outlined the core differences between air cleaners and air purifiers and how each system improves your home’s performance.

Air Cleaners

Air cleaners filter out dirt, mold, and other microscopic pollutants from the air. Air cleaners serve the same purpose as an air purifier—to remove impurities from the air—but do so in a different manner.

Air cleaners let air pass through a built-in filter to remove particles and are built directly into your HVAC system. They are installed between the air return duct and the furnace or air conditioner so that all air flowing in your home’s ductwork is cleaned. Air cleaners also help prolong the life of your heating and cooling systems and prevent dust, dirt, and other debris from building up inside the units.

Air Purifiers

A common question we hear from our customers is, “Are air cleaners and air purifiers the same thing?” The answer is simple — “no.” Similar to an air cleaner, air purifiers remove contaminants from the air. However, instead of using a built-in screen or filter, air purifiers zap impurities using UV (ultraviolet) germicidal lamps. This creates cleaner, healthier air for you and your family to breathe and improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Not to mention, air purifiers operate silently so as not to bother you and your family with extra noise.

Should I Buy an Air Purifier or an Air Cleaner?

Both air cleaners and air purifiers promote a healthy living environment and can both alleviate the symptoms of:

  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Dry throat
  • Itchy skin

Both systems also reduce the likelihood of catching many common illnesses in your home, such as a cold or the flu.

If you can’t decide between installing an air purifier or an air cleaner, or if you’re interested in learning more, call our air quality experts at Able Heating & Air today at 540-718-7556, or contact us online — we’re always happy to help with any questions you may have!

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