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Apr 30, 2021 1:48:46 PM by Lauren Mangano

The Difference between Air Filters and Air Purifiers

Air Purifier vs air filter in your home

With spring upon us, it's prime time to make sure your HVAC system is ready to provide cool air by scheduling a professional tune up, getting filters changed, etc. Then, when winter comes around, it'll be time to seal up our houses and try to keep the heat in. 
There are many reasons to do routine maintenance on your HVAC system: it will help your system run optimally and efficiently, it will help to preserve the unit’s lifespan and reduce maintenance costs, and it will help remove the harmful stuff from the air we breathe in our homes.
No matter what time of year it is, maintaining adequate indoor air quality is key to staying healthy. In fact, the air in our homes is approximately two to five times more polluted than the outside air.


Air Filtration Versus Air Purification

There are four essential elements to a healthy home air solution: ventilation, humidity control, filtration, and purification. In this article, we'll focus on the ladder two.Download the IAQ Product Guide


Air filters are the most common indoor air quality product. A typical home that has forced air heating and cooling system blows conditioned air through the ductwork and out vents located throughout the home. In addition, they have return ducts that take air from the home back to HVAC unit. All these systems have some sort of air filter, whether it is a disposable unit you buy at the hardware store, or a more efficient/high-quality media style electronic air filter.
The primary purpose of any filter is to keep your HVAC unit cleaner internally, therefore maximizing its efficiency and, in the process, reducing airborne particulate (e.g. dust, dander, pollen) from being recirculated throughout the home.
Proper filtration of both the air in your home and incoming ventilation air is key to removing particulates from the air.
But keep in mind, no matter how efficient the filtration is or how high the cost to install, these units will only clean what is brought back to the system through the duct return system.


Air purification systems, on the other hand, are designed to reduce and destroy surface and airborne contaminants. Most common among these is the UV Light purifier. Installed in the system ductwork, these units can be very effective at killing bacteria, molds, and fungus, but will only destroy these pollutants when in very close contact to the UV light for a determined amount of time.
One alternative to the standard UV light are units that use advanced oxidation technology. These utilize a type of UV light technology to produce “friendly oxidizers” that travel through the air ducts to kill or reduce microbes and gases in the conditioned space.
The best analogy to describe the difference is a mouse trap versus a cat: one waits for the mouse, the other goes out and hunts for it. The latest UV air purifiers that use this technology literally go throughout your home and ‘hunt down’ the bacteria, mold, and fungus that can be making your family sick.
Proper air filters paired with an air purification system can provide a solution to your entire home by capturing almost all of the airborne particles. 

Want to learn more about how to maintain a safe indoor environment? Click here to see the packages we offer at ECI.
You can also schedule a free IAQ consultation by clicking the button below or giving us a call at 215-245-3200.
Request a Free IAQ Consultation

This entry was posted in Central Air Conditioning, Home Performance, Air Purifiers, Efficiency, Ductwork, Air Filters, Technology, Home Maintenance, Air Conditioning

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