Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts
indoor air quality

What Every Homeowner Should Know About Whole Home vs. Room Air Purifiers

Do you have concerns about your home's indoor air quality? If so, there are air purifiers available that can provide healthier, cleaner air. To help you choose the ideal one for your needs, here's what you should know about the two main types: whole-home and room purifiers.

Whole-Home Air Purifiers

Whole-house air purifiers are designed to clean the air supply in an entire home using the HVAC ductwork. The purifier unit is integrated into the return ductwork next to the air handler, so it can clean the conditioned air before it's distributed. This setup is convenient and quiet – you can program your purifier right from the HVAC thermostat, and it runs in sync with the blower.

The models available today use one or more purification technologies like:

  • High-efficiency media filtration. These are thick, pleated filters with a high MERV rating. They're effective at trapping allergens like dust, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and mold spores.
  • Activated carbon filtration. Some systems include an activated carbon component that removes odors, smoke and VOCs.
  • UV light. A germicidal UV lamp can zap and kill biological and organic contaminants in the air stream flowing through the HVAC system. UV light can effectively destroy the cells of fungi, algae, viruses and bacteria.
  • UV light-activated photocatalytic oxidation. This more advanced technology is used to convert odor and vapor molecules into non-hazardous water and carbon dioxide.

A whole-house purifier can potentially damage your HVAC components due to restricted system airflow, so it should be installed by an experienced technician.

Room Air Purifiers

Room air purifiers are ideal for smaller homes and those without forced-air HVAC. These portable units are designed for use in one room/area up to a maximum square footage. There are a wide variety of brands and models on the market today that utilize one or more purification methods. The most common technologies include HEPA filtration, UV light, negative ion, and activated charcoal.

To learn more about whole-home vs room air purifiers and which type is best for your San Diego home, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.