You clean your home to remove dirt and germs, but how often do you think about cleaning your air? Air scrubbers are a new development in heating and cooling, but they’ve quickly built a reputation as effective workhorses of air purification.
Considering the air inside your Northeast Ohio home may be up to five times more contaminated than the air outside, improving your indoor air quality is a priority. Poor air quality can cause Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), a medical condition where you have flu-like symptoms in a particular building, only for the discomfort to pass when you leave that location. Air scrubbers can stop SBS and other potentially dangerous but unnecessary illnesses.
How a home air scrubber works
In simplest terms, an air scrubber is an HVAC appliance that rids the air of contaminants. These devices’ germ-killing abilities are impressive. They can kill particulates like pollen and dander, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), remove odors like mildew and smoke, and destroy organisms like mold and viruses.
Air purifiers vs. air scrubbers
The cleaning scope of an air scrubber goes beyond the capabilities of similar devices. While air purifiers only remove airborne particles, many whole-home air scrubbers also kill germs on surfaces like countertops or doorknobs. Air scrubbers release active particles that travel throughout your home, pull the germs from surfaces and send them back through the HVAC system to be removed from your home’s indoor air.
Whole-house vs. portable
With a whole-house model, the purification process starts when air gets pulled through your HVAC system. Next, the impure air passes through the air scrubber, where titanium rods and UV light kill the airborne contaminants. Finally, the cleaned air is distributed back into your home via ductwork.
In a portable model, dirty air goes into the standalone air scrubber itself and through a series of filters. First, the pre-filter captures large particles like lint or animal dander. Next, a HEPA filter removes smaller airborne pathogens like mold spores. Finally, most models also feature a carbon filter to trap ultrafine particles and odors like smoke and mildew.
Air quality monitors
To ensure that your air scrubber is doing its job and effectively cleaning your home’s air, we recommend adding an air quality monitor to accompany the scrubber. This device measures your indoor air quality and reports back to you. Monitors cost around $100 but are essential for keeping you in the know while your air scrubber is hard at work.
How loud is an air scrubber?
Many homeowners pay attention to their HVAC system’s noise level, and for a good reason. Nobody wants to be kept up at night. Thankfully, both varieties of air scrubbers are relatively quiet. Most whole-house models measure under 20 dB, which is about the level of a whisper. In contrast, some portable models can get up to 60 dB when running at the highest setting, which is about the volume of a normal conversation.
Filter best practices
Since portable air scrubbers’ filters vary widely, each unit requires specific care. Check the model’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for accurate handling information on when to clean or replace its filters and keep your device running at its best.
If you have a whole-house air scrubber, the filter is an ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light. To ensure the UV light is working optimally, you should replace the bulb annually. These specialized lights typically cost around $15.
Is an air scrubber right for my family?
Poor indoor air quality threatens your family’s health and comfort. Thankfully, air scrubbers clean your home’s air space, so you breathe, sleep, and live better. Whether you’re looking for a whole-house air scrubber or a convenient portable model, these indoor air-purification devices are an inexpensive-but-invaluable investment that will keep you and your loved ones comfy and healthy at home.
Still confused about air scrubbers?
Call Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling – we’re air scrubber experts! We’ll help you determine which type of air scrubber is best for your home and your family. That’s how neighbors should treat neighbors!™