How to Choose the Best Whole-House Air Purifier

Whole house air purification system, including filters
A whole-house air purifier can remove most microscopic allergens from your home so you can breathe easier.

Airborne allergens can have a big impact on your health.

Dust can lead to breathing difficulties, and you might find mold spores entering your house, particularly in damp areas. Mold, of course, can cause significant property damage and increase the chances that you will get sick.

For this reason, you should try to find a way to remove harmful airborne particulates from your home.

One of the best ways to do this is by using a whole-house air purifier.


Air conditioners outside a yellow home.
If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, a whole-house air purifier can provide enhanced filtering capabilities. (DepositPhotos)

How Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Work?

Let’s start by talking about how these devices operate. Often, whole-house air purifiers are connected to an existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, system.

Then, as this system takes in air, it gets purified. In most cases, this means going through multiple filters. When the HVAC system is operating, you will be removing any particulates from the air.

Now that we have a basic overview of how these systems work, let’s look at what you should consider when choosing a whole-house air purification system.

Think About Purification

When you’re shopping for an air purifier, the first thing you should consider is how to clean the air.

For example, if you want to remove bacteria and germs, you might want to get an ultraviolet system. It’s installed in the ductwork and can kill any microscopic mold and bacteria that pass through it.

Alternatively, there are High-Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA, filters that force air through fine mesh and trap about 80 percent of allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen and tobacco smoke.


HVAC professional checking air conditioner
A heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician should install your whole-house air purifier.

Costs

When selecting a whole-house air purifier, you’ll definitely want to consider how much it will cost you. A UV system could cost $400 and the UV bulb needs annual replacement, whereas a HEPA system could cost $1,000 and its filter could cost $70 per year.

When considering each system’s lifetime costs, go ahead and factor in professional installation and maintenance.

Consider the ACH Rate

Many air purifiers are available on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one you should purchase.

One way to compare costs is by using the Air Changes Per Hour rate. This tells you the number of times each hour that the purifier is able to remove old, dirty air and replace it with clean air.

Generally, the higher the ACH rate, the more efficient the system. This information can be found in the product specifications.

Use CADR Figures

Different air purifiers cater to different-size rooms. To make sure that a system effectively purifies air in your house, use the Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR. This records how effectively the purifier will be able to remove certain types of pollutants.

The three allergens tested are dust, tobacco smoke and pollen. Depending on how effectively the system cleans the air, it will be ranked in each category from 10-450. The higher the ranking, the better. This information, if available, will also tell you the size of the room that the system can accurately clean.


Cheap, ineffective air conditioner filters
Your heating and cooling system’s air filters do remove impurities, but a whole-house air purifier is much more effective.

One of the best ways to protect you and your family from allergens is by installing a whole-house purifier. The system will automatically filter the air coming into your house through the HVAC system.

This will make it easier for people with breathing problems and preventing things like mold spores from causing sickness.

So, choose the best whole-house purifier and improve your air quality.

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