There’s a lot of terminology that gets thrown when it comes to whole-home products and systems. Indoor air quality is one such area that has its fair share of terminology, and it can be confusing for homeowners to know exactly which products do what. For instance, take air cleaners and air purifiers – what’s the difference between these two products? It’s important to know the difference so that you can get your indoor air quality needs met, and the experts at DB Heating & Cooling are here to help you.
“Air cleaners” is a broad term that refers to any kind of indoor air quality product that cleans the air – however, an air cleaner is not an air purifier. This means that an air cleaner, like a mechanical air filter, will not be able to remove all biological contaminants, including bacteria, viruses and spores (mold, mildew, fungi). Why? Biological contaminant particles are very small and can pass through filter media. Electronic air cleaners can capture more biological contaminants because electronic air cleaners charge the particles and then capture them, but like mechanical filters, not all the biological contaminants can be trapped. Here are the products that are considered air cleaners:
- Mechanical air filters (not HEPA)
- Electrostatic precipitators (electronic air cleaner)
- Ion generator (electronic air cleaner)
An air purifier is a device that will remove biological contaminants from your indoor air. The main indoor air quality product that does this is UV germicidal lighting. UV lighting utilizes UV-C rays to destroy and eradicate biological contaminants by destroying the cell’s DNA and life-sustaining proteins. As such, the cells cannot survive or reproduce. However, for UV lighting to kill biological contaminants, the organism has to pass directly under the lighting, so it’s best to pair UV germicidal lighting with an air cleaner.
HEPA mechanical filters can also purify the air, but they are so strong that they can restrict air flow in your HVAC system. If you are interested in using a HEPA-grade mechanical filter in your HVAC system, work with a specialist to determine if this is feasible for your HVAC system.
If you have questions about what type of product(s) you should be using for your Waldwick home, call the experts at DB Heating & Cooling today.