Whole-Home vs. Single Room Air Purifiers: What You Need to Know

Whole-Home vs. Single Room Air Purifiers: What You Need to Know

Posted by
Ed Miller on Wed, Jul 31, 2019


Maintaining indoor air quality (IAQ) is absolutely crucial for homeowners. Studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate that the pollution within our homes is likely to be two to five times of that outdoors, and in some cases a whopping 100 times higher.

Most homes are being built or upgraded for energy efficiency, meaning they are also becoming more airtight. As homes become more airtight, less air can escape, meaning air pollutants⁠—like VOCs from paint/flooring/carpeting, smoke, allergens, and dust⁠⁠—tend to stick around for longer and negatively impact your home’s IAQ. The threat compounds when you couple that with Florida’s high humidity, which makes homes more susceptible to mold and mildew.

One of the best ways to improve your home’s IAQ is by using an air purifier. You have two options for an air purifier: A whole home air purifier or a single room air purifier. How do you decide which is the best solution for your home? Here are a few things to consider that can help you decide.

A Solution for Your Entire Home

A whole-house air purifier is designed to work with the ductwork of your home’s existing HVAC system. The unit is installed into your system’s return ductwork near its air handler. This way, it is in the best position to clean the cooled or heated air before it is dispersed through the ducts. What is great about this setup is that you do not need to have an air purifier taking up space in separate rooms of your home or making noise. Instead, the whole-house air purifier runs quietly in sync with your system’s blower.

Different types of purification technologies are available for whole-house air purifiers, including:

  • UV light that kills bacteria, viruses, mold, and algae as the air flows through the air purifier
  • Activated carbon filtration that removes VOCs, smoke and other odors
  • High-efficiency media filtration that uses high rated MERV filters to trap pollen, mold spores, dust, dust mites, and pet dander
  • UV light-activated photocatalytic oxidation, which is an advanced technology that converts vapors and odors into safe water and carbon dioxide

Because a whole-house purifier is integrated into your HVAC system, it should only be installed by a professionally trained HVAC technician. Improper installation could restrict your system’s airflow, which could cause damage and detriment your IAQ further. After installation, very little maintenance is needed except for changing filters if applicable.

What if a Whole-House Air Purifier Might Not Be for You?

If you have a small home or do not have compatible ductwork to accommodate the installation of a whole-house air purifier, your next best option is a single room air purifier. These standalone units are designed to be portable and used in a room or area up to a specified square footage – suggested usage is to place them in the rooms where you spend the most time. They use some of the same purification technologies that whole-house purifiers use including UV light, activated charcoal, and HEPA filtration with negative ion technologies.

If you are ready to improve the indoor air quality in your home, the professionals at Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to help. We can explain your air purification options to you so that you can make the best choice for your home.

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