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What Is the Difference Between Air Purifiers And Air Cleaners?

What Is The Difference Between Air Purifiers And Air Cleaners?

What Is the Difference Between Air Purifiers And Air Cleaners?

Even before the pandemic occurred, many of our customers often expressed confusion about the differences between air cleaners, air purifiers, air filters, etc.

The truth is, the terminology does sound very similar, but their differences are vitally important. These appliances are designed to combat different types of indoor air quality issues. They each make an impact, but in different ways, and on different kinds of toxins.

Right now, the toxin that most people are the most worried about is SARS-CoV-2 - the new novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But this isn't the only pollutant that is causing serious harm in homes all across Canada today.

This post will clear up the confusion about which appliance does what and point you towards the right indoor air quality aids that can effectively meet your needs.


Air Cleaner Versus Air Purifier

So, let's get right to it. There are two main types of appliances that address indoor air pollution or toxicity. One is an air cleaner and the other is an air purifier.

Keep in mind that there are many different ways to go about cleaning or purifying the air inside your space. You may see additional terminology beyond just these two terms, and we will do our best to clear up the confusion on that as well.

Air Cleaner

An air cleaner could just as easily be called an air filter or an air filtration system. The reason is because air cleaners make use of specialized air filters to clean the indoor air.

The one thing you need to remember about air cleaners is that they work best with solid INERT (non-living) particles. This includes dust, dirt mites, smoke and ash, mould spores, bacterial matter, pollen, pet dander etc. - air cleaners directly target these solids.

The air cleaner that is getting the most media attention right now is the HEPA filtration system. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. This technology has been in use in hospitals, urgent care centres and research laboratories dating back as far as World War II.

HEPA filters are made of intensely dense glass fibre material that can trap particles so small they are literally 1/100th the size of a single strand of human hair!

This is the level of filtration needed to potentially trap liquid coronavirus droplets as they evaporate, become smaller and lighter in weight, attach to tiny airborne solids and become airborne. This is also the level of filtration that can address the ongoing threat of PM2.5 micro-solids.

Other types of air cleaners you may have read about include electrostatic filters, activated carbon filters, MERV filters (17 through 20 are considered HEPA equivalent for most purposes) and hybrid devices that combine technologies.

Are you in need of a HEPA filtration system installation in your home or commercial workplace? Contact our team today! 

Air Purifier

The air purifier is the other major type of indoor air toxin removal system that has become somewhat of a media darling of late.

Different types of air purifiers use different technologies to neutralize three types of airborne pollutants: gases, liquids and organic solids.

Examples of gaseous and liquid pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, aerosols like pesticides and solvents, ozone, sulfur dioxide, radon, carbon monoxide, gasoline vapours and diesel (lead) vapours.

Examples of organic solids include bacteria, fungi, mould and mildew spores and viral pathogens.

When ultraviolet light encounters an organic particle such a coronavirus, it damages the organic membrane that protects the RNA inside it. Then the UV light changes the molecular structure of the RNA so it cannot replicate and cause COVID-19.

The most powerful band of ultraviolet light is UV-C. UV-C is typically blocked out by the ozone layer that surrounds our planet. Air purifiers use a focused shortwave UV-C light beam to neutralize organic gases, solids and liquids that they encounter.

Are you looking to install an air purifier in your home? Our team at Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating & Electric is ready to help


Which One Do You Need: Air Cleaner or Air Purifier?

For many worried individuals, families and employers today, this question isn't a matter of choosing one or the other - an air cleaner or an air purifier.

Rather, many of our customers are opting to add both appliances to their indoor spaces in order to deliver the most complete protection against COVID-19 and other airborne toxins.

Many air cleaner and air purifier models will retrofit to work with any existing central (ducted) HVAC system, bypassing the blower motor and working directly on the coils before the air enters the duct system.

For non-ducted spaces, such as homes and workplaces that make use of ductless HVAC technology, there are portable air cleaners and air purifiers that can do the same job effectively.

It is important that you remember to read the fine print before purchasing any type of indoor air cleaner, filter or purifier. You want to be sure that the device is rated to protect you against all the ways you might encounter the SARS-CoV-2 bio-particle.

It is also important to remember that use of these devices does not replace the need for social distancing, self-quarantine or safe space-sharing if someone in your home is immune-compromised or recovering from COVID-19.


Get a FREE Indoor Air Purifier

Right now, when you schedule a premium air conditioning installation, Gravenhurst Plumbing will gift you with a Second Wind Air Purifier absolutely free!

The 2414 Second Wind Air Purifier continually issues germicidal ultraviolet light to clean and purify any toxins that pass across your HVAC system evaporator coils.

The disinfection process neutralizes harmful bacteria, fungi, mould and mildew spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), liquid virus droplets, pollen and other other allergy and illness-causing pollutants.

Many of our customers say they can actually smell the difference - their indoor air is that much cleaner!

Click here to reserve your free Second Wind air purifier now.


Get in Touch With The Gravenhurst Plumbing Team

Would you appreciate some expert guidance to upgrade the air quality inside your home or workplace? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 877-885-3403. Located in Gravenhurst and serving the surrounding areas of Muskoka, our team is there when you need us!

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