Do You Need an Air Purifier if You Have a Furnace Filter?

Do you need an air purifier in addition to a furnace filter? It depends on your home. Air purifiers are great for capturing the smallest particles that can slip through a filter.

Do You Need an Air Purifier if You Have a Furnace Filter?

Do you need an air purifier in addition to a furnace filter? It depends on your home. Air purifiers are great for capturing the smallest particles that can slip through a filter. Since filters have a limit to how much they can filter in a residential HVAC system, air purifiers can help provide more thorough air cleaning, removing more than 98% of contaminants when combined with the right set of filters. Professionals can help you determine the best type of air purifier (such as a UV air purifier) to pair with your filters.

Air filters are designed to remove contaminants such as dust, mold, bacteria, and allergens. They serve the same purpose as an air purifier, but they work in a different way. Installed in the ducts of a home's central HVAC system, air cleaning devices are designed to provide a more sophisticated way to trap and remove indoor air pollutants compared to your standard box or pleated air cleaner. Air cleaning devices can use high-efficiency mechanical filters, ultraviolet light, or electrostatic force to remove microscopic particles, allergens, and even unhealthy gaseous contaminants in indoor air.

Whether you use only your HVAC system's air cleaner or an air purifier, the most important factor in maintaining excellent indoor air quality is to replace the filter on a regular basis. Comparing an oven filter to an air purifier is essential to ensure that breathing air is clean. The oven filter is great for picking up large particles, such as animal dander, but it falls short in many areas that can affect lung health. Let's take a closer look at how the HVAC air filter works, what an air purifier is, and how both are necessary for optimal indoor air quality.

Like an air cleaner, an air purifier is a device that removes pollutants from the atmosphere and improves the quality of the air you breathe. Unlike an air filter that traps bacteria and allergens and removes them from the air, some air purifiers use germicidal UV (ultraviolet) light to remove impurities. Even so, HVAC filters certainly influence indoor air quality, and choosing the right filter is important. The effectiveness of air filters depends on a wide range of factors, including how often they are replaced and the efficiency of the heating or air conditioning system with which they operate.

Air filters are built directly inside your HVAC system and allow air to pass through them to trap microscopic particles of contaminants. The EPA suggests removing mold, doing a deep cleaning, or removing other sources first, and then testing an air purifier or high-MERV air filter system if removing contaminants is ineffective or not possible. An air purifier uses denser, stronger filters that effectively remove a wide variety of particles from the air. Air purifiers are only effective at vacuuming, purifying, and circulating limited amounts of air at a time.If you want to further improve lung health, see the H13 HEPA filter versus a true HEPA filter or the HEPA filter versus the air purifier for more information.

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