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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

The Differences Between Air Filters and Air Purifiers

Air filtration can do a great deal to keep the spores and allergens of our humid climate in check, as well as making your Lake City, FL  home a more pleasant place to be in general. Air filters and air purifiers are both connected to your home HVAC system, and both concern themselves with the quality of your indoor air. Beyond their basic function, however, they’re very different pieces of equipment. Which one you use – and the reasons why – tie into the specific circumstances of your home. Here’s a brief rundown of the differences between air filters and air purifiers.

For starters, a certain type of air filter is a completely necessary part of your existing HVAC system. You could technically run it without them, but you certainly wouldn’t want to. Air passes through the filter when your system runs, trapping dust, dirt and other particles in the process. This helps keep the system clean and prevent dust from building up on its components. These air filters are designed to be replaced after a few months (though some of them are washable and can be reused after they are clean).  You can also add additional mechanical air filters to your HVAC system to improve your air quality. These come in different MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings depending on the size of particles you want removed, and trap the particles as the air in your ducts passes through them.

Air purifiers, on the other hand, are a little different. These are usually electrically powered and are designed to collect particles differently. Instead of trapping dust and debris in the filter, they use a charged ionization chamber to give pollutants an electrical charge, then the particles accumulate on collector plates with the opposite charge. Purifiers are not a standard part of most HVAC systems, but they can be installed in most existing systems as a way of further purifying your air.

The two are basically different levels of treating the same problem. You’ll always need at least one air filter, but if you want to augment it with the installation of an air purifier, that’s up to you. For more on the differences between air filters and air purifiers, or to schedule an installation session, call upon Touchstone Heating and Air Inc. We operate in Lake City, FL, air filtration is a part of our service, and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction. Give us a call today!

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