The dust, smog and pollen in the Scottsdale area often make it hard to maintain good indoor air quality, but the right air cleaner can help. With so many models available, it’s worth taking your time to decide what you want in your air purification system before you start shopping.

Factors to Consider

Two types of air cleaners are available—portable and whole-house. Portable models are small units that can simply be placed on a table or the floor and plugged in. They’re convenient, but can clean the air in one room only.

Whole-house models must be professionally installed inside your heating and cooling system, but they clean all the air in your home. In general, buying a whole-house model is cheaper than buying several portable units. Whole-house systems are typically the quietest option, although quiet portable systems are also available.

The Right Model Targets the Right Contaminants

To find the air cleaner that will best meet your needs, you’ll need to know which air contaminants you most want to eliminate and which systems can do the job.

  • Electrostatic air cleaners – Using electrostatic attraction, these air cleaners cause contaminant particles such as dust, mold spores and pollen to stick to a metal plate inside the unit. This lets them trap tiny particles even high-efficiency filters miss.
  • Gas-phase air cleaners – These systems reduce odors and absorb chemical fumes called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide from the air, usually with the use of an activated carbon filter. Not all gas-phase air cleaners work on all gases, though, so decide what you want to remove before you buy.
  • UVGI systems – Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems contain a lamp that emits ultraviolet light into your system’s ductwork near the air handler. This light damages mold spores, viruses, bacteria and dust mites so they can’t reproduce.

Some whole-house air cleaners include a combination of air purification methods to control a broad range of contaminants, so keep that in mind as you shop.

For more tips on finding the right air cleaner for your home, contact us at Wolff Mechanical anywhere in Central Arizona.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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