As people pay more attention to airborne threats, you start hearing more about air scrubbers and purifiers.
Both improve indoor air quality, but the differences are distinct enough to raise the debate between air scrubber vs air purifier.
It is important to understand these differences and find out what each device does best before deciding which one to get.
Having all the relevant information is the only way to ensure that you have the right equipment to meet your specific needs.
If you are not sure which is best for you, check out this guide.
What Is the Difference Between an Air Purifier and an Air Scrubber?
Both an air purifier and an air scrubber serve the same purpose. The difference lies in how each one achieves it.
In a nutshell, an air purifier draws air from its surroundings, along with airborne pollutants.
The filtration and sanitizing system within the equipment then traps the contaminants and deactivates the pathogens.
After doing this, it releases the purified air back into the room.
An air scrubber works under a similar principle, sucking contaminated air in and cleaning it using a filter system.
However, as it releases clean air, it also releases negative ions that stick to the airborne particles in the room.
This magnetizes the particles so that they become attracted to the floor, tabletops, and other surfaces where they can be vacuumed or wiped off.
Also, since the scrubber is integrated into an air handling system, it can help in removing some of the dust and bacteria that have settled.
To gain a better understanding, let’s take a deeper look at how each one operates.
How Does an Air Purifier Work?
Air purifiers use a variety of filter media, the most common of which is the HEPA filter.
It can trap small particles of up to 0.3 microns, allowing the equipment to remove 99.97 percent of all airborne pollutants.
Aside from the HEPA filter, most air purifiers have a pre-filter, which removes larger airborne particles like pet dander and hair.
Some brands use UV light to destroy pathogens, such as bacteria, mold, and viruses.
The process can split the oxygen around the light, resulting in the formation of ozone, which is a known irritant to the respiratory system.
A catalytic oxygenator could also be included, making sure that this does not happen or that the ozone level does not exceed the 0.05 ppm limit.
The air leaving the air purifier virtually has no contaminants or odor, allowing you and your family to breathe freely even if you have allergies.
How Does an Air Scrubber Work?
Similar to the air purifier, the air scrubber can also use the HEPA filtration system.
Essentially, this means that it is capable of delivering the same level of efficiency when cleaning the air.
However, unlike the air purifier, air scrubbers need to be installed into your home’s HVAC system.
It comes in two types, depending on the filter used.
The wet scrubber uses a filter moistened with a special fluid that can trap toxic particles.
On the other hand, the dry scrubber uses a sorbent instead of a liquid.
The air scrubber also comes with a blower, which carries out the dual function of sucking the contaminated air in and blowing clean air out.
It is generally more expensive than air purifiers but very powerful and effective.
As such, it is an excellent option for commercial establishments and construction sites.
Which Is Better Air Purifier or Air Scrubber?
The answer to this question will depend on who is asking.
If you are a homeowner looking for a budget-friendly solution, the air purifier might be better for you.
It is effective and powerful enough to cover regular or even larger rooms and is available at a lower price point.
It also comes in stylish designs and colors, which can help enhance your home décor.
On the other hand, if you own or manage a building, you should go with the air scrubber.
It is more expensive than the air purifier, but it is built more solidly and can stand up to industrial conditions.
It has the added bonus of cleaning surfaces along with removing airborne pollutants.
An air scrubber is also an excellent option for homeowners who don’t mind paying extra for clean air.
Are Air Scrubbers Effective?
Air purifiers and air scrubbers are both effective in providing clean air, but the scrubber just does it on a much bigger scale.
Once installed in your HVAC system, it can deliver clean air throughout the entire structure.
Compared to an air purifier, it can also cover much bigger spaces.
Is an HVAC Air Scrubber Worth It?
Before deciding whether the air scrubber is worth its higher price tag, you need to understand your needs and what value you can get, especially if you are a homeowner.
How important is clean air in your home? Are you allergic to airborne particles?
Do you have several pets that regularly shed fur and skin?
Another side to consider is the cost. Do you have the budget for it?
If you do not mind parting with your money, knowing full well what you will get in return, then the HVAC air scrubber is definitely worth it.
Business establishments are a different story, as these places need to comply with industrial standards.
If you own or manage a building where people work for long hours, you need to maintain a certain level of air quality, making the HVAC air scrubber a must-have.
Air Scrubber vs Air Purifier
There is no one answer to the question of which is the better choice between air scrubber vs air purifier.
Ultimately, the decision will depend on every unique need and situation.
If clean air holds more value to you and you do not mind the higher price tag, you can choose air scrubbers.
If you need a solution that does not put too much dent in your budget, the air purifier is your best option.
Either way, you will end up with clean air. The difference is how much money will be left in your pocket.