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Air Conditioner vs. Air Purifiers

Air Conditioner Vs. Air Purifiers: How They Differ And Why Do You Need Air Purifiers

Air conditioners are often actually lifesavers in areas of the country where record-breaking heat waves sometimes are raging. But did you know aside from providing us with cooling power, air conditioners can also negatively impact the air quality inside your home sometime Let’s understand how this can happen.

How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Household air conditioners come in three main types: central units, window units, and portable units. You may choose one or more of these based on the design of your home or business, and the climate where you live or work.

A central air conditioning system is a part of your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC). All the rooms in your home are cooled by just one large condensing unit, typically located outside. The air conditioner also contains a fan that moves cool air into your home through your air ducts and into vents installed on the ceiling, walls, or floors.

Window air conditioning units use the same cooling components as central air conditioners, but the entire system is self-contained in the window unit.  Air conditioner units that are installed in windows are generally the most efficient and the cheapest. You can use them in any room with unobstructed slide-to-open windows, plus you can move them around as needed.

Portable air conditioners are freestanding units that are easy to move from room to room. Although the units contain an outdoor exhaust hose, you still need to place them near a window to allow that exhaust to escape.  A hose that's not vented outside will let hot air into your house and the air conditioner will not have the capacity be able to cool it effectively.

How Do Air Conditioners Affect You?

Using air conditioners can cool your indoor air, which will make it feel fresh while decreasing humidity levels. However, they aren't intended to catch all of the airborne pollutants that may exist in your home.

Indoor air pollution can come from many sources. The most common contaminants are pollen, mold, wildfire smoke, pet dander, cleaning chemicals, and cooking byproducts. Depending on their nature, these pollutants can be particles and gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since many people spend most of their time indoors, they should know how to protect their indoor air quality and, thus, protect themselves from possible harm.

No matter if the air conditioner is built into the HVAC system or installed separately, it should always incorporate filtration. There are ready to incorporate filters or custom filters you can order that can trap larger airborne pollutants, including dust and pet hair. Filters have different MERV ratings, which determine how much, and which kind of pollutants are trapped. 

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value indicates how well a filter can capture particles in the range of 0.3 to 10 microns. To decrease the risk of allergies, replace your HVAC filter each month using a MERV 13 filter or the highest rating your HVAC system can support, as recommended by the United States  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The ideal usage of these filters would be to trap viruses and even smaller particles if possible.

What is the Difference Between Air Conditioners and Air Purifiers? 

Despite the fact that air purifiers and air conditioners have similar features, like fans, filters, and vents, they serve very different purposes. Air conditioners let you cool the air in your home and maintain a certain temperature within. Air purifiers improve indoor air quality, but they do not regulate your home's temperature.

Unlike air conditioners, air purifiers are intended to run constantly. This allows them to change the air in the room on a regular basis, eliminating contaminants as they travel through the filters. Whether your air purifier's filter can remove particulate matter, gaseous pollutants, or both depends on the type of filter you choose.

Air purifiers may also use HEPA filters to trap airborne particle pollution, like some HVAC systems. Nevertheless, they may not be effective against gaseous pollutants. Carbon filters are another common technology used in air purifiers, and they produce the opposite result. The filtration systems can capture harmful gases, but they are powerless to capture fine particles.

Why Should You Upgrade Your HVAC Filter?

Normally, an air filter is made of a spun fiberglass material or pleated paper or cloth enclosed in a cardboard frame. A filter's basic function is to keep the air circulating through your heating and cooling system clean. Filters are designed to capture and hold a variety of contaminants that can affect your health and comfort, including:

  • Dust and dirt
  • Pollen
  • Mold and mold spores
  • Fibers and lint
  • Metal, plaster, or wood particles
  • Hair and animal fur
  • Bacteria and microorganisms

Upgrading your HVAC filter will prevent debris from building up in your system. Thus, the air inside your home is also clean and healthy to breathe.

The reason your home is full of pollutants is commonly because of dirty air filters. They not only contaminate the surrounding air, but also allow bacteria to grow inside your HVAC system. This leads to ever-increasing levels of dangerous pollution in the air that you and your family breathe in your home.

So be sure your filters are changed regularly/monthly. You can inspect the filters visually yourself to determine whether they are dirty or clogged. Try holding the filter up to a light source. If it can't be seen through, it probably needs to be replaced.

What’s more, the team at US Home Filter specializes in providing quality air filters and filtration solutions for homes. We offer both standard-size air filters and custom-size air filters. Our high-quality products and excellent service will ensure that you will become one of our many satisfied customers! Get in touch with us if you'd like to learn more about air filters for your HVAC system or if you're having trouble choosing the right filter. We are happy to help.

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