Breathing fresh, clean air should be an obvious priority for everyone. However, the fact is that the air inside the average home is usually far more polluted than the air outside the home. Pollen, mold spores, dust mites and pet dander and other airborne allergens can all lower your indoor air quality and potentially cause major issues for anyone with asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments. Your home’s building materials and even your furnishings can also give off toxic chemicals. If your home has an attached garage, it can also allow gas fumes and other contaminants inside the home. Even cooking inside the house can degrade your air quality. Both dehumidifiers and air purifiers can help to overcome these issues and improve your indoor air quality, but they do so in distinctly different ways.
Breathe More Freely With an Air Purifier
An air purifier works by drawing air through a filter in order to trap bacteria, allergens and airborne pollutants. Even though your HVAC system has its own air filter, these HVAC filters are generally not nearly as effective as the filters used in an air purifier unit. The existing filter in your HVAC system is primarily designed to prevent dust and other larger particles from getting inside the system and potentially damaging your furnace, AC or blower fan. Depending on the type of filter you use in your system, it may also help to trap larger particles like pollen. However, most residential furnace filters are unable to do much about smaller particles like pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, gas and paint fumes, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other common household allergens and pollutants.
In contrast, most air purifiers use a more efficient filter that is able to trap a much higher percentage of these smaller particles. As a result, an air purifier essentially adds a second layer of protection to minimize the amount of bacteria and allergens that circulate throughout the home. These systems are also a great way to protect your family from becoming sick. If one member of the family is sick and confined to their bedroom, the air purifier will ensure that their bacteria won’t be spread throughout the house and get everyone else sick.
Portable Air Purifiers vs Whole-Home Units
You can find a wide range of portable air purifiers and also whole-home purifiers. Many portable purifiers use a HEPA filter that can trap up to 99 percent of airborne particles. However, they are really only effective in small, enclosed spaces, which means you would really need one for each room of the house in order to fully clean the air. Moreover, this level of filtration is really only necessary for people who are extremely immunocompromised.
Although whole-home purifiers generally cannot filter out as many particles as portable filters, they are still more than sufficient for most households. These whole-home units have the benefit of being able to filter the air inside the entire home instead of just in one space. A whole-home purifier attaches directly to your HVAC system and purifies the air as it passes through the system. In this way, they can prevent allergens, bacteria and contaminants from being spread throughout the house by your HVAC system. These units can also help to minimize unpleasant odors and keep your home smelling fresh and clean.
Plasma Ionization Air Purifiers
Plasma ionization units are a separate type of air purifier that can provide an even greater level of protection. These units work by using positively and negatively charged oxygen ions that attach themselves to any airborne particles as they enter the unit. These ions charge the particles, which causes them to be drawn in and trapped inside the unit’s filter. The ions also cause any aerosols and odorous gasses to oxidize and be neutralized. These ions also bond with and destroy any viruses and bacteria, and they also work the same way to break down VOCs. The result is a much higher level of air purification and fewer air quality issues.
Overcome Mold and Dampness Issues With a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can also improve your indoor air quality by eliminating any issues with mold or dampness inside the home. In places like Georgia that experience extreme humidity, this moist air can create serious issues inside the home. If the humidity level inside the building rises much above 60%, it drastically increases the chances of mold colonies beginning to grow inside the ductwork, attic, basement and other parts of the home. Mold growing inside your ducts can be especially problematic since the spores will then be spread throughout the house every time your HVAC system runs.
Excess humidity can also make it more difficult to breathe. This can be particularly problematic for individuals with respiratory ailments and other breathing problems. A dehumidifier can help to overcome these problems by ensuring that the humidity level inside the home remains around 50%, which should make it impossible for mold to grow and ensure the air is easier to breathe.
Portable Dehumidifiers vs. Whole-Home Units
As with portable air purifiers, a portable dehumidifier can only affect the air within a small, enclosed space. For this reason, whole-home dehumidifiers are generally always the best solution for anyone living in an area with high humidity. A whole-home unit will ensure that the humidity level remains consistent inside the entire home by drawing excess moisture out of the air before the HVAC system circulates it.
Your air conditioning system has its own condenser that draws some moisture out of the air as it cools. However, the condenser usually isn’t able to keep up when the humidity level outside rises to high. This results in the AC system working much harder to dry and cool the air. Installing a dehumidifier is an easy way to reduce the load on your AC unit, which may help to extend the life of your unit and also make it much easier to keep your home cool.
Dehumidifier or Air Purifier: Which Is Best for My Home?
Choosing between a dehumidifier and an air purifier isn’t always an either/or question. In fact, there are many situations where you might want or need both. This is especially true if you suffer from allergies or respiratory issues or you live in an especially humid area. If your home constantly feels and smells damp, musty or moldy during the hot summer months, this is an obvious sign that you need a dehumidifier. Alternatively, if your home doesn’t have humidity issues and you’re mostly concerned with minimizing the amount of pollution and allergens inside the home, then an air purifier is definitely the way to go.
If you are looking for ways to improve the air quality inside your Norcross home, Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers numerous solutions that can help. This includes both traditional air purifiers and plasma ionization purifiers as well as germicidal UV lights, duct cleaning and more. We also specialize in all types of air conditioning and heating maintenance, installation and repair. Our team also consists of licensed plumbers that can assist with drain cleaning, plumbing repairs, pipe replacement, leak detection or any of your other plumbing needs. Contact us today to learn more about indoor air quality or any of our other services.