What’s the Difference Between HEPA Air Purifiers and Ionizers?

With families spending more time at home, it’s a good idea to think about indoor air quality to avoid health issues such as repository problems, allergies, headaches, asthma, and more. Recently, we’ve been receiving more and more questions about the best type of air purifier.

Air Quality

When you start researching air purifiers for your home, you’ll notice they are available in two main categories that work differently to remove harmful particles from the air we breathe. In this article, we’ll cover the differences between HEPA air purifies and ionizers (also called ionic air purifiers).

Basics of HEPA air purifiers

HEPA is short for “high-efficiency particulate air,” which means that these purifiers are good at capturing small particles like pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander. HEPA purifiers use a physical filter – either paper or mesh. They pull air into the unit, the air passes through the filter, contaminants get caught in the filter, and the cleaned air returns to the indoor space.

There are some downsides to HEPA air purifiers.

  1. They usually treat a small amount of indoor space, so you may need multiple units to cover your whole house
  2. The filter needs to be replaced or cleaned on a regular basis

Basics of ionic air purifiers

Ionizers do not have physical filters. Instead, they use produce electronically charged ions that attach to contaminants in the air. The weight of the ions forces the particles to fall to the ground or into a collection plate, where they can be collected and removed from the indoor space. Because of how they work, ionic air purifiers can cover larger indoor areas – up to 3,500 square feet, depending on the model.

One major disadvantage of ionizers is the fact that if contaminants are not picked up and disposed of properly, they can be kicked back up and recirculated into the air.

Which is the right option for your home?

Choosing an air purifier system usually comes down to the size of the space you want to clean, how it will be used and maintained, your budget, and personal preferences such as appearance and placement of the unit.

One other point to keep in mind is that standalone units are not the only way to improve the air quality of your home. There are also whole-house systems that work with your existing HVAC system. For help determining the best air purifier system for your needs, call Robert B. Payne, Inc. at (540) 373-5876 today to schedule a consultation.