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What’s the Difference Between Air Cleaners & Air Purifiers?


When trying to improve the indoor air quality in your home, you may consider installing an air cleaner or air purifier. These devices filter unwanted contaminants out of your home’s air—allowing you to breathe easier and healthier air. But, how do you know what the difference is between air cleaners and air purifier and which you should install in your home?

Below, we’ve outlined the core differences between air cleaners and air purifiers and how each system improves your home’s performance.

Air Cleaners

What Are Air Cleaners?

Air cleaners filter out dirt, mold, and other microscopic pollutants from the air. Air cleaners serve the same purpose as an air purifier—to remove impurities from the air—but do so in a different manner.

How Do Air Cleaners Work?

Air cleaners let air pass through a built-in filter to remove particles and are built directly into your HVAC system. They are installed between the air return duct and the furnace or air conditioner so that all air flowing in your home’s ductwork is cleaned. Air cleaners also help prolong the life of your heating and cooling systems and prevent dust, dirt, and other debris from building up inside the units.

What Do Air Cleaners Filter?

Air cleaners filter out a variety of air pollutants, including:

  • Pet dander
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Dust
  • Soil
  • Ash
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Fungus
  • And much, much more

Request a free estimate to install an air cleaner or air purifier in your home! »


Air Purifiers

A common question we hear from our customers is, “Are air cleaners and air purifiers the same thing?” The answer is simple—no.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Similar to an air cleaner, air purifiers remove contaminants from the air. However, instead of using a built-in screen or filter, air purifiers zap impurities using UV (ultraviolet) germicidal lamps. This creates cleaner, healthier air for you and your family to breathe and improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Not to mention, air purifiers operate silently so as not to bother you and your family with extra noise.

What Do Air Purifiers Filter?

Air purifiers work to filter out the same pollutants as air cleaners, including:

  • Pet dander
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Dust
  • Soil
  • Ash
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Fungus
  • And much, much more

Should I Buy an Air Purifier or an Air Cleaner?

If you can’t decide between installing an air purifier or an air cleaner, contact your local HVAC contractor to recommend a system that is the best fit for your home.

Benefits of Installing Air Cleaners or Air Purifiers

Both air cleaners and air purifiers promote a healthy living environment and can both alleviate the symptoms of:

  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Dry throat
  • Itchy skin

Both systems also reduce the likelihood of catching many common illnesses in your home, such as a cold or the flu.

Call GAC Services to Install an Air Cleaner or Air Purifier

Looking to install an air cleaner or air purifier in your home? Call GAC Services at 301-926-3253!

Our indoor air quality specialist will perform a comprehensive analysis of your HVAC system and recommend an indoor air quality system to improve the cleanliness of your home’s air. We are located in Gaithersburg, Maryland and service Montgomery County, Frederick County, and their surrounding areas.

Contact us today for a free estimate!

Need Service? Schedule a service with us today!

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