What is the Best Air Purifier For My Home? And Why?

**When we go out to people's homes, especially in Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and Cameron Park, we often get asked about which air purifier will work best for them.  

Do you want to know which air purifier is right for you?  We're here to help you figure out what the best option is for your home.

There are single-room air purifiers and whole-house air purifiers.  We only install whole-home air purification products.  We can install them alongside your central heating and cooling system, so they supply that clean air to all the rooms that have an air duct running to them.

– We use the i-Wave air purifier, which is an ionizer.
– We also like installing electronic air cleaners with 4" or 5" media filters and an electrostatic grid.
– We've also used the Air Scrubber Plus and the APCO UV light. Both of these use ultraviolet light and a photocatalytic oxidizer.

I always try to remain as neutral as possible when discussing different brands and technology, which will be my goal here.  

IONIZERS
As I said, i-Waves are the product we use.  They produce millions of negative ions, which gravitate towards positive ions (all air pollutants.)  When the two combine to form a particle, they fall to the ground.  Once they're there, they can't float back into the air.  That might sound gross, but where else would it go? Don't worry though, the standard house cleaning you do every week is enough to get rid of the deposits.  Ions are plentiful outside, but homes have a lower density of these negative ions.  i-Waves bring millions upon millions of negative ions into your home's breathing air to do what it does naturally outside.

When you buy an ionizer like i-Wave, you know your complete purchase price.  Once installed, they work for 10 to 15 years, self-clean every few days, and cost the same as the other UV lights on the market.

Ionizers like the i-Wave should cost around $1500 to $2000 to install depending on who you buy it from. We are on the low end of that.

PHOTOCATALYTIC OXIDIZERS
UV lights like the Air Scrubber Plus and APCO air cleaner utilize a photocatalytic oxidizer.  These have an ultraviolet light encased in or surrounded by the catalyst.  To me, the dilemma with these oxidizers is they produce a more significant amount of ozone (which actually increases breathing problems), than most air purifiers. The best case scenario is that the particles in the air will come into contact with the oxidizers and be reduced to CO2 and water.  So, the industry contained that situation by putting a coating on the catalysts. In the process of doing that, some experts report reduced effectiveness of air purification.  

The part of UV lights is that you have to change the bulb every year or two.  That means your $1200 air cleaner needs a new $400 bulb to maintain its effectiveness.  The representatives that want me to sell these products say, "This is a great way to attach yourself to the customer for a long time because they have to come back to you every couple of years to buy another bulb!" That's not how we like to operate at Fox Family.  

APCO's and Air Scrubber Plus units should also cost around $1500 to $2000 to install depending on who you buy it from. We are on the low end of that as well.

ELECTRONIC MEDIA FILTERS
One of the best types of air cleaners is the 4" and 5" electronic media filters.  
Standard 1" thick pleated filters that you get at the hardware store catch small dirt particles and trap them on the surface of the filter so they don't make it to the blower motor inside the furnace.  If that dirt is allowed, it will continue cycling back through the ducts and the house again.  
Larger media filters with higher MERV ratings of 11 and 13 trap even tinier particles and have a lot more surface area to clean better and for longer.  Add an electrostatic grid for those particles to pass through you get even more filtration to the tiniest particles.  The particles passing through the filtered air are statically charged, making them stick better to the media filter.  There are some very, very positive results for purifying the air in your house with these.  The best ones are the Aprilaire 5000, the Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Infinity, and the Honeywell F300.
The Trane CleanEffects is excellent.  It can capture the tiniest particles of them all.  But, you MUST keep it clean because its effectiveness decreases sharply within a couple of months.

The Aprilaire 5000, Carrier Infinity, and Honeywell F300 capture almost as much as the CleanEffects but continue to clean the tiniest particles longer than the Trane unit.

These electronic media filters can range from $1800 to $3000 installed depending on the brand you purchase.

CONCLUSION
People want to breathe cleaner air in their homes – and there are a lot of products out there that will indeed clean the air in your home.  Hopefully, this gives you some good neutral advice about the pros and cons of each type of technology.  Personally, the i-Wave is my favorite.  I have it in my home, and my allergies seem to stay in check, dust doesn't seem to be so persistent as before, and I don't have to worry about it needing to be changed out, cleaned, or maintained in any way.