Air Scrubber vs. Air Purifier: What’s the Difference?
Air scrubbers and air purifiers effectively improve a home's air quality. However, they have some distinct differences that make them ideal for different situations and dealing with varying air pollutants.
Hence, if you are looking for an effective piece of equipment for cleaning the air in your home, it is vital to understand how these two differ.
Air Scrubber vs. Air Purifier
1. Application: Domestic vs. Commercial Use
Air purifiers are typically designed for cleaning the air in domestic settings. They come in various sizes and shapes, including tiny ones that can even fit the palms. The small units clean around 100 square feet of space while the standard ones clean up to 700 square feet.
Hence, no matter how large an air purifier you have, it will still be inadequate for a typical commercial setting unless you use several of them.
On the other hand, air scrubbers are often meant for commercial use. However, they can still work well as whole-house air cleaning equipment.
Most air scrubbers can easily cover thousands of square feet, and just one is typically enough for a standard size commercial building. Hence, this air cleaning equipment is more popular with home remodelers, contractors and mold remediation companies.
2. Process: Scrubbing vs. Filtration
Another key difference between these two air cleaning tool is the process they used to clean your air. While this is self-explanatory from the names given as scrubbers scrub contaminants from your air, and air filters will filter them out, there is more to it than this.
Air scrubbers use either a wet or dry scrubbing method. The machine sucks air through a damp filter or pad for the wet scrubbing method and then traps the contaminants and particles floating freely in the air. With the dry scrubbing methods, the machine will suck the air through dry filters that trap the pollutants.
Besides sucking air through the filters, the air scrubbers will also release negative ions that cling to contaminants in the air and surfaces, making them heavier and easier to clean. Hence, unlike air filters, which only clean the air passing through them, they can remove contaminants from surfaces.
Air purifiers will use either HEPA filter or ionization to clean the air. Those that use the HEPA filter can trap up to 99.97% of air contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. Air passes through the filter, which removes the pollutants and releases clean air into the room. For the ionization air purifiers, the process does not use physical filters and instead relies on charged particles (ions) to trap the contaminants.
3. Removes/Reduces: Air Scrubbers Are Better for High-Level Contaminant Removal
Air scrubbers are a step higher than air purifiers when it comes to the kinds of contaminants they can remove. Besides removing almost everything an air purifier can remove, it can also remove high-level pollutants such as toxic particles, chemicals and gases.
Air purifiers might not remove or reduce as much as air scrubbers, but they are still highly effective at keeping the air in your home clean and fresh. They are ideal for removing typical contaminants in most homes such as dust, smoke, allergens, mold spores and dander. Depending on the kinds of filter in the air purifier, most also remove viruses and bacteria.
4. Cost: Air Purifiers Are More Cost Effective
Cost is also a crucial factor to consider when deciding between this essential air cleaning equipment. In the end, the size, brand and model you choose are what determine what you pay for either.
However, air purifiers are relatively more affordable as they typically cost between $100 and $1,000. Prices for the air scrubber start at around $500 and go up to $2,000, but some large industrial-grade models can cost way much more than this.
Air scrubbers and air purifiers are your best bet when looking for an effective air cleaning solution. While both do a great job, the air purifier is best suited for domestic use as it is more cost-effective. On the other hand, the air scrubber is excellent for commercial use as it is more effective at removing high-level contaminants.