Furnace Filters vs Air Purifiers
We are often asked how furnace filters and/or a HVAC system can improve indoor air when compared to a air purifier unit that you can place in a room. Both are beneficial for improving indoor air quality and like any comparison each is going to have its own benefits. For starters room air purifiers can be moved from room to room making them ideal if you would like to focus on indoor air quality for a specific space where as your homes HVAC system ie. furnace and duct work can help to improve indoor air quality in your entire home. It is important to remember that just because you have an HVAC system this doesn't mean your air is being improved, this is only the case if your using a good pleated style furnace filter that has a MERV rating. Another thing to remember is your system is only improving indoor air when it is running. Most people set the thermostat to the "Auto" position which means if your temperature isn't changing and the system isn't running your air is not being filtered. One thing you can do to maximize the benefits of your good quality furnace filter is set the thermostat to the on or run position as opposed to auto, this will keep your blower running thus improving your indoor air quality. This does use a little bit of energy but does not have a noticeable impact on your utility bill and if compared to running an air purifier all the time you could call it a wash.
We recommended focusing on a good quality furnace filter and regular change-outs if you are looking to improve overall indoor air quality, neither system is going to capture everything from your indoor air but both can make huge improvements. For some you may not have a whole home HVAC system, you could have baseboard heaters or other forms of heat so an air purifier may be your only option. Air purifiers are a great choice for this situation and if you are looking to make sure your breathing the cleanest, healthiest air you can. I personally have a 3M Filtrete air purifier unit that runs in my main living space and a smaller unit in my 1 year old daughters room. My house does have a high quality pleated filter in it as well and I can say that I am still amazed every time I change my filters in both my air purifiers and my HVAC system. That said they both can make a world of difference in your indoor air quality and everyone's situation is going to be different, if you have the option of a good pleated filter for your home that is a good start and the most affordable option. Once you see all the stuff a good furnace filter pulls out of the air you may consider adding an air purifier unit to certain areas of your home for the added benefit. As always thanks for reading, if you have questions we are here to help!