What Is A Whole House Air Purifier?

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What is a Whole House Air Purifier?

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, it is likely you have considered investing in an air purifier for your home. There are many dust and dirt particles and other contaminants circulating throughout your home, and the effects of these can take a toll on your health.

The typical amount of contaminants can be amplified by a wide range of factors like indoor pets, age of the home, your HVAC system’s upkeep, whether or not smoking takes place in or around your home, how frequently and well your home is cleaned, and more. Whether or not any or all of these are major factors in your home, purifying the air circulating through your home should be a priority. There are a few different options in terms of what kind of air purifier you can get, and an increasingly popular one is the “whole house” air purifier.

What Is A Whole House Air Purifier?

There are various types of air purifiers available on the market. While some people find themselves purchasing smaller, portable air purifiers for individual rooms, there are many benefits of a whole house purifier which often comes in the form of an attachment or an addition to your HVAC system. This basically means that the air controlled by your HVAC system would then be purified air instead of purifying already conditioned air with the portable purifiers.

Doesn’t My HVAC System Purify My Air?

Your HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system does not naturally work as an air purifying system. Even though the word “ventilation” is present, most HVAC systems do not necessarily achieve this task the way you might think. Most modern HVAC systems use a heat pump and a central cooling system in order to achieve the desired temperature throughout the changing seasons.

This air is transferred through ductwork and through vents into the different desired locations in your home and back through the heat pump or cooling system again. So, for the most part, the air that is already inside your home is the same air being cycled through after it is heated or cooled. The only ventilation or introduction of new/outside air, for the most part, is through cracks and/or openings of doors and windows.

This is also why it is so important to regularly change the air filters in your HVAC system. With the same air being filtered through your home again and again, if you do not have a cleaned filter, it is likely that the dirt from the filter is contaminating the air you are breathing.

Types Of Whole House Air Purifiers

There are a few common types of air purifiers for HVAC systems. One way you can find what option is best for you is by consulting your local HVAC technician. Not all whole house air purifying systems are created equal. Knowing what each option entails should help you decipher whether it’s right for your home.

Filter Based

A filter based whole house air purification system typically just requires installing a specific type of filter to the furnace in your HVAC system. Unfortunately, because the word “filter” does not achieve the same task as “purifier” – it’s hard to consider this option as a good contender in terms of air purification.

Filters are an important aspect of your HVAC system, and these do go the extra mile in reducing the amount of contaminants circulating through your system. However, depending on your specific home, it might be tougher to replace these filters when it comes time to.

These filters, often located on or near the furnace, can be difficult to access which makes them very hard to regularly change, but if you do not change the filter, you are risking actually increasing the amount of dust and contaminants in the air and damaging your overall HVAC system in the process.

Duct Based

The air ducts in your home are designed to funnel the air from your air conditioner and/or heat pump into the various rooms in your home and then back to be reconditioned. Air ducts are like the roadway for your home’s air flow.

Because all of the air in your home travels through these ducts, the duct system is an option for your whole house air purification system. With a duct based system, like the filter based system, your HVAC system has to be running in order for the filtration/purification to be active.

When your A/C or heating system isn’t running, you can run the fan on your system in order for the air to be continually run through the whole home purifier.


While both the filter and duct based systems do require some maintenance in the form of cleaning or replacing filters, there are many benefits to whole home purifiers that portable purifiers don’t include.

For starters, depending on how many rooms you have, investing in so many individual air purifiers can be costly, not to mention the energy cost of having those plugged in and actively running all day. Plus, you still have to replace filters in those as well.

With whole home purifiers, your air is being filtered along with the system you already have, meaning you are not spending extra money on energy in the process. Even if you do not need to run the A/C or heat all year, running your HVAC’s fan will likely still be more cost effective than running multiple air purifiers throughout your home.

Regardless of the specific route you take in your air purification, it is vital that your home does benefit from one of the many options. If you need help deciding what option is best for you, consult one of our San Marcos HVAC technicians at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning, and we will help you get on your path to cleaner air!