Does Any Air Conditioner Work as an Air Purifier?

Does Any Air Conditioner Work as an Air Purifier?

Learn more about the differences between air conditioners and air purifiers, so you can not only stay cool, but also enjoy the cleanest air possible.

Summer is finally here, which means that the majority of us will be cranking up the AC at home – or congregating in other air conditioner-controlled environments. Year-round, most of us spend an estimated 90% of our time indoors, whether it’s at home, in school, within a retail environment, or at the office. And as scorching summer weather makes it more tempting than ever to chill out inside, it’s critical to ensure that the air that you breathe indoors is clean.

With levels of airborne contaminants found at rates up to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors, and poor indoor air quality linked to health issues, it’s clear that maintaining clean air inside is paramount. But how do you make sure that your indoor air is safe? Since you already own an AC unit, you might be wondering, “Do air conditioners filter air?”

The short answer is no. Here’s everything you need to know about air conditioners, air purifiers, what they do, and how they complement each other.

Air Purifier vs. Air Conditioner

First off, let’s start by defining some key terms.

  • An air conditioner or HVAC unit is a system which controls the temperature, humidity, and ventilation in a defined indoor space. Air conditioners are not built to trap airborne contaminants, and may even spread them throughout a room.
  • An air purifier removes pollutants from the air. This can be done in a wide variety of ways, via electromagnetic fields, ionization, mechanical filters, and even hydrogen peroxide.

These two devices provide totally different benefits to the end-user. Air conditioners are focused on your comfort, and air purifiers are aimed at cleansing and purifying the air. If you don’t already own an air purifier device, you should seriously consider purchasing one – it can help boost everything from your sleep quality to your overall wellness.

Options for air purification

There are a number of home air purification systems that you can explore to ensure that the air inside your home is clean and pollutant-free.

Portable air purifiers

Effective for small spaces, these devices filter the air in a single room. You can find both mechanical and electronic portable air purifiers.

  • Mechanical purifiers force air through filters to remove pollutants from the air. Higher quality mechanical units feature HEPA filters, which trap tiny smoke, pet dander, and dust particles.
  • Electronic purifiers release an electric charge that attracts contaminants. These particles stick to plates within the device, removing them from the room’s air circulation.
  • You should note that all portable air purifiers require frequent, hands-on maintenance by the user. This means disassembling the device, and either changing out the filters or wiping down metal plates, on a regular basis.

HVAC system air purifiers

Sometimes referred to as air source purifiers or whole-home air purifiers, these devices are placed within an existing air conditioning unit. They provide effective air cleansing to an entire house or apartment.

Not all HVAC air purifiers are created equal. Some use methods similar to mechanical portable air purifiers, featuring filters as the main method for removing airborne contaminants. Others leverage technology like UV light, which research has found to be moderately germicidal. And other whole-home air purifiers rely on electronic ionization to pull in particles.

When selecting an air purifier that will work with your current whole-home system, you should consider two main questions:

How does this device cleanse the air – actively or passively?

This is especially critical for people who are living with allergies and asthma, as well as pet owners and smokers. You’ll likely need a more robust system that actively cleanses the air, rather than passively trapping contaminants.

Can this device work with my current air conditioning system?

Replacing your current air conditioning unit is unnecessary, time-consuming, and costly. You should find a unit that can smoothly transition into your present system.

Tadiran’s Air Care O2 plug-and-play air purifier is the perfect add-on solution. It transforms your existing HVAC unit into a dual air conditioner and purifier. You’ll get the benefits of a cutting-edge air purifier, without needing to revamp your entire air conditioning system.

The system’s unique hydrogen peroxide-based active air cleansing makes it a super effective solution for both whole-home systems and air conditioning units in individual rooms. The innovative solution is also a powerful tool to ensure clean air in offices, businesses, schools, and even movie theaters!

By converting water molecules already present in the air into contaminant-zapping hydrogen peroxide, the purifier has been found in commissioned FDA-cleared lab tests to eliminate viruses, bacteria and mold at a rate of up to 99.999%.

If you’d like to learn more about the best air purifier technologies for your home, get in touch with us here at Tadiran. We’d love to guide you in your search.