Air Purification Guide | How to Choose the Right Air Purifier

by Pacific Heating
8/19/2016 - Tacoma, WA

air purification options - how to choose the right air purifier

Indoor air quality is a serious concern which affects us all. Luckily, you don't have to suffer with indoor allergies, respiratory attacks, and other symptoms of poor indoor air quality.

Although regular dusting and mopping helps, there are a variety of air filtration and air purification options that can clean, freshen, and purify your indoor air.


Did you know that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times (and occasionally over 100 times) higher than outdoor air (EPA)?

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Air Purification Options

Not only will an air purifier reduce allergies and asthma, it will also increase the efficiency of your HVAC system! There are various kinds of air purifiers on the market, all working hard to provide you with clean air by removing harmful particles, such as

  • Dust and dust mites
  • Mold and mildew
  • Pet dander

When shopping for an air purifier, note that different air purifiers tackle different types of air pollutants. What type of pollutant an air purifier targets is dependent upon the type of filter. Because air purifying technologies target a specific type of pollutant, many modern air purifiers combine two or more filters.

1. HEPA (High Efficiency Particular Air) Filters

HEPA is the most popular air filter, removing at least 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns, otherwise known to scientists as “the most penetrating particle size.” Only very small particles pass through these filters, trapping allergens such as pollen, animal dander, mold spores, and dust. With HEPA air filters, you can breathe easier knowing that it’s fighting against all common particle allergens.

air particulates in microns

Source: Achoo Allergy

Should you choose to go with a HEPA air filter, be sure to choose the right size. When using a HEPA air filter, it's critical that you periodically change the air filter. Simply put, the more square feet of an HEPA filter, the more particles it will remove.

HEPA holds a certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, so if this is something you suffer from, you’ll greatly benefit from this type of filtration. Learn more about your air filtration options.

Air Purifiers with HEPA Filtration:


  • Austin Air
  • Blueair
  • IQAir
  • Honeywell
  • Air Pura
  • Airgle
  • NQ Clarifier
  • Amaircare
  • Germ Guardian
  • Whirlpool
  • Pre-Filters

HEPA filters come with many air purifiers and they remove pet hair as well as most other large particles prior to filtration. This type of filter comes in either foam or some type of non-woven polyester, and some even have electrostatic properties, increasing filtration effectiveness.

When choosing a pre-filter, look for ones with activated carbon as this type of filter also absorbs odors and smoke.

2. Activated Charcoal Filter

This type of filter is typically used in conjunction with another air filter. Activated charcoal filters are used to absorb odors and gases, and neutralize smoke, chemicals, and fumes. When treated with oxygen, carbon opens up millions of pores within. To give you a better idea, one pound of carbon has a surface area of 100 acres.

Just like an HEPA filter, the larger the filter, the more it will be able to absorb. When it is full and can longer absorb chemical molecules, you must replace it.

3. Antibacterial and Germicidal Filters

This type of filter is pretty self-explanatory as they eliminate germs and bacteria. Different types of filters work to tackle the same issue, but through different means. For example, one air purifier might employ a filter treated with agents to kill airborne microorganisms. Another uses UV lamps to kill germs.

Air purifiers that utilize UV filters are often found in hospitals, kitchens, daycares, and labs; however, for residential purposes they are great for prevent mold growth.

4. Air Scrubber Plus

Last, but definitely not least is the Air Scrubber Plus. We recommend Air Scrubber Plus® with ActivePure™ technology if you want the best air purification for your home. The technology was originally developed for use in the International Space Station and can remove up to 99.9% of the harmful contaminants in your home, including:

  • VOCs (chemical odors
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Odor-causing bacteria
  • Odors from pets

Watch this video to find out more about Air Scrubber Plus®:

Indoor Air Quality Resources


For more advice on heating and cooling systems, indoor air quality, and air filtration systems, call Pacific Air Systems Heating & Cooling at (253) 292-3995 for a professional indoor air quality consultation!

Since 1984, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

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