The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made it clear that air cleaners cannot remove all contaminants from the air in your home. However, when used in conjunction with an improved filter for your HVAC system, they can significantly reduce the concentration of indoor air pollution. So, is it worth installing an HVAC air purifier? If breathing clean air is a priority for you, then the answer is a resounding yes. For allergy sufferers, asthmatics, and people with chronic respiratory problems, installing an air purifier should be an even more important consideration. Whole-house air purifiers are very useful for general removal of pet dander, dust, pollen, and other large air pollutants throughout the house.
They provide the necessary ACH (air changes per hour) over a much wider area than portable air purifiers and are worth considering. Additionally, they will keep your home cleaner longer by reducing dust buildup on surfaces in your home. The last way a whole house air purifier works in the context of an HVAC system is to install it away from your air handler, but somewhere along your main supply or return duct, such that air entering your home passes through the air cleaner before reaching any bedroom. This way, you can ensure that all of the air in your home is filtered. If you suspect that your HVAC system is not providing your home or business with optimal air quality, it's wise to invite an HVAC expert to clean the ducts of your system. As much as you can get a whole house air purifier that can deal with gas and odors, if you want the best performance for these types of pollutants, opt for a portable air purifier.
If they are connected to your HVAC system, they will only filter the air when your air conditioning or heating system is turned on, or when the fan is running. However, you should replace the filter approximately every 3 months or else the filter will become clogged and your HVAC fan will have to work harder to draw in the air. You can also install extended media filters in your HVAC system. These filters are better designed than standard HVAC filters and are capable of filtering more contaminants. Air cleaning devices, especially those integrated into the ducts of your HVAC system, can vary greatly in cost and effectiveness, but are more affordable when installed with a new or replacement HVAC system. If you plan to buy an air purifier, look for filtration systems with an Appliance Manufacturers Association (AHAM) seal of approval.
When it comes to maintenance, a whole house air purifier is much easier to maintain compared to having multiple devices throughout the house that need a filter change. Whether you do better with a personal air purifier or whole-house purifier depends on several things, including what you're trying to filter, how much you want to spend, and whether you already have an HVAC system in your home. If I had to choose between laptop and the whole house, I would go for a portable one, even if that means getting one for each individual room, as they simply do a better job cleaning the indoor air.