Do I need an air purifier if I have central air conditioning?

Whether you need an air purifier in addition to your central air conditioner depends on the type of pollutants and the level of pollution in your home.

As pollution increases indoors and outdoors, homeowners are looking at more ways to ensure that they have cleaner air in their homes.

Air purifiers are more effective for getting cleaner air, but you may not need an air purifier on top of your central air conditioner, depending on how polluted your air is and what pollutants you are trying to get rid of.

Air pollution and air purifiers

Many homeowners, who already have central air conditioning systems installed in their homes, keep their windows and doors sealed to keep unwanted warm air from getting inside when the air conditioner is on.

However, this does not necessarily keep outdoor pollutants and air from entering your home when you open and close doors and windows in other instances.

It also does not do anything to stop indoor particles, like pet dander, dust, smoke, and other allergy-causing bacteria and mould. This is why many people consider also investing in an air purifier for their homes.

Do I need an air purifier if I have central air conditioning?

Central air conditioning systems usually only have a single air filter, which does not do much to prevent smoke, bacteria, and other particles from being distributed throughout your home.

These filters, especially the inexpensive, reusable filters that are common with this type of air conditioning system, do not have much filtration power.

Air purifiers use different kinds of filters, which can capture much smaller particles and result in much cleaner air.

This is why many homeowners also choose to invest in an air purifier, in addition to their central air conditioning system, to ensure that they get the best possible air quality in their homes.

Whether you want an air purifier when you already have a central air system installed really comes down to how bad your air quality is.

You can use an indoor air quality monitor, like this BRWISSEN A18 to give you an idea of what your indoor air quality is like.

BRWISSEN A18 on Amazon

If you are not ready to commit to an air purifier on top of your central air conditioning system yet, you can also try to add a media cabinet to your air conditioner, which will provide you with a deeper, more effective air filter for your air conditioner.

Different types of air filters and what they do

There are many different types of filters because no filter can capture all pollutants in a space at once. In order to help you make sense of all the kinds of filters, you should focus on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) of filters and what kind of pollutants they usually filter out of the air, such as:

Type of filter MERV value Type of pollutants filtered out
HEPA filters Very high, nearly 16 Filter out at least 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns
Spun Glass or Fiberglass Air Filters Low Cannot filter out small pollutants
Washable Filters Low Cannot filter out small pollutants
Pleated Filters Between 5 and 13 More effective with more pleats
UV Light Filters Low Filter out bacteria and viruses, but not dust and other pollutants
Electrostatic Filters Medium Cannot filter out large particles
Media Filters High Quite effective when it comes to bacteria and other pollutants
Carbon High Ideal for smoke and gasses

Different air purifier options

Since most central air conditioners use Fiberglass or washable filters that can be reused, which cuts down on costs, it may be worthwhile to consider purchasing an air purifier, which includes other, more effective types of filters, such as the following:

Air purifier Price Filtration system
Shark HE601

Shark HE601 on Amazon
$449.99 6 HEPA filters capture 99.98 percent of dust, dander, allergens, smoke, and household odours
LEVOIT Core 400S

$219.99 H13 True HEPA filter removes up to 99.97 percent of particles, pet allergies, smoke, and dust
Fellowes AeraMax 200

Fellowes AeraMax 200 on Amazon
$249.99 True HEPA Filter and 4-Stage Purification removes mould, odours, dust, smoke, allergens, and germs

How media cabinets work when added to central air conditioners

Many HVAC experts recommend that you insert a media cabinet air filter into your air conditioner instead of the reusable one that it comes out with.

This Honeywell FC100A1037 is a popular option and it has a MERV value of 11, but it is crucial that you find one that will fit the size of your air conditioner.

These media filters have a larger surface area, and this means you get more filtration power, but you do not have the downside of slower air flow or increased static pressure.

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