Air Cleaners for Your Home
LESLIE: Linda in North Dakota is thinking about getting an air purifier. How can we help with that decision?LINDA: We have a three-story house and we’re wondering if we should get two smaller units; one for upstairs and one for the main floor.TOM: Now, your heating system …LESLIE: Yeah.TOM: … is it one zone or two, Linda?LINDA: We just have one.TOM: So you have a single zone. So you’re talking about buying a portable air cleaner?LINDA: Yeah.TOM: Yeah. That would not be the best thing. What we would recommend is that you buy an air cleaner that’s mounted into your HVAC system and, this way, it’ll clean the air in the entire house just with one unit.LINDA: We’ve already had one of them and it doesn’t work.LESLIE: Really?TOM: Well, what kind did you have?LINDA: We had an electric – when we had the furnace put in and it didn’t – way upstairs, it doesn’t pull the dust out.TOM: Hmm. Well, an electronic air cleaner – a very good one – will do the trick. I don’t know what you installed. We would recommend a brand called Aprilaire.LINDA: OK.TOM: Because there’s a big difference between these different electronic air cleaners. Now, the Aprilaire unit combines a media surface – so an actual filter surface that’s quite long; it’s sort of an accordion shape so if you unwound it, it would be many, many feet worth of surface and the more surface area, the more trapped particles – with an electronic component that forces the particles to collect on the media surface. So it’s the best of both worlds and, actually, the Aprilaire was ranked tops by a leading consumer magazine for many, many years.So this is the one that I have in my house and I’ve got to tell you, it works great. My wife is very sensitive to allergies and this has definitely helped her and also cut down on the dust generated by three big, dirty kids. (chuckles)LESLIE: (chuckles) And I mean we’ve seen the media. You know, I remember one time I was doing a news piece about the Aprilaire and Tom gave me the media from his house after a year of usage. I mean these things are disgusting, Linda – not that Tom lives in a dirty house; it just pulls everything out and even particles that are super-duper-duper tiny, like viral size.TOM: I would look at the Aprilaire Model 5000. That’s the one I have. It works great.LESLIE: You know, Linda, the portable units aren’t going to do the trick for you because the air that it needs to clean has to circulate past and through that portable unit; so if you’ve got it in one room, it might not even reach the other side of that room. The air just completely has to circulate.LINDA: Yeah, that’s why we were wondering if we should have a couple of them. Well, our main floor is all open. There’s just one wall.TOM: Yeah.LINDA: For living room and kitchen; that’s all open, so we thought it would work.TOM: Well, Linda, take a look at the Aprilaire website. It’s Aprilaire.com. Take a look at the Model 5000. I think you’ll be very happy with that.LINDA: OK. Thank you.TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.