Air Filter: Portable vs. Whole Home

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright. Dot in Wisconsin, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    DOT: I was wondering if you could give me some information on a good air purifier with low maintenance and maybe some information on the filters.

    LESLIE: Alright.

    TOM: Well, Dot, do you have a forced-air heating system or are you looking for a portable unit?

    DOT: A portable unit.

    TOM: Hmm. OK.

    LESLIE: Do you have forced air in the house or you don’t?

    DOT: I have forced air.

    LESLIE: You do.

    TOM: Well, you’re much, much better off installing a whole-home air cleaner that really scrubs the air in the entire house than a portable unit, because you’re going to find that a portable unit is not going to be nearly as effective and it’s also a lot more expensive to run and it requires a lot more maintenance.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Plus, you’re going to need like 10 of them.

    DOT: OK.

    TOM: So, a whole-home unit gets installed on the return side of your heating and air conditioning system and it basically captures all the dust particles in all the air that goes through there, traps it in a filter and then you have to change the filter usually about once a year or so, with this type.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. And the filter is ginormous (ph). I mean, it is just folds and folds and folds, like accordion style, of this super-dense fabric that traps everything even as small as viral size, which the portable units, a lot of them don’t have filters; there’s just some sort of metal blade, if you will, that you have to clean.

    Plus, with the portable units, I mean, think about it, Dot, that the air that only passes through the portable unit is the air that’s going to get clean. So if you put it in a corner, maybe a five-foot radius around it is all that’s going to work. But with the whole-house air purifier, as the air cycles through the system, it’s constantly being cleaned and scrubbed: smoke, odor, allergens, dust, virus-sized particulates. It really does an amazing job of getting about – what is it, like 99 percent of the particles out of the air?

    TOM: Yeah. Let me give you a couple of recommendations, Dot. There are two products out there that are pretty good: one is called Trane Clean Effects – T-r-a-n-e – Clean Effects and the other one is the Aprilaire Model 5000. Both are very effective, whole-house air cleaners. They can be installed by a local heating and cooling professional and they’ll do the job that you need to do.

    DOT: I thank you very much. I like listening to your radio program; you’re very helpful.

    LESLIE: Thanks, Dot.

    TOM: Thank you so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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