Choosing an Electronic Air Cleaner
LESLIE: Jeff in Connecticut, how can we help you today at The Money Pit?
JEFF: Hi. I was listening to the show a little while back and you were talking about Aprilaire products and filters for the furnace; mentioning about how some people have the smaller one-inch filters. I have – my filter is five inches by 20 by 20 and it’s an accordion style. I was wondering if with a filter like that, should I still look into the electronic air cleaner.
LESLIE: The benefit of what these electronic air cleaners – particularly the one from Aprilaire does – is that it gets mounted to your furnace and what it does is it sends a positive charge into the air. So any particle, even as tiny as a microscopic bacteria or a virus or an allergen or smoke or food odor or pet dander – something so tiny that you don’t even see – becomes positively charged. And then their register – which is, I think, six inches by 72 feet – this thing is enormous but it’s accordion style – is negatively charged. So it sort of sucks in all those particles and then does not release it back into the air. So it’s constantly cleaning the air as the air goes through the ductwork. So it does make a lot of sense to add something like this; especially when you consider the addition of the product is anywhere from $700 to $1,000 installed. And then you just change that filter out once a year. You’re going to get everything out of the air with something like that.
TOM: Jeff, I’ll tell you, I had the exact filter that you’re talking about. I had an accordion style filter like that. And then I switched it out to the Aprilaire Model 5000. Not only was the air cleaner to breathe, I noticed an immediate change in the amount of dust in the house. So I think the electronic technology does definitely contribute towards the efficiency of the filter system. And if you have any concerns about dust or the respiratory risks of, you know, living in a house with those sorts of allergens – some people have, you know, allergy symptoms and things of this nature – it’s definitely a good investment.
You know, Consumer Reports rated the Model 5000 by Aprilaire tops for the last three years. So it’s a good unit and definitely made a big difference in our family.
Jeff, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.