Home Air Purifier System Review Page

A home air purifier system is what we all need in our house. We all are suffering from poor indoor air quality. We can clean the air using two kinds of cleaners:

  • Room air purifiers
  • Whole house air purifiers

A picture of a house Is your indoor air clean?

Most people are familiar with the first. Sometimes they are called portable air purifiers or cleaners.

You can see these everywhere. They are in your local stores, your friend's houses, your house, and maybe even your parents house.

But have you ever seen a whole house air purifier?

That is kind of the point. One big advantage of a whole house air purifier is it is located in your furnace room and not out in the open.

Now, some businesses consider any purifier that cleans over 1000 square feet to be for you entire home. We feel that this is very misleading. You may be squeezed into a 1200 square foot house with 2 bedrooms.

A super slick salesman, you know the type, mislead you into buying a machine that can clean 1500 square feet. No problems. It will easily do the job for you, right?

Not really. You put it in the living room and it can't filter the bedrooms. In the bedroom and it won't do anything for the pet dander in the living room.

What is a Whole House Air Purifier

We use the term to mean any home air purifier system that is connected to your home's Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system. You probably have never seen a home air purifier system before. Most stores so not carry them. Sometimes you can find them at Lowe's or Home Depot.

They must be installed by a professional. Your local air conditioner salesman can help you. He will be familiar with these types of systems.

A quick internet search will turn up the company's websites. They have a service to find an authorized dealer in your area.

Types of Home Air Purifier Systems

Just like room units these can use a variety of filtering technology. Here are the three main types of filters.

  1. Media Filters: This is a traditional filter made of fibers compressed into panels. Furnace filters would fall into this category.

  2. Electrostatic Filter: This uses electricity to give air particles a charge. Then it traps them on collector plates or a media type filter.

  3. UV Filter: this uses shortwave UV light to kill germs and bacteria. Some of these produce ions that will remove pollutants from the air.

Pros and Cons by Type

Media Filters


  • Traps a higher percentage of particles in the air.
  • Easy to maintain. Just throw away the old filter and install a new filter.
  • These use no electricity.


  • You have to buy a new filter every 1 - 2 years.
  • The air flow rate drops as the filter becomes clogged. This means the HVAC system works harder increasing your energy bill.

Electrostatic Filters with Collector Plates


  • There are no filter to buy, ever.
  • They can trap very small particles.
  • They never restrict the airflow to the HVAC system.


  • It is time consuming and messy to clean the plates.
  • The efficiency falls off quickly as dust builds up on the plates.
  • It uses electricity.

Electrostatic Filters with a Media Filter


  • They can trap very small particles.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • They never restrict the airflow to the HVAC system.


  • You must buy a new filter every 1 - 2 years.
  • Uses electricity.
  • Electrical sparks could cause the filter to catch on fire.

UV Filters


  • They kill germs and bacteria.
  • They take up very little space.


  • They are not great at removing particles.
  • They use electricity.

General Home Air Purifier Systems


  • You don't need an air purifier in each room.
  • They remove particles and pollutants from the air.
  • They require infrequent maintenance 1 - 3 years.


  • They only work when the HVAC fan is on.
  • They are not as effective as a HEPA filter.

Air Purifier Ratings

Note: Just to warn you, there are a lot of letters in this section. Please bear with us.

Room air purifiers are given a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating by AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.) At this time AHAM does NOT rate whole home air purifier systems.

Instead ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (say that 3 times very fast)) gives these a MERV (Maximum Efficiency Reporting Value) number.

The MERV scale runs from 1 to 16, with 16 being the best. This chart will show you the MERV numbers and the uses for those filters.

MERV Minimum Size Applications
1 - 4 10 microns Disposable panel type filters
5 - 8 3 microns Commercial applications
9 - 12 1 -3 microns Industrial applications. Great for dust control.
13 - 16 0.3 microns Used in hospitals

MERV rating reflect how well the filters remove the usual suspects in the air pollen, dander, dust, bacteria, viruses, smoke, etc.

How to Choose: Room or Whole House

How do you know if a home air purifier system is right for you? Answer these questions to find out.

Where do you live?

  • A small house or apartment: You don't need a whole house system. You would be better off with one or two room purifiers. Begin your search by reading some air purifier reviews here.

  • A large house: You might benefit from a whole house air purifier. Keep on reading.

Why do you need an air purifier?

  • MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity): This is not for you. You need an air purifier that can remove VOCs and other chemicals. We recommend the IQAir Multigas Air Purifier.

  • Asthma: A whole house system will help you. Be aware that it is not as efficient as a HEPA filter. It may not remove all your asthma triggers. You might still need a room air purifier. An Austin Air Healthmate would be a great choice for you.

  • Allergies, Just want clean air: A home air purifier system like this is what you are looking for. It will be very beneficial for you. Keep on reading.

So, what's your budget?

  • I can spare a couple hundred dollars. - Well, there's your answer. It's not for you right now. Read our reviews and find the best room air purifier for you. Start here Air Purifier Reviews.

  • I'm rich. Money doesn't matter to me.: A whole house air purifier system is perfect for you. They are usually expensive. A good quality one will set you back several hundred to thousands of dollars.


Here are some reviews of whole house air purifiers systems. They are listed in the order we reviewed them.

Aprilaire 5000 Whole House Air Purifier

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