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Air Scrubber vs. Air Purifier Differences: Which One is Right for You?

The debate to determine which is better between an air scrubber vs. an air purifier will never end soon. Air scrubbers and air purifiers help clean the air, but there are some key differences between them. For instance, air purifiers work by trapping particles in a filter, while air scrubbers work by emitting ozone into the room to kill bacteria and viruses. 

Which one is right for you? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between these two types of machines, how long you should run them, and which type is ideal for your needs.

But before we get into the details, let’s first find out what these devices are.

What’s an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that you can use to clean the air in your home. Homeowners often use them in areas with an unusually high amount of dust, pollen, or mold spores floating around. People with asthma and allergies commonly use them because they effectively remove these irritants from the air.

What’s an Air Scrubber?

An air scrubber is a specific air purifier that uses activated carbon to remove toxins from the surrounding environment. It works very similarly to your faucet water filter, which removes contaminants so that you can drink clean and healthy tap water. 

Air Scrubbers vs. Air Purifiers

There are many ways air scrubbers and air purifiers relate and differ from each other. Here are a few key points to consider.

Air Scrubbers Can Work in Both Large and Small Spaces; Purifiers are Limited

Air scrubbers are generally designed to cover larger spaces, not just one room. They can work in both commercial and residential spaces thanks to their large airflow capabilities. 

On the other hand, purifiers can only effectively clean a limited amount of space at any given time. Depending on which model you choose, they usually purify the air around 200 square feet of space or less.

Therefore, if you’re looking for an air purification solution for your residential space, an air purifier is the ideal option.

Are Air Scrubbers Great for Both Indoor and Outdoor Environments?

When you choose an air scrubber, it improves your indoor air quality and helps purify the planet. That means when you clean your home with a proper air scrubbing device, you not only eliminate contaminants in the air inside your home but outside as well.

On the other hand, an air purifier is ideal for your air quality inside the home alone. An air purifier’s powers and capabilities are limited to confined spaces, making them only effective for indoor use.

Air Scrubbers are More Efficient than Air Purifiers

Air scrubbers can purify the air of any room up to four times per hour. 

In comparison, air purifiers can only work one to two times per hour. Air scrubbers are also better than air purifiers in catching smaller particles such as mold and bacteria, making them more efficient for allergy sufferers.

In addition, many air purifiers come with a pre-filter that needs changing after each use. You’ll also have to regularly replace these filters throughout the year for optimal performance of your device. In other words, air purifiers are expensive, while air scrubbers are cost-efficient.

Is an Air Scrubber Safer for Children and Pets Than an Air Purifier?

Most air scrubbers don’t have a child lock safety feature, so they may put children and pets at risk. If the device is unsecured, kids can easily reach it and push buttons that increase the fan speed or change its settings without your knowledge.

On the other hand, air purifiers come with child/pet lock features to help protect them from children and pet interference when you’re away.

If you have pets, you should know that most animals are susceptible to smells and odors. They could be irritated by strong scents coming from an activated air purifier.

Air Scrubber vs. Air Purifier: Which One’s Best for You?

Depending on your air purification needs, you can always choose between an air scrubber and a purifier. Air scrubbers remove contaminants from the air while keeping odors and scents intact. 

An air scrubber will always meet large-scale and small-scale air purification needs, making it a better option than a purifier. It has a higher air-purifying efficiency and is more durable.

Since air scrubbers have more pros than air purifiers, they stand out as the better for homeowners with large-scale needs and for commercial setups. 

Air Scrubber vs. Air Purifier: FAQs

Some of the most common questions homeowners ask about air scrubbers and air purifiers include:

How Long to Run an Air Scrubber?

An air scrubber should be run for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 48 especially when removing dust particles, pollutants, and mold from the air.

How Long to Run an Air Purifier?

You should run an air purifier for about 12 to 24 hours before cleaning it for the next cycle. Air purifiers need regular maintenance, which means you’ll have to pause the purification process now and then to reinstate it to perfect working conditions.

Do Air Scrubbers Eliminate Mold?

Air scrubbers will eliminate mold easily, provided that they have enough airflow and original HEPA filters. Anything less than that will present challenges when dealing with mold elimination.

Bottom Line

Air purifiers and scrubbers are both important devices that everyone should have. They both work to create a healthy environment by removing dust particles, polluting agents, and mold from the air you breathe daily. For commercial setups and large-scale air purification needs, it’s best to use air scrubbers. 

Air purifiers will be your best shot if your needs are much less extensive.

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