Speak to your HVAC contractor. Try seeking for their recommendation on whole home air cleaner. More often than not, they’ll tell you to get an Aprilaire 5000.
But, Why an Aprilaire 5000?
Recommended by Most HVAC Professionals
That’s a very good question. Healthy skepticism is always good as long as it doesn’t shut you off from certain options.
Of all the reasons that I can think of, the most important one that I can think of is age matters. Introduced some ten years ago, this is a product that had withstood the test of time.
Ask yourself a simple question. It would definitely not the first time your HVAC contractor is installing a whole home air cleaner (unless yours is a new kid on the block). Since you’re not likely to buy the air cleaner unit from them, what other incentive can they be getting? They’ll certainly not make a cut out of it. So why?
That same question bothered me when my HVAC contractor recommended an Aprilaaire 5000. I probed my contractor in an effort to find out what is behind the recommendation.
No doubt they are HVAC professionals. But I don’t think it is fair to take their recommendation as qualified testament to the true sanitizing performance of the air cleaner itself.
What I can get from my conversation with my HVAC contractor is that Aprilaire 5000 has so far been the less problematic of all. He had lost count on the total number of Aprilaire 5000 that he’d installed before. But the number is in the range of tens.
And so far, he has not had much complain after installing those units. He added that some of his clients were indeed really happy after having the unit installed and started observing improvements to their allergy problems. Guess what’s the best part of all? Installation of the Aprilaire 5000 seems to be rather simple and straightforward.
So, don’t be surprised if upon checking with your HVAC contractor, Aprilaire 5000 is their recommendation.
A Product that Delivers on Its Promise
Aprilaire 5000 is an example of a product that delivers on its promises. It promises to improve the indoor air quality and it did. But again, be sure you set your expectation right on this.
Aprilaire 5000 does not the HEPA (or True-HEPA) type of filters. What does this mean? This means you can expect it to remove dust and other larger air pollutants but not the finest.
Now this is when things might start to get a little murky. When you’re conducting your air purifier study, make sure to check if the filter has been independtly certified by trusted organization such as AHAM. A True-HEPA certified air purifier such as Winix Plasmawave 5300 promises to remove 99.97% of particles down to size of 0.3 microns.
Aprilaire 5000 air cleaner, on the other hand, promises to remove only 94% of particles down to size of 0.35 microns.
Does this number matter? After all, 94% vs 99.97% doesn’t appear to be that big of a difference. So does the 0.35 vs 0.3 microns.
Unfortunately, no one will be able to tell you the answer. The only way to find out is to have the Aprilaire air cleaner installed. Find out for yourself how much it has done to help ease your allergy and / or asthma. If you’ve seen some degree of improvement but want something better, that’s when you might consider buying one of those True-HEPA type of air purifiers.
For some, a whole home Aprilaire air cleaner is all they need. But not others. I know a friend who found the Aprilaire alone does help but it doesn’t go far enough. He purchased an Alen BreatheSmart in addition to the Aprilaire and only then, he can breathe easier and feel healthier again.
The point that I’m driving is this. Given the invisible nature of air and the miniscule size of airborne pollutants, no one can give you a 100% guarantee on what will work and what will not. The issue is further complicated by the different severity of allergy and asthma symptom of each sufferer.
That’s why if you’re fortunate enough to be re-doing your home ventilation system, a whole-room Aprilaire 5000 might be the first thing you want to get.
Should You Get It?
With all the information that I’ve just shared, I believe you’re in good hand to decide for yourself if getting an Aprilaire 5000 air cleaner is a wise choice.
My last bit of advice is not to go for it if you plan to install it yourself. I’m not doubting your capability as Mr. Fix, but it is a job that I believe is best left to the professionals.
If allergy and asthma have been getting on your nerves and a whole home air purifier is not an option, be sure to check out our pick of the best air purifier models for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Photograph courtesy of Salim Virji