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Close-up view of Home Ventilation System

Ok. Now that you’re looking for a whole house air purifier, it is likely to mean two things. First, you’re moving to a new house. You are getting your HVAC contractor to re-work the ventilation system that runs through the entire house. Second, your ventilation system has just failed and you need a good replacement.

I know this might sound a bit silly. But let’s see what’s the difference between a whole house air purifier compared to the portable air purifier alternatives.

Whole House vs Portable Air Purifier

First of all, a whole house air purifier is not a simple plug-and-play device. As it is only one part of you home’s ventilation system, installation of whole house air purifier is usually something that is best left to the professional HVAC guys.

Portable air purifiers, on the other hand, are usually simple to set up. In most cases, all it takes is just plugging it to the power outlet and it is all good to run on its own.

Second, a whole house air purifier is designed to remove only larger pollutants. Good portable air purifiers like Alen BreatheSmart and Rabbit Air MinusA2, are designed to remove the tiniest particles (that the state-of-art filter technology can do) that can be harmful if they made their way to our airway path.

The reason to this is obvious. The kind of HEPA filter used in portable air purifier is expensive. The cost of frequent replacement will be killing, especially if we are talking about sanitizing the entire house.

The type of filter found on whole house air purifier, on the other hand, is usually washable. It means that they don’t require frequent replacement and there will be no expensive recurring cost associated with whole house air purifier.

This brief explanation alone should give you a good idea on what to expect out of a whole house as compared to portable air purifier units. Whole house ventilation system is not something that you’d do every day. In fact, most people do it only once when it is a brand new house.

Portable vs whole house air purifier

Portable vs Whole House Air Purifier. (Source: Aprilaire)

When is a Whole House Air Purifier Useful

When you know that you have someone in the family suffering from asthma or allergies caused by airborne pollutants, and you’re hiring a HVAC professional, a whole house air purifier is recommended.

Lots of folks whom I know, would try with the whole house air purifier and see if that alone is good enough to reduce the occurence of asthma and allergy attacks. Some of them discovered significant improvement to their suffering and don’t see installation of additional portable air purifier as necessary.

Nonetheless, there are others who still require the assistance of additional portable air purifier units. But in such cases, the level of performance needed of the additional air purifier unit will be lower compared to say, if no whole house air cleaner is installed.

And it is not uncommon that these people only need to place the additional air purifier in certain corner of the house. For example, instead of placing the air purifier in the bigger living room, it can be placed only where the allergy sufferer spends most of her time (eg. bedroom).

Don’t be surprised that some people have to resort to multiple air purifier units before they can notice the improvement to their health conditions.

Do You Need a Whole House Air Purifier?

You should now have a good idea on whether you need a whole house air purifier.

Take note that the number of possible selections when it comes to the best whole house air purifier are much lesser compared to the portable counterpart. Models such as Aprilaire 500 air cleaner are among the better-rated and best-selling whole house air purifier models.

Ask yourself if this is what you need. If you think a portable unit is what you need, be sure to read on how we pick the ultimate air purifier champion and find out which model emerged victorious.