How Do Air Scrubbers Improve Indoor Air Quality

Air scrubbers improve indoor air quality in many ways. They remove tiny particles and other pollutants you can’t see but can impact your health and HVAC system. An air scrubber is far more efficient than a standard media filter in your air handler unit. We’ll look at what it is, how it works, and the benefits this advanced air filtration system can provide. 

The information below can help you decide if it’s time to contact one of Trio’s air scrubber installers, who can find the best air-cleaning solution for your home.

How Does an Air Scrubber Work?

An air scrubber is a sophisticated device installed in your HVAC ductwork. It purifies the air circulating in your home by a series of filter elements. Depending on the model, it may include more than high-efficiency particulate filters. Some units incorporate ultraviolet (UV) light and catalytic processes that neutralize organic and other pollutants.

The standard parts of an air scrubber include:

  • Pre-Filter: It removes larger particles. Although not visible to the naked eye, these can irritate and clog parts of your HVAC system. The pre-filter protects other filters from clogging and can increase their lifespan. It also helps maintain the airflow rate.
  • Primary Filter: Particles smaller than one micrometer are removed by this HEPA filter at the second stage of the system. It increases the air scrubber’s efficiency.
  • Carbon Filter: Although not a standard air scrubber component, a carbon filter can be added to remove toxic chemicals and materials. It improves an air scrubber’s ability to remove odor-causing gases and vapors.
  • UV Light: Ultraviolet light breaks down the DNA of organic contaminants, rendering them inert and unable to reproduce and causing infections and illnesses.
  • Blower Mechanism: This mechanism enables the air scrubber to pull air into the filtration system. Often referred to as the fan, it may have variable speed capabilities to accommodate the air stream’s rate and pressure.

Exactly how an air scrubber improves indoor air quality depends on the type. The most common forms of this technology include:

  • Dry Air Scrubbers: Many dry air scrubbers feature a filter stack that integrates a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which can remove bacteria and many viruses.
  • Wet Air Scrubbers: Most often installed in manufacturing facilities, these use a mist that adheres to dust and other particles. The most advanced systems include mist eliminators, fans, pumps, and collection vessels.
  • Integrated Air Scrubbers: While some basic air scrubbers are portable, an integrated system is built into your HVAC system. It comes in many sizes, including units sized appropriately for your home.
  • Electrostatic Precipitator: It uses an electric charge to bind and capture material, which ranges from dust to particulates from gases. Depending on the type, particles may attach to a grounded plate, collecting surface, or collection container.
  • Negative Air Scrubber: By creating negative air pressure, it captures and collects contaminants and prevents them from leaving a specific area, especially during a renovation. Negative air scrubbers also contain multi-stage HEPA filtration.

Ways In Which an Air Scrubber Improves Indoor Air Quality

An air scrubber can improve the air quality in your home on many levels. It operates continuously as air is circulated and recirculated. These are a few ways it can achieve cleaner, healthier indoor air:

Remove Circulating Debris

An air scrubber effectively removes dust, pollen, mold spores, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Therefore, it removes particulates that contribute to allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. It also removes chemicals released by everyday household cleaners, some furniture, carpets, draperies, and composite wood products. If your home is dusty no matter how often you clean it and people in your household often experience sneezing, coughing, and congestion, contact an air scrubber installer to find the best solution. 

Eliminate Airborne Germs

An air scrubber, especially one with a HEPA filter and UV light, can trap bacteria and even eliminate pathogens such as flu viruses and COVID-19. Its ability to prevent airborne germs from spreading makes an air scrubber one of the best solutions for improving indoor air quality and sanitizing your home. The system doesn’t only remove particles from the air. It also removes particulate matter from surfaces such as countertops and door knobs where contact with germs is most common. To do so, it emits oxidizers or ions into the air that disperse and neutralize these pathogens.

Eliminate Odors

Odors can be caused by circulating dust particles, smoke, paint fumes, and chemicals from various sources around your home. They can linger for hours after cooking. The pets you love can also contribute to household odors. While some odors are inconvenient, others can be emitted by hazardous substances. Air scrubbers remove all kinds of odors. Therefore, your home not only smells better but its overall indoor air quality is improved.

Improve HVAC Performance/Efficiency

Airborne particles and debris can contaminate your HVAC system. The effects can range from air filters that clog more quickly to damaged blowers, coils, and other components. Such damage can lead to expensive repairs and early system replacements. A decline in heating or cooling system performance can also lead to indoor air quality issues, including uneven temperatures, increased humidity, and dust and debris from dirty ductwork. An air scrubber can improve HVAC efficiency and extend the system’s operating life.


How Does an Air Scrubber Differ from an Air Purifier?

An air purifier only removes airborne contaminants. In addition to removing airborne particles, an air scrubber can clean surfaces. It also doesn’t release ozone as some ionizing air purifiers can. Ozone can be harmful to human health and does not remove dust and other particles that cause allergies.

Do I Need an Air Scrubber?

An air scrubber can provide fresher air, contribute to better sleep, and improve your overall quality of life. It is worth considering if:

  • You or someone in your family have frequent allergy symptoms, especially while at home.
  • People in your household get sick often or have underlying issues that make them more vulnerable.
  • Dust, pet dander, mold, and other compounds are common in your home.
  • Your home has persistent odors from cooking, pets, smoking, and other sources.
  • You’re concerned about potentially harmful contaminants in bathroom, kitchen, and other surfaces.

Should I Hire an Air Scrubber Installer?

An HVAC professional can help find the best model for your HVAC system and home. They can also perform an indoor air quality assessment, which is beneficial because there are many types of air scrubbers and laws regulating legal thresholds for certain pollutants. Also, the installation process may require some modifications to your ductwork, which can require a permit not to mention complex work that should be left to a professional.

Contact Trio to Help Improve Indoor Air Quality

Customers throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties rely on Trio Heating & Air for expert air purification services. We install high-quality whole-house air purifiers and air scrubbers. Our technicians are fully trained to install the latest systems and ensure lasting results. They also provide other air quality services such as duct cleaning, duct sealing, and air duct filter replacement. To learn more about our air quality services or request a consultation with one of our professional air scrubber installers, book an appointment online or call (415) 223-5615.

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