What Is the Difference Between Air Purifiers and Air Cleaners? Experts Explain.
Air filtration industry experts Mark Davidson & Steve Smith explain the need for efficient air filtration beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the difference between air purifiers & air cleaners.
Riverdale, NJ — Air filtration is an essential part of protecting ourselves from the COVID-19 virus. However, generally polluted air, both inside and outside, is a danger to human health even in the absence of harmful pathogens. “COVID-19 is forcing us, perhaps for the first time, to ‘see’ things that are invisible right in front of us,” notes Mark Davidson, Manager of Marketing and Technical Materials at Camfil USA.
“Modern HVAC systems outfitted with economy-grade air filters aren't capable of handling all the particulate in the air right now. To be honest, we’re not even sure what we’re introducing into our systems.”
In a new video, air filtration industry experts Mark Davidson and Steve Smith explain the need for efficient air filtration beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the difference between air purifiers and air cleaners.
The Purpose of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Equipment
“HVAC systems are not designed for dust collection, but for conditioning the air; the heating and cooling of indoor air spaces,” explains Camfil’s Steve Smith, Segment Manager for Air Cleaners and Purifiers, who has worked in the dust collection industry for over twenty years. “And filtration attached to the system is primarily designed for protecting the equipment rather than the occupants.”
Air Purifiers and Air Cleaners — What Is the Difference?
“We consider an air purifier as a device capable of flowing up to 500 CFM,” says Smith. The CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute, of an air purification device indicates the volume of air that moves through the unit. One cubic foot is about the size of a basketball, so a 500 CFM unit circulates five hundred basketballs worth of air per minute. “Air purifiers are used for small spaces, such as hospital rooms, small classrooms, elevators, or mass transit systems.” Generally, these small air purifiers are unobtrusive and plug straight into regular 110-volt power supplies.
In schools, the advantage of having an in-room air purifier is that it mitigates the risks of potential COVID-19 infections from spreading. A sneeze, for example, could be dealt with by the air purifier before it can enter the HVAC system and possibly recirculate to other parts of the building. Aside from the COVID-19 virus, high-efficiency air purifiers filter out mold spores and indoor air pollutants, which are linked to decreased cognitive performance.
Larger units are known as air cleaners, and the airflow in these units is typically between 2000 and 4000 CFM. Air cleaners are further subdivided based on their intended application into either commercial or industrial air cleaners.
Commercial air cleaners are used in applications where the particulate is generated mostly from human activity such as school gymnasiums, auditoriums, or other large spaces where people assemble.
Industrial air cleaners are for manufacturing and processing facilities where the production process itself is primarily responsible for the level of particulate in the air.
An example of the value achieved by adding an air cleaner is described in Camfil’s bakery case study. The baking facility documented less time was spent on the manual labor of cleaning accumulating flour dust because the filters were doing the work instead, removing seventeen pounds of nearly invisible flour from the air every several months.
Clean Air for Spaces of All Sizes
For more than half a century, Camfil worldwide has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Camfil has been applying decades of experience in biosafety containment, healthcare, food and beverage, and other sectors of the air filtration industry to provide technological solutions for the public as well as in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
About Camfil Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil worldwide has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Camfil has been applying their decades of experience in biosafety containment, healthcare, and other sectors of the air filtration industry to provide technological solutions for the public as well as in hospitals and healthcare facilities.
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