What is an Electronic Air Cleaner?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill
An air cleaner.
An air cleaner.

An electronic air cleaner is an electric device that sends air through a filter or other mechanism, in order to clean it. The filter or other mechanism acts to remove allergens, microorganisms and other impurities from the air. There are many kinds of air cleaners available, each using a specific type of filter.

The use of an electronic air cleaner can benefit nearly anyone, although those with allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems may need one more than someone who lives without these issues. The type of system used will depend on many factors, including budget and personal requirements for air quality in the home. For example, someone with breathing difficulties will need a higher powered system than someone without.

One type of electronic air cleaner involves the use of a standard filter. These can be made from fiberglass, paper, cloth or other materials, and are good for catching dust particles and other allergens, as well as some microorganisms. More advanced filters, like the HEPA filter, may help remove higher quantities of organisms in the air.

Some electronic air cleaner systems are capable of filtering an entire house or building at once when they are attached to a central heating and air system. These types are generally more pricey up front, but may be well worth it since they can clean more than double the air as most smaller units. With these types of systems, it is very important to remember to change the filter often so that it can continue running at maximum capacity.

A small electronic air cleaner may be a viable option, however, for those who just want a more healthful indoor environment. Most of these units can clean a single room at a time. The packaging each system comes in should give the square footage the unit can clean. Larger units are generally more pricey than smaller ones.

Most department stores have a variety of electronic air cleaners. The ones sold in most retail stores are generally smaller units, although that does not necessarily mean they are of lower quality. HEPA filtration systems and other advanced filters are available in retail stores, as well as other progressive types of electronic air cleaner. These may include things like ozone cleaners or ones using ultraviolet light.

Full building filtration systems will generally have to be installed by a licensed professional heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technician. This person will add the cleaner to an existing HVAC system, or if there is not one, put in an entire heating and air unit. Prices for labor and equipment vary based on location and the size of the building.

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    • An air cleaner.
      An air cleaner.