Air cleaner vs air purifier

Air cleaner vs air purifier: the major difference

Here we are going to explain Air cleaner vs air purifier that can improve the air quality in your home and make your family healthier, so it’s important to understand the major differences between these two types of home appliances before buying one. Choosing the right type of filter for your needs is equally important based on the pollution you are trying to eliminate from your home. Air cleaners and air purifiers use filters to remove contaminants from the air that goes through them, but they work in different ways and require different types of filtration.

Air cleaner vs air purifier

Air cleaning is a complex issue, and it’s important to understand how each type of device works. In most homes, several types of devices can help improve indoor air quality. An air cleaner uses filters or electrostatic charges to attract airborne contaminants; an air purifier destroys pollutants before reaching your lungs.

What is an Air Cleaner?

An air cleaner is an environmental control device that removes dust and other airborne pollutants from indoor spaces such as homes and commercial buildings. For example, a portable household electrostatic precipitator might remove dust from a room without doing anything to freshen it. Other systems use filters to capture specific particles or merely produce clean or fresh-smelling air. HEPA filters are a form of filter used in some types of air cleaners.

How do air cleaners work?

Air cleaner vs air purifier

Air cleaners feature a set of mesh filters designed to trap large particles (such as dust, pollen, and pet dander) from entering your lungs. Most units will also feature a charcoal-based filter that helps neutralize odors. They’re great for people with allergies or asthma. However, an air purifier is necessary for people who want to remove small microscopic allergens such as mold spores and bacteria.

Technologies used in the air cleaner

There are main types of technologies used in air cleaners. Air cleaners use electrostatic precipitation, activated carbon, ultraviolet light, and ionizing radiation. The most commonly used is electrostatic precipitation which uses an electrical charge to remove airborne particles from your indoor environment.

It’s estimated that about 20% of all indoor pollutants can be removed by simply using a HEPA filter electronic air cleaner vs air purifier on a ceiling-mounted fan. However, other factors like human activity and outdoor pollution should also be considered when looking at overall pollution levels in your home or office.

Electrostatic precipitation

In electrostatic precipitation, tiny particles in dusty air are first attracted to positively charged plates. The material is then collected on negatively charged plates. An electric field attracts the positively charged particles while passing between a pair of conductive plates, forming a capacitor. The charged dust particle will be gathered on one side while another material with a neutral charge is deposited on the opposite side.

This process captures small dust, helps control pollution, and keeps the house clean. Though it removes most microscopic airborne particles such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens, electrostatic precipitators do not reduce larger-sized particulates like smoke or soot particles because these heavy solid particulates do not carry a net electrical charge and do not respond to an electric field.

Activated carbon

It is a porous medium used to trap particles and gases. A chemical or biological impurity gets captured into these pores and therefore helps filter pollutants. You can buy commercial-grade activated carbon, but making it home is also very easy. All you need is a cut lemon, baking soda, and sugar. Homemade activated carbon removes VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and chemicals from your home or office.

Air cleaner vs air purifier

Ultraviolet light

A source of invisible UV light, such as a mercury lamp, can be used to kill microorganisms in water and make it safe for drinking. Since UV light cannot penetrate glass, a photochemical reactor is needed to destroy pathogens. This device uses ultraviolet light together with chlorine (bleach) or ozone to eliminate waterborne pathogens. The process is called solar disinfection or SODIS. It has been widely tested and shown to work well under certain conditions. The main limitation is that sunlight must be present for much of the day so that enough UV radiation reaches the water in storage containers.

Ionizing radiation

A class of radiation. Ionizing radiation can liberate electrons from atoms or molecules, thus ionizing them. The strength of ionizing radiation is measured in units called grays (Gy). 10 gray equals 1 joule per kilogram (J/kg), and 0.01 gray equals 100 rads. Some common sources of ionizing radiation are x-rays, gamma rays, alpha particles, beta particles, and neutrons. Non-ionizing radiation includes radio waves and microwaves. Learn more about radiation here.

You can also check out our other related article Is my Air Purifier Dry Out the Air in My Room?

What is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that captures contaminants within an indoor environment. It uses a filter to trap these particles and can range from stand-alone systems to those integrated with other home appliances. By contrast, an air cleaner differs from an air purifier in that it can only capture smaller particles. Therefore, they cannot capture allergens and are ineffective for people with asthma or respiratory issues.

Air cleaners are commonly used to remove smoke particles in homes and offices where smokers may reside or work. More specifically, a professional-grade furnace cleaning service may use one to remove any lingering odors from cigarette smoke within their duct system.

How does the air purifier work?

Air Purifiers use multiple technologies to remove harmful particles from your home. The three main components of an Air Cleaner are HEPA filter, carbon filter, and Ioniser. When a particle enters a room through an open window or door, it becomes entrapped in an electrostatic field created by a device known as an ionizer. The ionizer then strips away one or more electrons from each molecule to produce positive and negative ions, neutralizing each other’s charge. This process is known as ionization and, if done at high enough levels, produces clean and safe indoor air that we breathe into our bodies.

Technologies used in an air purifier

Depending on their use, various types of technologies are used in air purifiers. Technologies include HEPA filtration, UV light, ionizers, and more. Air cleaners employ different methods of operation. An ionizer can treat your room without you having to take a single step – flip a switch, and it’s working for you. These devices make an electric field by putting oppositely charged ions in an area to cleanse that space by destroying airborne contaminants with positive charges (hence ions). But before buying an air cleaner or purifier, be sure to do your research and make sure you choose one with adequate technology for your specific needs. 

HEPA filtration

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, a classification of filters. Most HEPA filters trap particulates or particles at 0.3 microns or larger. HEPA filtration traps 99.97% of particles that pass through its system—making it one of the most effective and reliable options for filtering out pollutants, allergens, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and other unwanted irritants from your home’s indoor air.

UV light in an air purifier

Most air purifiers rely on UV light to break up and kill germs in your home’s indoor environment. The process takes a little time, but it works well. A UV lamp (called a germicidal lamp) passes ultraviolet light into your air space. It kills bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and dust mites by releasing free radicals that break down organic matter. This process is not instantaneous; you will notice a contaminant reduction as your device continues to work for eight hours.

What is the difference when we are comparing an Air cleaner vs air purifier?

People are often confused about what is an Aircleaner is and what an Air Purifier. Both machines have similar functions, but there is a significant difference between them. An Aircleaner functions by using a filter to trap dust, hair, and other particles in it, while an Air Purifier uses specific techniques to get rid of particles in our environment. 

While both devices work well as particle filters, they work differently. The purpose of an Aircleaner is to keep your household clean by trapping some pollutants that may go airborne due to daily activities like cooking or cleaning etc. However, it should be kept in mind that all models have limitations on how many particles they can trap.

What is an air filter?

Air cleaner vs air purifier

An air filter is the most commonly used and popular method of capturing pollutants from a room. Air filters are available in two varieties: HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters, which are made with fibers that attract and absorb particles, and electrostatic filters, which create charged ions when exposed to positive or negative ions. 

These charged ions attract dirt particles; they may also capture bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and even certain odors or gases. Electrostatic filters can capture more airborne particles than HEPA filters because they have a greater surface area. Still, because of their charge, they also tend to attract dust.

Air cleaner vs air purifier

The differences between Air Filter and Air purifiers are given here. The first and foremost thing to know is that both have a similar function. They purify or clean air by removing dust, pollen, virus, bacteria, and mold from it to prevent further spreading of diseases like Asthma, Allergies, etc. Both Air Filter and Air purifiers provide a high-quality solution for a healthier life. An Air filter contains an arrangement of fibers, whereas an Air Purifier has several types of filters.

How to choose an ideal air cleaner or purifier?

Before buying a unit, you should consider how many rooms in your home will require cleaning and how long each room will be cleaned. The filters of some models are larger than others, so it’s good to have that information handy when deciding what type of unit to purchase. However, remember that too much dust can clog up any device.

That’s why it’s also important to assess whether your home is overly dusty or whether it simply requires general air cleaning for allergens and other debris. For example, an air cleaner may be your best bet if you suffer from seasonal allergies such as hay fever because it doesn’t have a filter as a HEPA filter does.

Difference between air cleaner vs air purifier

Difference between air purifier and HEPA filter. Air Purifiers and HEPA filters are designed to remove particles that are in the air, both inside your home and out. However, HEPA filters tend to be slightly more powerful at removing larger particles that can irritate allergies or asthma. HEPA filter technology also removes pollen from being released into an area where it can also affect allergies.

This type of filtration works well to reduce airborne viruses, including flu and ebola. Air cleaners tend to remove smaller particles such as dust, mold spores, bacteria, and cigarette smoke by using a filtration system with a media or activated carbon filter attached to vents in your home or office, allowing clean, fresh air to circulate back into them. Air cleaners work best when used in addition to an HVAC system.

Which one is comparatively better? An Air cleaner vs air purifier.

Air cleaner vs air purifier

A comparison between an air filter and an air purifier. Air cleaners provide air filtration and can reduce airborne allergens such as pollen and pet dander. However, they do not have a HEPA filter like many high-end brands of air purifiers do. Air filters provide only cleanable filtration, while an Air Purifier provides cleanable, allergy-fighting filtration that can keep your room healthy without having to worry about changing or adding on components!


Say hello to the answer to your questions.

How to choose an Air Purifier or Air Cleaner?

Air Purifiers and Air Cleaners are two different technologies. An Air Cleaner is designed to remove gases, such as cigarette smoke or cooking odors. In contrast, an Air Purifier is intended to remove allergens and impurities such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. This makes an Air Purifier more effective for removing contaminants from indoor air than an Air Cleaner.

Do I need an Air Purifier or an Air Cleaner?

First, we need to understand what an Air Purifier and an Air Cleaner do. An Air Purifier will remove pollutants from indoor environments like dust, pollen, smoke, pet dander, and more. An Air Cleaner will remove particulate matter such as lint or dirt that has settled on surfaces inside your home.

What are the differences between air filters and air purifiers?

Air filters remove dust particles from a room’s atmosphere, leaving you with clean air. In contrast, an air purifier is meant to work as an addition to your home or office heating system to filter out harmful particles in your breathing space.

Difference between HEPA filters and HEPA replacement filters.

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It is a type of filter used in air cleaners that capture 99.97% of particles like pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold spores 0.3 microns or larger. HEPA filters are usually found in higher-end residential and commercial-grade models.

How to choose a good air cleaner for dust allergies?

Air cleaners use various technologies to remove dust and allergens from indoor air. HEPA filters are among the most common. These tiny, tightly packed fibers trap pollen, dander, pet hair, and other airborne particles. Many air cleaners also employ an activated-carbon filter; some combine a carbon filter with a HEPA filter for extra-effective particle reduction.


Air cleaners are often mistakenly called air purifiers. An air filter, for example, is designed to remove larger particles from the air; a HEPA filter does a better job of eliminating smaller microorganisms from indoor air. Air cleaners use filters that either collect dust and pollutants or force them through electronic technologies such as ultraviolet light and ionization. While these devices can help improve air quality in your home, they don’t eliminate all contaminants from your indoor environment.

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