Air scrubbers are devices that help improve the indoor air quality of a building. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the degree of indoor air pollution is often two to five times worse than outside air. An air scrubber helps mitigate this issue by directly addressing the airborne contaminants that impact living conditions. But what are the different types of air scrubbers, and how can they upgrade your home? A look at the top features of air scrubbers can help you make the most advantageous decision for your household.

What Is an Air Scrubber?

An air scrubber is an appliance that removes particulate matter and toxins from a given airstream. Air scrubbers are unique because their design enables these devices to remove a range of pollutants. These unwanted contaminants may include pollutants that include particles like dust and pollen, harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, odors like smoke and tobacco, microorganisms like germs or bacteria, and airborne toxins like volatile organic compounds (VOCs). An HVAC professional can install the air scrubber device directly into ductwork of your HVAC system to benefit the entire household. By removing the pollutants, air scrubbers help restore breathable air and may help create healthier spaces to live and work.

How Does an Air Scrubber Work?

Air scrubbers operate using a process called “adsorption.” First, air flows into the air scrubber through either an intake fan or the natural airflow of your HVAC system. Next, the air flows through a series of filters. The pollutants adhere to these filters, resulting in fewer harmful contaminants within the treated air. Along with filters, some air scrubbers may also use ultraviolet (UV) lights to inactivate the DNA of airborne pathogens and microorganisms. The remaining filters can then remove these allergens and particulates so that you can breathe cleaner air. Finally, the cleaner air recirculates back into the building and the scrubbing process is complete.

Common types of filters within an air scrubber can include pre-filters, molecular filters, and HEPA filters. Pre-filters trap the larger particulate matter like pollen, dust, and animal dander. This prevents larger particles from clogging other parts of the system. Molecular filters trap gases, airborne molecules, and compounds. Finally, HEPA is an acronym for the high-efficiency particulate air filter. By federal regulation, the HEPA label means that the filter is at least 99.97% effective in airborne particles as small as 0.3 µm.

What Are the Different Types of Air Scrubbers?

The three most common types of air scrubbers are dry scrubbers, wet scrubbers, and thermal oxidizers. Each type handles specific kinds of contaminants and applications. An indoor air quality expert can help you determine which type of scrubber can integrate best into your HVAC system.

Dry Scrubbers

Dry air scrubbers are also known as dry sorbent injectors (DSIs). These devices inject a dry reagent into the exhaust stream that has dirty air. This reagent facilitates a chemical reaction or synthesis to help remove impurities.

Wet Scrubbers

Wet air scrubbers use damp substances or scrubbing solutions to remove contaminants from the airstream. These devices require direct contact between the cleansing solution and the polluted airstream. Much like the rotating brushes of a conveyor car wash, wet scrubbers effectively purge unwanted particulates from the airflow.

Thermal Oxidizers

Thermal oxidizers use combustion to convert harmful gases into more benign substances like carbon dioxide or water vapor. These air scrubbers are more common in industrial buildings that may experience an accumulation of hazardous contaminants due to the manufacturing process.

What Are Possible Applications for Air Scrubbers?

Air scrubbers have a range of applications due to their versatility. For example, individuals who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions can use air scrubbers to remove nasal irritants. Households with infants or elderly can also use air scrubbers to reduce the likelihood of respiratory illnesses. People with pets can use these devices to remove dander and other animal-related pollutants. Individuals who live in urban areas or near construction sites can rely on these appliances to safeguard their homes. And finally, people who work from home or spend a greater than average amount of time indoors can reap the advantages of scrubbers that replenish clean air.

What Are the Benefits of Using Air Scrubbers?

Benefits of air scrubbers include the effective removal of allergens and the ability to extend the life of your HVAC system. There are also other benefits depending on your lifestyle and goals.

Removal of Allergens

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. In fact, having an allergy is the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Air scrubbers may help reduce allergic reactions and symptoms by removing allergens and contaminants from the air.

Environmentally Friendly

Air scrubbers may help reduce the extent of pollutants released into the environment. By filtering away harmful substances like gas and allergens, these devices help prevent these contaminants from affecting your local surroundings. Moreover, most air scrubbers are energy efficient and use less electricity than other types of purification or filtration. This may help to reduce your carbon footprint and foster a more sustainable lifestyle.

Compliance With the Law

Using air scrubbers may even help you comply with local laws and regulations. Each year, the list of controlled chemicals steadily increases in compliance with the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. For example, the list contains 189 hazardous air pollutants (HAP) that individuals and businesses must control to avoid accidental release as well as 100 extremely hazardous air pollutants (EHAP) that people must avoid releasing into the environment altogether. An air scrubber is a reliable way to help remove these unwanted substances from the air.

Extend the Life of Your HVAC System

Contaminants like dirt and debris can damage the coils, blower, and ducts of your HVAC system. This can force your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. The extra work leads to undue wear and tear and can prematurely age your system. By installing air scrubbers, you can help your HVAC system reach its full life expectancy and operate at peak efficiency.

Freshen the Air

Due to the ability to remove contaminants at the molecular level, air scrubbers are useful for removing unpleasant odors from the air. While commercial air fresheners and sprays can cover odors with another scent, these chemicals can also add more volatile organic compounds to the air. This can increase the concentration of pollution. Air scrubbers can trap and remove pollutants that cause odors to produce fresher and uncontaminated air.

Contact Us Today

Air scrubbers can create a more comfortable environment for all household occupants. A/C Doctors provides air scrubber installation for homes in Gilbert, AZ and surrounding areas. We offer indoor air quality testing and can install all filters and UV lights. Other offerings include allergy reducers, germicidal products, air purifiers, and air filtration. Talk to our technicians about whole-home ventilation and humidifiers. Whatever the concern, from HVAC systems to plumbing concerns, our experts can help. Contact A/C Doctors today.

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