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Should You Try a Portable Air Purifier?

Portable air purifiers are popular indoor air quality appliances. Designed to conveniently purify the air from pollen, allergens, and other fine particulates, do these solutions actually work?MTB Mechanical’s technicians see an uptick every allergy season among Charlotte clients asking about air purification. Here’s what they want you to know before you try out a portable air purifier.
Their Size (and Effect) Can be Small
Air purifiers are small by design. They’re meant to be convenient, placed on a shelf or on the floor in an area that’s particularly wheeze-inducing. Depending on the model, portable purifiers can actually be effective in very small, contained areas! Unfortunately, contaminated air isn’t so selective; pet dander, dust, smoke, and other airborne pollution can easily travel from room to room which can result in the need for multiple purifiers. And don’t forget one of the chief complaints about portable purifiers…noise! Even the quietest systems still make considerable noise when running.
It’s All About the Filter
The effectiveness of a portable air purifier really does come down to its filter. HEPA filters are the industry gold-standard, able to collect extremely fine particulates (but requiring replacement at least once a year.) Electrostatic air filters are popular, but they do produce some ozone which some people may find irritating to the lungs. Carbon filters are another well-known option, although they require filter changes every three months or more.
They Can Be Expensive
A lot of people buy portable air purifiers in an attempt to “save money.” Although whole-home purification systems are an investment, they’re typically much better at remediating poor air quality within the entire home. Singular portable air purifiers can run anywhere from $50-$1,000, depending on the model. Generally, the smaller and less expensive an air purifier is the less efficiently and it will function, and the shorter time it will last. Consider all operating costs such as filter replacement and electricity consumption when determining whether portable purifiers are a good investment.
So, are portable air purifiers worth the cost? They can be, but usually only for a very specific space or need. Many people ultimately determine that a whole-home air purification system makes more financial sense; they’re more effective, too!
When working with an HVAC professional at MTB Mechanical, you have options. From germicidal UV lights to media air cleaners, there are many ways to make the air inside your space cleaner and easier to breathe. And remember, fresh air always starts with a well-functioning HVAC system and clean, regularly-changed filters! If it’s been a while since you had your air conditioning or your heating system inspected by a professional, you may be due for a check-up.
Contact the pros at MTB Mechanical today to talk about our cost-effective solutions for purer, more breathable indoor air.

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