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Are Air Scrubbers Worth It for Clean and Safe Indoor Air?

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Air scrubbers are often compared with air purifiers when it comes to clean and safe indoor air, but are air scrubbers worth it? Not many people know the differences between these two air-cleaning systems, which is why we wrote a guide just for you.


While we know both air purifiers and air scrubbers do the job of cleaning the air you breathe from dust, pollen, dirt, and other harmful and troublesome pollutants, there are specifications that separate the two. Their technologies might have the same purpose but the methods are a little different.


If you want to know more about air scrubbers, how they work, and if they are worth it for cleaning indoor air, read our sections below as we answer some common questions regarding them.


What are the benefits of an air scrubber?

Air scrubbers, like air purifiers, have many benefits, which is why they are used by many establishments, such as hospitals, the food service industry, and the like. Here are the advantages of using an air scrubber to clean your indoor air:


Powerful air cleaning

Most air scrubbers can clean up to 99.99% of pollutants due to their powerful filters as they are made for industrial purposes and are often used in businesses. Here’s what an air scrubber can clean in your office or indoor space:


  • dust
  • volatile organic compounds
  • allergens
  • bacteria
  • pollen
  • mold
  • smoke
  • bad odor
  • most viruses
  • other pollutants


Moreover, air scrubbers can clean about 90% of pollutants within 1 hour. However, this depends on the room size, as well as the power of the air scrubber. Fortunately, most air scrubber installation staff will advise a suitable air scrubber for your room size, anyway.


Great for large spaces

The power of an air scrubber makes it suitable for large spaces, such as construction sites, warehouses, and the like. While most air purifiers are only meant for rooms and homes, air scrubbers are typically built for large-scale purposes.


Ideal for businesses

Whether you own a restaurant, maintain an office space, or have a workplace, having clean air to breathe is part of keeping your staff healthy. We’ve covered the effects of air pollution in points before, and we’d like to emphasize the importance of clean and healthy air, in which an air scrubber can help you out.


If your staff gets sick because of indoor pollution or if your customers get turned off due to musty air, your business won’t be so lively anymore. Therefore, having an air cleaning system, such as an air scrubber, can be considered a health and economic investment in the long run.

Are air scrubbers effective?

In terms of cleaning indoor air, are air scrubbers worth it? Yes – air scrubbers are effective in cleaning pollutants in the air. As mentioned above, they can clean ninety percent of air pollutants in an hour of use. So, how do air scrubbers work? They mostly use negative ions but some use HEPA and other filters.

There are different types of air scrubbers out there, which are suitable for various situations. Here’s a chart comparing the most common types:

Type of air scrubber How it works Best uses
Electrostatic precipitator Uses electricity to remove pollutants Factories, industrial setting
Portable air scrubber Uses HEPA and other filters to remove pollutants Jobsites and renovation
Negative air scrubber Great for capturing asbestos from old buildings Renovation of old buildings
Packed bed scrubber Activated carbon and zeolite pellets to remove chemical smells Industries with gas and chemicals


How often should you run an air scrubber?

Air scrubbers should be run all day or at least up to 48 hours – especially in a large room or building. By maintaining constantly clean and healthy air in the room(s), you’re providing healthy and clean air to you and your guests, employees, and the like. Like air purifiers, an air scrubber should be run all day.


With that said, the CADR (clean air delivery rate) should be considered alongside the size of the room(s) in question. Air scrubbers with much higher CADRs will likely work faster because they have quicker air exchanges within a given time.


How much is a residential air scrubber?

Budget-friendly air scrubbers will cost around $500 but there are higher-end models up to $2,000. This price does not cover the installation fee, which can be quite shocking when compared to the standard price of an air purifier.


Despite the high price, since air scrubbers work at a large scale, they are a great investment overall if you have a large building or space to maintain with multiple rooms and many guests. Your local air scrubber installation services might offer different prices and packages, however.



Can an air scrubber remove harsh chemicals?

Yes – air scrubbers will remove toxic chemicals from the air – provided that they have the right filter, such as activated carbon and UV light. HEPA filters alone cannot remove chemicals as they are only designed to take out dust, pet dander, and smoke.


Do air scrubbers emit ozone?

Generally, no – most air scrubbers in the market do not emit ozone. This is especially the case in an air scrubber that only uses HEPA and carbon filters in the process. Be sure to check the specifications first, however, to ensure there’s no ozone produced.


What’s the average lifespan of an air scrubber?

An air scrubber can last up to ten years or more depending on how much you use it. Different models use different technologies and therefore, there’s no standard answer. It also depends on the amount of pollution it filters daily.


Let’s summarize: are air scrubbers worth it? Yes – but only if you need a lot of protection against pollutants, such as if you live in a highly-industrial neighborhood, have a lot of employees, and have high exposure to harsh chemicals that can damage your health in the long run.


Air scrubbers are a worthy investment if in a large-scale application – especially if you need to consider the safety of your workers. However, air purifiers are also great at cleaning the air – you can let your air purifier remove chemical fumes if you’re on a tight budget.

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