Is An Air Conditioner (AC) Also An Air Purifier?

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Is An Air Conditioner (AC) Also An Air Purifier?

It certainly makes sense to think that your home’s air conditioner is also an air purifier. After all, your AC keeps your home climate controlled and comfortable during the warm summer weather. But, while your HVAC system does include air filters, they are not dense enough to capture microscopic particles such as bacteria, finer dust and airborne allergens. This is where an air purifier comes in. Air purifiers are designed primarily to remove those microscopic particles. This blog will take a look at air conditioner vs. air purifiers and highlight the differences/similarities between the two.


Air conditioners cool down indoor environments. They do this by removing warm air, exhausting it outside the home and then replacing it with cooled down air. As it adjusts the temperature, your air conditioner will also help regulate the humidity level in the home. Air conditioners generally come in three main types: whole house central air systems, portable units and window-mounted units. All draw air through an air filter, so there is some air purifying going on, but nothing near the process that comes with an air purifier.


The main function of an air purifier – also known as an air scrubber – is to remove airborne particulates and contaminants from the air that can then cause illness and exacerbate respiratory ailments such as asthma or allergies. These contaminants include pollen, mold spores, pet dander, bacteria, smoke and odors. Air purifiers are available in two different models: those with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or an ionizer. Purifiers with HEPA filters draw air in via a fan and push it through a filtration system that traps airborne pollutants. An ionizing purifier emits ions in the air, which attach themselves to contaminants, causing them to fall to the ground.


So, air conditioners and air purifiers are similar in that they both work to keep your home’s indoor air comfortable and clean. That said, the difference is that one removes hot air and replaces it with cooled air and the other removes airborne pollutants and returns the cleaned air to the room. Air conditioners do not clean the air to the extent that air purifiers do, and air purifiers do not cool the air, though you may feel a slight breeze as it pumps air back into the room. 


Masters Heating & Cooling Inc. understands the importance of good indoor air quality (IAQ). Our trained service technicians can quickly assess your home’s IAQ situation and recommend solutions. We offer equipment options from air purifiers to humidifiers to ultraviolet light systems that will eliminate harmful airborne pollutants. We are a factory authorized dealer of Carrier equipment and also feature IAQ solutions from Aprilaire and Honeywell. Call us today – with our locations in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Decatur, Angola, Greenwood and Mishawaka, Masters gets there faster!