It’s coming up on that time of year again: cedar fever season.
If you’re looking for an air purifier that will make this time of year a little less miserable, we recommend installing a whole-house air purifier (also called an “air scrubber”).
Installed in your existing HVAC system, a whole-home purification system will filter airborne particles, contaminants and allergens from your entire home.
In this article, we’ll go over:
- How a whole-house purifier removes allergens from your home
- The cost to install a whole-house air purifier in San Antonio
Want a quote to install a whole-home air purifier? Call us at (210) 227-8358 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
How does a whole-house air purifier remove allergens?
The way a whole-home air scrubber removes allergens depends on which of the 3 types of purifiers you choose:
- Media (high-MERV) filter
- Ionic (electronic) air cleaner
- UV (germicidal) air cleaner
Let’s go over how each type removes allergens.
Media (high-MERV) filter
Like regular air filters, media filters sit inside your HVAC system to remove particles and allergens. As air gets pulled into your HVAC system, it passes through the media filter, trapping unwanted particles and allergens.
Wondering what’s a “MERV”? MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). It’s a rating that tells you how efficiently the air filter can remove contaminants from the air. The higher the MERV rating (1–16), the more efficient the filter is at removing allergens from your home.
Our recommendation: For removing allergenic particles (pollen, dust mites, mold spores, etc.), we recommend going with at least a MERV 9 filter. If you also want to remove pollutants (bacteria, tobacco smoke, etc.), go with a MERV 13 to 16 filter.
Note: If you don’t currently have a media filter in your system, you’ll likely need to have a professional reconfigure your return ductwork. High-MERV filters are much thicker than your average 1-inch fiberglass filters. You’ll want to make sure your system can accommodate the larger filter (some measure up to 5”), otherwise it won’t work as well as it should.
Ionic (electronic) air cleaner
Like a high-MERV filter, ionic air cleaners use a media filter that collects larger particles. Ionic air purifiers also have a thin, electronically charged metal layer. As air passes through the metal layer, contaminants (even ones as fine as cigarette smoke) become positively charged, which forces them to cling to the media filter like a magnet.
Our recommendation: An iWave air purification system. iWave residential models will kill microbial contaminants (bacteria, fungi, viruses etc.) and reduce allergens, smoke and other airborne contaminants. iWave also offers self-cleaning models, which allow for zero or minimal maintenance on your end.
UV (germicidal) air cleaner
Installed inside your ductwork, UV air cleaners emit rays of UV light that kill microbial contaminants (bacteria, fungi, viruses etc.) in the air. These type of air purifiers also eliminate odors, vapors and chemical toxins in your home’s air.
While UV air cleaners sterilize contaminants, they don’t remove them from the air. That means these types of filters are ineffective on some biological allergens like pet dander and certain types of pollen. They work best when combined with some type of media filter to catch allergenic particles.
Our recommendation: For the best results, we recommend San Antonio and South Texas residents pair an APCO UV germicidal air cleaner with a media filter. That way, you’ll remove both biological particles and microbial contaminants from your home’s air.
Note: We recommend having a professional install UV air purifiers. Installing these type of air purifiers requires extensive knowledge of UV-C light and how it works with your HVAC system. Installing the purifier yourself could result in improper installation, which could limit how well the purifier works and even damage your system.
How much does it cost to install a whole-house air purifier?
What you’ll pay to install an air purification system in the San Antonio area mainly depends on the type of system:
- High-MERV media filter: $65–$80 per filter
- Media filter installation/reconfiguration: Average price is $1,100
- Electronic (ionic) air cleaner: $750 to $950
- UV (germicidal) air cleaner: $450 to $850 (plus bulb replacement every 2–3 years)
Other factors that influence your cost include:
- The difficulty of the installation. If your air handler is in a small attic or crawlspace, that will make the air scrubber harder to install, which will raise your overall cost.
- The contractor you choose. You get what you pay for when it comes to air purifier installations. Keep in mind that contractors that charge a low installation fee probably won’t give you the best quality work. And poor-quality work means your air purifier won’t work as efficiently as it should. Hire a contractor that knows what they’re doing, so you get a system that performs well.
Need an estimate to install a whole-house air purifier?
We’ll help you find the right air purification system for your home, so you and your family are ready to tackle cedar fever season.