When compared to professional air purification systems with HEPA filters. Air conditioners fall short in their ability to clean and purify the air in your home.
Dust filters, which are frequently found in air conditioners, are not intended for fine particle air filtering. Rather, they primarily prevent the movement of bigger dust particles through your home.
Ionization filters are present in some air conditioner models. They are capable of purging the air of allergies, germs, dust, and odours, although they are less efficient at purging viruses, mould spores, or allergens.
It is advised to invest in a HEPA filter air purification system if you want to ensure clean and pure air in your home.
Do air conditioners purify the air in my home?
Having clean air in your home provides comfort and removes any health risks, such as asthma and pollen allergies. Since the pandemic, many homeowners have become more conscious of this and want to purify the air in their homes. This begs the question if air conditioners clean and purify the air. As they spread the air through your home, do you need a separate special air purifier system?
Two of the most common filters found in air conditioning units are dust filters and ionisation filters.
Almost every air conditioner has a dust filter built into the unit. Unfortunately, this filter does not directly purify the air, as these inbuilt filters are not designed for fine particle air filtration.
Despite this shortcoming, the larger dust particle filter in the indoor unit contributes to some degree to cleaner air in your home. This is because this filter stops larger dust particles from getting into the air circulated throughout your home.
The filter protects your home and aims to prevent clogging in the unit’s internal components. The only issue with this type of filter is that it cannot stop smoke. Or smaller particles such as viruses, cigarette ash or minute pollens.
To ensure the filter in your unit is performing to its potential. Please check the air conditioning manual to learn how often to clean the filter.
Suppose you cannot find this information. Then, our general recommendation is to clean the filter every 6 to 8 weeks, potentially by washing it in warm soapy water after removing it from the unit.
Some models of air conditioners have an air purification filter based on ionisation built in already. This filter removes different substances. Such as allergens, germs, dust, and odours from the air before the air conditioner disperses them into the room.
The effectiveness of ionisation filters stops when filtering viruses, mould spores or allergens. Therefore, ionisation filters are less effective than HEPA filters in removing these pollutants.
What should you do if you want purified air?
As air conditioners do not do the best job cleaning and purifying the air, a specialist clean air filtration unit with a HEPA filter is your best option. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and is in many air purifier units and vacuum cleaners.
The EPA reports removing at least 99.97% of any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. This includes bacteria, pollen, dust, and mould. So if you have ever changed a HEPA filter after prolonged use, you can see directly how effective they are.
Suppose your air conditioner does not have either of the previously mentioned types of filters, or you want some extra protection. In that case, you can connect HEPA to indoor air conditioner systems. But first, contact your manufacturer or air-con installer and ask if your unit is compatible.
In summary, air conditioners can clean and purify the air, but it is not the primary function. For air purifiers with HEPA filters, it is the primary function. So, if you want more guaranteed clean and pure air in your home, the extra investment of a HEPA filter specialist unit is the best solution.