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Whole-House vs Portable Air Purifiers

Whole-House vs Portable Air Purifiers

With rising industrialization, the level of pollutants in the air has increased rapidly. The air we breathe every day is very likely to be contaminated with dust particles, allergen, bacteria, pollen grains, and other contaminants. These contaminants have often been associated with respiratory complications, sneezing, watery eyes, allergic reactions, coughing, and other significant health issues such as lung cancer. It is, therefore, necessary that you institute an air-purifying mechanism to improve the quality of air that your family enjoys.

Although you can't do much about the air you breathe while outside the house, it is entirely possible to regulate your indoor air quality when you are inside your home. The most feasible plan for achieving good quality air within your home is to install an air purification system. Air purifiers come in different categories. You can either decide to install a whole-house air purification system or adopt a portable air purification design.

While both of these systems of air purification are effective, each has its advantages and disadvantages. In the end, the consumer has to decide which of the two designs is the most appropriate for their home. Hopefully, the following information will be helpful to some in making that decision.

Whole House Air Purifiers

 A whole-house air purification system is usually designed to make the quality of the air throughout your home better by restricting pollutant particles from passing through your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning filters. Whole-house air purifiers are installed directly close to the air ducts of the HVAC system's filters. Ideally, this filtration system covers much than the standard filter with a design that allows for much more surface area. With this increased filtration collection area, the system can achieve a more robust and effective clean air solution that prevents particle encroachment throughout your home.

More recently, whole-house air purification systems can be fitted with ultraviolet radiation technology. This radiation effect can kill viruses, fungi, dust mites, molds, bacteria, and mildew. Hence, these systems improve the quality of the air you breathe with the additional benefit of potential disease prevention.


Before purchasing a whole-house air purifier, you should ensure it will be compatible with the existing HVAC air or central air system design.

Whole house air cleaners have various advantages:

  • An improved odor elimination system within your ductwork.
  • Well linked within the house and overlap with the HVAC filter systems, enabling them to trap air pollutants easily.
  • Autonomous, which means that the working mechanism must not be constantly regulated by human action. Once the systems are installed, they work continuously without moving around to achieve better purification.
  • Designs are associated with a higher quality air purification for the entire house. The ultraviolet radiation units serve as an added advantage to the working mechanism of the purification system.
  • Integrated nature of whole-house air purification systems enables every room to have fewer pollutants. Each room has access to a filter and does not rely on air purification mechanisms from other rooms. More often than not, these filters are installed discreetly to the wall or ceilings, and they are not visible, which improves the luster properties of the room. Once they are installed, the system typically requires little maintenance.


Complete house air purification systems, however, could have several disadvantages to the user:

  • The integrated design to address every room, every duct, and every filter drives up the unit's cost and the installation.
  • Installation techniques associated with these systems require a great deal of professionalism. Installation by unqualified personnel could lead to significant failures and damages to the existing heating ventilation and air conditioning system.
  • The whole house air purification mechanism must be compatible with the current HVAC system, or else it will not be possible to install it. These constraints could be a significant limiting factor for clients who may have older heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Moreover, older systems are more likely to have imbalanced air filtration.

Portable Air Purifiers

A portable air purification system or room air purifier is a simple stand-alone, plug-in plug-out system that purifies the air. This system relies on an electrical outlet. Like the name suggests, this system can be moved from one place to another depending on the user's preferences.

Portable units come in various sizes but are typically meant to serve a limited number of people in a given space. While the primary working mechanism is much like that of a whole-house air purifier, portable units are designed to fit more specific environments where localized preferences are important.


Portable air purifiers have various advantages:

  • Smaller and less expensive compared to a whole-house air purification system.
  • Regulated to function only at the required time and save a great deal of energy.
  • Target the cleaning needs of specific areas.
  • Easy to transport between different areas of use within the home.


Portable air purifiers also have some drawbacks:

  • Can only serve limited square footage which requires moving them around to cover other areas in the home.
  • Are potential ozone emitters that could be hazardous to health.
  • May be limited when addressing odor that comes from the ductwork of an HVAC system.
  • Are local to a room and can be noisy.
  • Some are heavy and may be difficult to carry around.
  • Some may require more maintenance so that they can perform at the required levels.

Where to Shop for Portable Air Purifiers

Portable air purifiers are a great addition to any home and make a positive difference in the quality of air you breathe. If the thought of investing in a whole-house air purifier seems overwhelming, then take advantage of portable technology which offers a cost effective solution for your indoor air concerns.

Shop now for our "Best Air Purifier" collections at Think Air Purifiers Home

We offer a variety of practical portable air purifiers selections.

PCO NASA technology and FDA approved that works and looks great on shelves, table tops, and can even be mounted on walls.
Shop Airocide
Filterless product using Ionic Wind. You can wash and and re-use the parts which reduces cost of replacing HEPA filters.
Shop Airdog
A work-horse product with no frills and easy maintenance. You don't have to replace any filters for 3-5 years.
Shop Austin Air
A great product with multiple configurations that allow you to make better cost/benefit tradeoffs. Shop Aller Air
Makes use of HEPA/Carbon filtration with high CFM to cover large spaces. A big advantage is low noise level compared to other brands.
Shop Airpura
Makes use of HEPA/Earth Mineral filtration that does not release any chemicals into the environment. No tools required, easy maintenance.
Shop EnviroKlenz
Filterless product using Ionization without ozone production. Easy maintenance. No HEPA filters to replace.
Shop LightAir


To learn more about portable air purifiers and related topics, we invite you to check out our Blog.

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