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Community and Q&A

Do I really need an Air Scrubber?

Ron Trzcinski | Posted in General Questions on

I have a gas forced air furnace, fairly new (5 yrs). We installed a humidifier, a media air filter by Honeywell, a hepa filter system by Fantec which has 3 filters including a charcoal filter along with a UV light system by Airpal. Now I am being told that we should replace these with the latest and greatest air scrubber by Air Scrubber Plus. Is this just another means of obtaining cash flow or are my products outdated to the point of replacement?

The push for this unit is that it uses technology created by NASA. It is expensive and has to be installed by the distributor. My bother is a retired heating and air conditioning guy who could install the unit. He is not up on the latest air scrubber units so has no comment but says he thinks it is a come on.

If legit, can you recommend a unit that I could buy over the internet and have my bother install?

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Replies

  1. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Ron,
    Q. "Do I really need an Air Scrubber?"

    A. No. Why are you tempted to buy one?

    By the way, you also don't need a humidifier. In most homes, humidifiers do more harm than good. If the indoor air in your home is dry during the winter, that's almost always a sign that your home's outer shell is leaking air. The solution is to perform air sealing work, not to install or use a humidifier.

  2. Malcolm Taylor | | #2

    Ron,
    This discussion might be worth a look:
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/community/forum/mechanicals/37342/air-scrubber-plus

    I'm holding out for the Air Scrubber Plus Plus.

  3. SeattleCarl | | #3

    The wife and I recently considered whether to install the Aerus Air Scrubber Pro and were surprised at the lack of reliable useful info on the product on the internet. Lots of HVAC companies hawking it and a couple fake reviews like one on the Angie's List link below.

    We have decided to pass, although the idea is intriguing and apparently the product is very commonly sold.

    Resources
    https://www.airscrubberbyaerus.com/ (No pricing or useful info)
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/question/air-scrubber-plus
    https://answers.angieslist.com/IS-THERE-DANGER-IN-INSTALLING-AN-AIR-SCRUBBER-PLUS-q239523.aspx
    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=air+scrubber (Similar products for ~$200)

    1. Zephyr7 | | #5

      NASA has very different requirements from your home furnace, so anyone saying their product uses “technology from NASA” is immediately suspect.

      It looks like most of the supposed benefit from this product is it’s ability to filter out smells. That’s mostly done by the activate carbon filter, which you can buy for any normal furnace filter. UV isn’t “filtration”, it’s sterilization — it kills living things like bacteria. UV systems depend on “contact time”, which is how long the thing (air in this case) being filtered is exposed to the UV light. Airflow in a furnace is pretty fast, so you’d need a pretty powerful UV lamp to accomplish very much.

      My recommendation would be to use thicker pleated filters than the usual 1” furnace filters. The main reason is than the thicker filters last longer before needing replacement and create less flow restriction than the thinner ones. Aprilaire makes an especially thick filter system that is reasonably priced and uses no power (it’s just a really thick pleated filter in a custom housing), and they have an “allergen” filter cartridge for it and also activated carbon filters. I’d look at this before looking at the air scrubber system.

      Bill

  4. Tom May | | #4

    How do you scrub air? All I can picture is a pantomime making circles with his/her hand. Sounds like you have enough with the filters and UV.

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