When shopping for air cleaning equipment for your home or office, you often come across various products, which can be confusing. Things become even more hectic when choosing between two pretty similar ones like the air purifier and ionizer.
Although both purifiers and ionizers effectively remove air pollutants, they do it differently. Here we look at what sets apart these two air cleaning pieces of equipment to help you decide what suits your needs.
Air Purifier vs. Ionizer
1. Application: Ionizers Work Best for Light Duty Air Cleaning
When you want to do some light-duty air cleaning to make the air in a room fresher for your space can be more conducive and comfortable, the air ionizer provides a quick and easy fix. Additionally, the ionizer works well for many other less demanding air cleaning applications and when a high airflow is not a necessity for you.
On the other hand, air purifiers are ideal for heavy-duty air purification jobs. Hence, if the task at hand involves removing pet dander, bacteria and viruses from your air, they are perfect. Better still, air purifiers do a much better job removing foul odors from your air and can also absorb chemicals if they have the right filter.
Read More: The Best Air Purifers for Odor Elimination
However, it is still important to note that while air purifiers can filter out 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, the ionizers are effective at trapping even tinier ones up to 0.1 microns.
2. How it Works: Filters vs. Ions
The mode of operation is perhaps the main difference between these two air cleaning tools. The air purifiers rely on a series of filters to clean the air, while ionizers use negatively charged ions.
For the air purifiers, a fan forces the contaminated air through the filters, which trap the pollutants before allowing the clean air back into the room. In most instances, the air purifiers will have several filters designed to remove different substances from the air.
Read More: How does Air Purifier Work?
The ionizers work by releasing negatively charged ions into the air. These ions then cling on to the positively charged contaminant, making them heavier and forcing them to fall onto the ground for easy cleaning. Some of them also accumulate on the ionizer’s metal plate.
Read More: How does an Air Ionizer Work?
3. Coverage: Ionizer Cover Way Much More Area
When it comes to coverage, you can get wide coverage models with both the ionizer and air purifier. However, in most instances, the air ionizer often covers more space as some can cover up to an impressive 3,500 square feet, which is more than enough for a typical home size. Even the smaller, budget model still covers at least 500 square feet.
With the air purifiers, most standard models will provide maximum coverage of around 700 square feet. But, larger ones are meant for use in larger homes, and spaces can cover up to 1,500 square feet.
Read More: How to Choose the Right Air Purifier Size
4. Maintenance: Ionizers Are Easier to Maintain
The ease and frequency of maintenance with both air purifiers and ionizers largely depend on the specific model you choose. That said, the air purifiers seem to require a little more care to keep them working correctly, as you need to change the filters at least every 3 to 6 months.
Routine maintenance for the air ionizers only entails cleaning the plates to dispose of the trapped contaminants, which for most models is often a quick process that takes just a few minutes.
5. Cost: Air Purifiers Cost More but Are Worth Every Buck
Air purifiers are the more expensive option for the two. A basic model that does a good job cleaning air and covers a decent area will cost at least $100. The more advanced ones with modern technologies that make them highly efficient can retail for at least $1,000 or more.
Read More: The Best Budget Air Purifier
Air ionizers are more budget-friendly, given they use a relatively simpler technology. You can get a good one for as little as $50 and even the larger ones meant for homeowners with more space to cover hardly go past the $500 mark.
An air cleaning equipment that incorporates both an ionizer and air purifier is always the best as it allows you to enjoy even better quality air.
But when you have to choose between these two air cleaning technologies, the air ionizer is ideal for those looking for an inexpensive option for light-duty air cleaning. However, air purifiers are a better choice for more thorough air cleaning when dealing with several contaminant types.