Whole-Home Air Purifiers vs. Room Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are an excellent way to increase the quality of your home’s air and minimize asthma and allergy symptoms.

There are two main types of air purifiers on the market: room and whole-home air purifiers. It can be difficult to tell what type of air purifier to purchase. That’s why the indoor air quality experts at Morrow Mechanical have put together a helpful “whole-home air purifiers vs. room air purifiers” guide. Looking for a way to increase the quality of your home’s air?  You need to read this blog!

Whole-Home Air Purifiers: What Are They?

Whole-home air purifiers are well named because they purify all of your home’s air-conditioned air. There are several different varieties of whole-home air purifiers, falling under a couple of categories:

  1. Filter-based – Filter-based whole-home air purifiers are advanced HVAC filters. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are marketed as whole-home purification solutions. Used in place of less powerful filters they can improve the quality of your air-conditioned air.
  2. Duct-based – Duct-based whole-home air purification entails removing of a section of your home’s ductwork and adding high-efficiency filters.


  • Good for Large Homes

In a large home, you will have to purchase and operate several portable air purifiers in order to clean your air. However, whole-home air purification systems enable you to remove pollutants from every room in your home.

  • No Noise

Whole-home air purifiers don’t make any noise as they are simply a modification to your HVAC system.

  • ‘Invisible’

When a purification system is hidden in the ducts or AC unit, there is no concern about it being an eyesore.


  • HVAC System Must Run

If you aren’t running your HVAC system, your air won’t be cleaned. That means pollutants from your furniture, the outside, wall paint, and other sources won’t be removed from your home.

  • Requires Installation by HVAC Technician

Whole-home air purification systems must be installed by an HVAC technician, which could be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

  • Replacement

Whole-home air purification systems are filter-based, which means they’ll need frequent attention. The filters should be replaced every one-to-three months.

Room Air Purifiers: What Are They?

A room air purifier is a small, portable filtration device that can be placed on a table or in a corner. Unlike whole-home air purifiers, portable air purifiers don’t rely on the HVAC system to work. Once a purifier is plugged into an outlet, it will begin removing pollutants from the air.


  • Cheaper

Room air purifiers are much cheaper than whole-home systems.

  • Targeted Purification

If someone in your family suffers from acute allergy or asthma symptoms, a portable air purifier is an excellent way to help them feel better. For example, you can move the purifier into the individual’s room, or wherever they spend most of their time.

  • Operates Independent of HVAC System

Room purification systems will remove toxins and particulates all day and all night if you need them to, independent of your air conditioning. This means you can clean your home’s air without worrying about running up your cooling bill.


  • Can Only Clean the Air in One Room

Interested in cleaning the air in every room of your home? A portable purifier may not be the way to go. Unless you can purchase multiple systems, or frequently move the unit around your home, you should consider whole home purification.

  • Requires Maintenance

Portable air purifiers remove all pollutants in your home’s air, not just the ones that are found in HVAC ducts. Because of this, they collect a larger volume of particulates and require cleaning and maintenance frequently.

Whole-Home Air Purifiers vs. Room Air Purifiers, having trouble deciding? Call Morrow Mechanical!

Still can’t decide what type of air purifier is right for your home? Call Morrow Mechanical and talk to an air quality expert! Our team of NATE-certified HVAC experts serves the greater Houston area with pride. Call us today at 281-301-0560 or schedule your service online.