Home Inspection Insights

Lawrence M. Watkins, Specsure Property Inspections

What is an Air Scrubber and Do You Need One?

Air Scrubber


Your Western NY home is supposed to be your safe and comfortable haven. But it can feel decidedly uncomfortable if your indoor air quality is poor and littered with contaminants. As a leading Buffalo-area home inspection company, we’re always on the lookout for ways to make homes more livable, and improving indoor air quality is definitely one of them.


Signs of Poor Air Quality in Your Buffalo Area Home


Indoor air contaminants can come in many forms from a range of sources. Dust, dust mites, pet dander, gas and odor emissions, and mold and other microbial contaminants all make the list.


Signs of poor air quality in your Western NY home include visible particles floating in the air, along with a handful of physical symptoms that can include:


  • Sinus congestion, coughing and sneezing
  • Irritation and dryness of the skin, eyes, nose and throat
  • Headache and fatigue
  • Dizziness and shortness of breath
  • Allergies and hypersensitivity


Both an air purifier and air scrubber can vastly improve your indoor air quality, and each works a little differently.


What’s an Air Purifier?


Air purifiers are portable devices that come in a huge array of models and sizes. One type of air purifier cleans the air using a HEPA filtration system, which traps more than 99% of airborne contaminants inside a replaceable interior filter. Another type uses ionization, rather than a replaceable filter, to eliminate airborne particles.


Advanced models often include additional features, such as a UV lighting to kill germs and an activated carbon filter to eliminate odors. Units are generally designed to cover a single room or smaller area, which means you may need more than one air purifier to cover your entire home.


What’s an Air Scrubber?


Air scrubbers clean your interior air by scrubbing it, or pulling it through an interior filter inside the unit. They can perform dry scrubbing using a dry filter or wet scrubbing using a wet filter. They can remove the same type of air contaminants as air purifiers, along with gases and chemicals. They can also include UV lighting and activated carbon filters to take care of odors and germs.


Contractors and home improvement companies often use portable air scrubbers while they’re performing work in a home to rapidly improve air quality and create a safer work environment. Air scrubbers cover larger areas with a single unit, and you can have one installed in your HVAC system to clean the air throughout your entire home.


If you only need to improve air quality in a specific area or areas, an air purifier or two might do the trick. If you want a unit that enhances the air quality throughout your entire home, an air scrubber may be the better choice. Either way, you can expect a healthier environment inside your Western New York home.