Most people used to believe that pollution is something that only exists outdoors. However, the last few years proved that we're dealing with many problems in our confined spaces that we spend most of our time in.
The concern around indoor pollution shifted a lot of interest towards all devices that improve indoor air quality, including air purifiers and scrubbers. Due to their many similarities and the fact that they both clean the air, many consumers don't know how they differ and which one to choose.
So, if you're interested to learn more about both devices, how they differ, and the ways they can benefit you, continue reading.
The Short Answer
Both devices work on getting rid of indoor air contaminants. However, they differ in how they clean and the type of contaminants they can handle.
Air scrubbers target both airborne and particles settled on surfaces. They clean a larger scale of pollutants through dry and wet scrubbing. On the other hand, air purifiers handle airborne particles and do so by trapping them inside the device with dry filters.
Differences Between Air Scrubbers & Air Purifiers
Air scrubbers and purifiers have a lot in common. Yet, they have major differences, and here are the most important ones.
1. Wet and Dry
One of the biggest differences between both devices is their method of cleaning up the air. Air scrubbers are divided into wet scrubbers and dry scrubbers.
Wet scrubbing, the cleaning method of wet scrubbers, refers to using a liquid, mainly water, as a cleaning agent. Pollutants are either forced to pass through a moist filter, or the scrubbing liquid is sprayed onto pollutants.
Most people mean wet scrubbers when they mention scrubbers. The term scrubbing even comes from the use of liquid to "scrub" the dirt away.
Dry scrubbers, on the other hand, work similarly to air purifiers because dry scrubbing uses filters, whether fabric or mechanical, such as HEPA and carbon. These filters help trap pollutants while circulating clean air back into the room.
2. Wider Range of Target Pollutants
If you get an air scrubber to clean an indoor area, there will be very little to no pollution left behind. Air scrubbers are effective at removing both particulate matter and gaseous pollutants from the air.
They can get rid of mild pollutants, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and heavy-duty contaminants, such as toxic fumes, allergens, tobacco smoke, offensive odors, vapors, volatile organic compounds, and bacteria.
In addition to cleaning the air itself, air scrubbers clean dust and particles that have already settled on surfaces and furniture, which gives them an advantage over the best air purification devices. Basically, air scrubbers can handle serious indoor air pollution.
3. Commercial and Industrial Use
Air scrubbers are mainly used for commercial and industrial use. Places like factories, warehouses, indoor construction sites, containment units, hospitals, remodeling jobs, restoration and remediation jobs, nail salons, and so many more can benefit from the powers of an air scrubber.
Air scrubbers don't just handle more pollutants than an air purifier but also cover larger space. If you have a large industrial space that's seriously polluted, your only option is a scrubber.
However, you can still have an air scrubber at home. It can be quite beneficial if you live near a busy street, factory, or construction site because you're dealing with more pollution than the average home.
Due to their versatility in use and wide coverage, air scrubbers are expensive. They start from $450 up to $900 and beyond. So, they're better for commercial and industrial use where they do large-scale jobs. Consumers who want to clean their houses on a budget may need to look elsewhere.
While both air purifiers and dry scrubbers use filters, air purifiers are inherently filter-based. In addition, they have more variety of options in their filtration systems. For example, while dry scrubbers use HEPA and carbon filters only, air purifiers also use ionizers and UV light.
2. Airborne Pollutants
Although air scrubbers are focused on removing toxic chemicals and gases, air purification targets airborne particles. Air purifiers can remove smaller and larger dust particles, allergens, mold, smoke, odor, and germs.
While models with activated carbon filters can remove VOCs and gaseous pollutants, they're not on the same scale as their scrubbing counterparts. In addition, they only clean what's in the air. So, if you have dusty surfaces and furniture, you won't benefit much from an air purifier.
3. Domestic Use
Most homes use air purifiers, not scrubbers. Basically, the reason is that while most homes are polluted, their filtration needs aren't intensive enough to require the service of a scrubber when a purifier can get the job done. Some of the reasons they're better for homes are:
- They can handle all kinds of pollutants that you can encounter in an average household, mainly airborne particles. With the help of HEPA filters, carbon filters, and UV light, your domestic needs will be met.
- Air purifiers tend to clean one room or more. Each device is limited with its coverage. You can't put a device that covers 100 sq. ft. in a 400 sq. ft. room and expect it to be cleaned properly. So, air purifiers are usually limited to domestic use.
If you want to clean the air at your home or business while on a budget, you'll definitely find decent options at lower prices. However, if you're looking for premium air purifiers, these options exist as well. Air purifiers excel in providing customized options for everyone.
Conclusion: Time to Make a Choice!
Whichever of them you choose, it will remove contaminants from your indoor space.
However, air scrubbers are the better choice for large-scale jobs in commercial and industrial areas. They're far from budget-friendly, but they're worth their price for the versatile performance and wide coverage they offer. On the other hand, air purifiers are great affordable options that can handle all your domestic and limited space needs.