The Differences Between Mechanical and Electronic Air Cleaners

When you consider that indoor air can be 4-5 times more polluted than outdoor air, maintaining healthful indoor air can be a concern. Air cleaners improve your indoor air quality, making it both healthier and more comfortable. There are several types of air cleaners from which to choose, and there are important differences to note between mechanical and electronic air cleaners. Goettl Good Guys Air Conditioning installs and repairs both mechanical and electronic air cleaners in Tucson, and we can help you choose and install the right air cleaner for your home.

How Do Air Cleaners Work?

The best way to outline the differences between air cleaners is to describe how they work. Let’s start with mechanical air filters.

Mechanical air filters are square-framed components with filter media secured into the frame. Filter media can be made of different types of materials, including fiberglass and paper. The media filters out particles, trapping them in the weave of the media. The amount and type of particles that a mechanical filter captures depend on the material used and how tightly the material is woven. The best way to assess a filter’s effectiveness is from its MERV rating, which rates on a scale of 1 to 20 how effective a particular filter is. Typical MERV ratings for home air cleaners are 5-12. Most mechanical filters fit into the space where your AC’s standard mechanical filter resides and require changing every 3 months. (NOTE: HEPA filters are also mechanical filters, but to be classified as a HEPA filter, strict guidelines need to be met).

Electronic air cleaners work differently. First, there are two types of electronic cleaners: ion generators and electronic precipitators. They both use electricity to charge particles, but go about it in different ways. An ion generator uses a small amount of electricity to disperse ions into the air. These ions attach to particles that, once charged, are attracted to the surfaces in your home (wall, floors, etc.). An electronic precipitator also charges particles, but does so by creating an ionization section into which it attracts particles to be charged. Once the particles are charged, they are captured by oppositely-charged metal plates.

As you can see, each air cleaner is effective, but is in its own way. So which one is best for you?

The best way to determine this is to work with an expert, like the ones at Goettl Good Guys Air Conditioning. Call us today and schedule an appointment.