Best Whole House Air Purifier

Traditional air purifiers do a lot to protect you and your loved ones from airborne pollutants. However, if you want a more comprehensive approach in fighting these contaminants, you might want to consider getting a whole-house air purifier installed in your home. This device is installed alongside your existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to protect your entire home from pollutants 24/7. Check out the five best whole-house air purifiers below!

Top 5 Whole House Air Purifiers

Product Features Price
Top Pick

1. IQAir Perfect 16

  • MERV 16 HEPA filter
  • 2500 sq. ft. coverage
  • In-duct installation
  • 5-year warranty
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2. Aprilaire 3410

  • Aprilaire MERV 13 410 filter
  • 3500 sq. ft. coverage
  • Includes Model 8476 Programmable Thermostat with Event-Based Air Cleaning (five cleaning modes)
  • In-duct installation
  • 5-year warranty
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3. Aprilaire 5000

  • Electrostatic + mechanical filter (Aprilaire MERV 16 501 filter)
  • 2500 sq. ft. coverage
  • In-duct installation
  • 5-year warranty
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4. Honeywell F300

  • Pre-filter + Ionizer wires + Electrostatic collector + Performance-enhancing post-filter
  • Permanent filters
  • In-duct installation
  • 5-year warranty
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Budget Pick

5. Honeywell F200

  • Charged MERV 13 filter
  • With filter reminder
  • In-duct installation
  • 5-year warranty
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Whole House Air Purifier Reviews

1. IQAir Perfect 16

The IQAir Perfect 16 air purifier removes airborne particles of all sizes using MERV 16-rated IQAir HyperHEPA filters that are arranged in a double-V configuration. According to IQAir, their filtration system is certified to remove 85% of particles that are as small as 0.003 microns and 95% of particles 0.3 microns and above in diameter. This makes the Perfect 16 an ideal bet for folks who are looking to combat their allergies and respiratory symptoms using a whole-house air purifier. What’s more, the IQAir installer will personally test that the system is true to its claims by using a handheld laser particle counter upon installation.

Because its filters last for three years, the Perfect 16 is a low-maintenance unit. This also helps offset long-term costs, which is a very welcome bonus given its high acquisition cost.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • High-efficiency filter
  • Removes particles that are as small as 0.003 microns
  • High airflow rate
  • Low maintenance
  • Energy efficient
  • Long warranty
  • Large area coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Needs to be installed by an HVAC professional

2. Aprilaire 3410

The Aprilaire 3410 traps 98% of pollen and mold spores lingering in the air inside your home using its MERV 13 410 filter. It also removes pet dander, respirable dust, tobacco smoke, smog, and germs. Additionally, it prevents dust buildup and helps extend the life of the heating and cooling equipment in your home. Because clean devices run more efficiently, you’ll also enjoy energy savings on your existing equipment by using this unit. Also, the 3410 only requires once-a-year maintenance according to Aprilaire, so it’s a promising option for homeowners who are into low-maintenance appliances.

This whole-house air purifier also comes with the Model 8476 Programmable Thermostat with Event-Based Air Cleaning. This lets the air purifier operate in one of five cleaning modes—including an auto mode—and control the temperature in your home. The programmable thermostat will also let you know when a filter replacement is due.

Pros

  • Low-maintenance
  • High-efficiency filter
  • Good coverage
  • Comes with a programmable thermostat and different modes
  • Reasonably-priced
  • Large area coverage

Cons

  • Needs to be installed by an HVAC professional

3. Aprilaire 5000

The Aprilaire 5000 removes up to 98% of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns using a combination of electrostatic technology and a mechanical filter. It is to be installed into your home’s central heating and cooling system, while its control panel is supposed to be installed in an accessible area in your living space.

According to Aprilaire, this whole house air purifier removes 98% of airborne bacteria-sized particles and fungi, 95% of airborne particles the size of tobacco smoke and smog, and 80% of airborne virus-sized particles and ultra-fine particles — down to 0.01 micron in size. It’s designed to run on-demand for up to 24 hours a day. Obviously, this makes this purification device beneficial to your health and well-being—more so during allergy and flu seasons. But more than that, the Aprilaire 5000 also helps extend the life of your HVAC system and improves energy savings by keeping the atmosphere inside your home clean.

Pros

  • High-efficiency filter
  • High airflow rate
  • Easy to use
  • Energy-efficient
  • Reasonably-priced
  • Large area coverage

Cons

  • Needs to be installed by an HVAC professional
  • Requires 1-2 times a year maintenance

4. Honeywell F300

The Honeywell F300 captures up to 99% of airborne particles from the air passing through the device. It uses ionizer wires to charge airborne particles, which are consequently trapped onto an electrostatic collector filter. None of the F300’s parts need replacing, which makes this whole house air purifier affordable both upfront and long term. On the flip side, you’d have to clean it every 6-12 months to keep it running optimally.

This model also boasts an extremely-low pressure drop, which means it operates quietly. Like the Aprilaire 5000, it’s meant to be installed in-duct and run all day.

Pros

  • No replacement filters needed
  • Energy efficient
  • Affordable upfront and long term
  • High-efficiency filter
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Needs to be installed by an HVAC professional
  • Needs 1-2 times a year maintenance

5. Honeywell F200

The Honeywell F200 captures both microscopic particles such as dust and smoke and larger contaminants like mold spores and pet dander using a charged MERV 13 filter. It promises to be 97% more efficient at capturing airborne particles and last four times longer than a standard 1-inch furnace filter. It also has a Wireless Airwatch indicator that lets you know when a replacement is due—which is usually every 6 to 12 months for normal use.

It removes up to 99% of large particles that are between 3 to 10 microns in diameter. But because it’s not as effective against the smallest particles (64% efficiency for particles between 0.3 to 1 micron), you might want to skip this model if you have severe allergies or asthma. What’s good about the F200, however, is that it can be easily upgraded to become a higher-performance device by buying more powerful parts and filter in the future.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a Wireless Airwatch indicator
  • Quiet
  • Easily upgradable

Cons

  • Needs to be installed by an HVAC professional
  • Needs 1-2 times a year maintenance
  • Not as effective against the smallest particles

Buyer’s Guide:

Whole House Air Purifier

About Whole-House Air Purifiers

As mentioned above, whole-house air purifiers are purification devices that are installed alongside your home’s existing HVAC system. As air streams are treated by your normal cooling or heating equipment, they will also go through the air purifier so that harmful contaminants like dust and pollen would get removed.

Conventional plug-in air purifiers work best within closed spaces. If you check out user guides from a number of conventional models, you’d typically find directions that recommend using the device in a room whose windows and doors are all closed. Clearly, whole-house air purifiers were made as an alternative solution for people who want to purify their entire home, as buying multiple plug-in models can get impractical.

Different Types of Whole-House Air Purifiers

Not all whole-house air purifiers are the same. There are actually three main types of air purification devices for your entire home, and the key difference lies in the way they’re installed.

  1. Stand-alone. A stand-alone whole-house air purifier will typically be installed in the attic or inside closets. Additional air intake and exhaust vents will then be installed in your home.
  2. Filter-based. Filter-based whole-house air purifiers are those that are situated in your HVAC system’s furnace and air intake points.
  3. Duct-based. The most popular variant, this whole-house air purifier unit is installed in-duct, purifying the air before or after passing your HVAC system’s air handler.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Whole-House Air Purifiers

Advantages

  • They reach every corner of your home. As long as it’s reached by your HVAC system, every single room in your household will have its circulating air purified by the the device.
  • They could be more practical. Buying a whole-house air purifier could be more practical and cost-effective than buying multiple air purifiers for the different areas of your home — especially if your house is quite spacious.
  • They don’t take up space. Since it’s installed alongside your existing HVAC system, a whole-house air purifier simply won’t get in the way of your day-to-day activities. You won’t have to allocate some of your living space for it, which means you’ll have more space for everything else.
    They clean your home 24/7. This is great for allergy and asthma sufferers as it keeps out pollutants round-the-clock.
  • They’re quiet. Although many conventional air purifiers also boast a silent operation, whole-house air purifiers just run more discreetly and produce much less noise.
  • They’re more low-maintenance. Obviously, whole-house air purifiers aren’t as accessible in terms of location as typical models. This is why they’re built to last longer — needing filter replacements less frequently than the latter.

Disadvantages

  • They’re typically not as robust as standard air purifiers. If you notice the particle removal efficiency values indicated for the air purifiers above, most of them aren’t as strict as air purifiers with True HEPA filters.
  • They’re expensive. Evidently, whole-house air purifiers demand a higher upfront cost compared to console or tower-type models. What’s more, you’ll usually have to pay for the services of the HVAC professional who will install the unit in your home, too.
  • You have to run your HVAC system 24/7. Because they’re tied to your HVAC system, it follows that you have to run your HVAC equipment all day if you want purified air round-the-clock. This could lead to a higher energy consumption, especially if you typically turn your HVAC off during certain periods of the day.
  • There are more variables to consider. Unlike standard air purifiers where you simply have to seal the room being treated to ensure maximum efficacy, there are more variables to consider with your whole-house air purifier. The configuration of your HVAC system, your home’s ductwork, and the placement of your system’s air return vents will all play a role in the resulting air quality in the different areas of your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who would benefit from a whole-house air purifier?

Plug-in air purifiers work great at removing allergens and asthma triggers. But realistically, a person who’s prone to these conditions will not stay inside just one room in their home. That said, a whole-house air purifier is capable of protecting asthma and allergy sufferers from contaminants 24/7 — wherever they may be inside their home.

What should I look at when buying whole-house air purifiers?

As mentioned in the buyer’s guide above, there are more variables to consider when shopping for a whole-house air purifier as opposed to a conventional model. You have to consider your home’s HVAC configuration and ductwork, for one. But if we’re talking about the most important attributes of the air purifying unit itself, make sure to watch out for the following main points:

  • Area coverage. Make sure the air purifier you’re getting is rated right for the size of your home. If the exact area of your home is in between models, always go for the one with a bigger coverage to ensure maximum air quality.
  • Filter type. Most filters used in whole-house air purifiers have MERV ratings. MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, was developed by ASHRAE to serve as a quantitative standard for demonstrating the efficiency of an air filter in removing pollutants. MERV ratings can go as low as 1 and as high as 16, and the higher the rating is, the better the filter performs.
  • Maintenance schedule. The frequency of maintenance needed by an air purifier is usually detailed in the model’s user guide. Check if the filters need to be cleaned or replaced semi-annually, annually, or at an even lower frequency.

What are electrostatic collectors and charged filters?

Used in electrostatic filtration, charged filters and electrostatic collectors trap particle pollutants by capitalizing on electric charges. First, the air purifier will release negative ions into the atmosphere. These ions will then attach to dust, pollen, and other pollutants, which leads to bigger negatively-charged particles. The collectors and/or filters, which have a positive charge, will then attract and trap these negatively-charged pollutants.

Final Thoughts

The Aprilaire 3410 surely is an attractive choice given its coverage rating and included programmable thermostat. However, if purification performance is your focus, the IQAir Perfect 16 is your best choice. Its MERV 16 filter and guaranteed performance will do a lot to protect you and your family from asthma and allergy triggers, and the fact that it’s very low-maintenance is just an added bonus.

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