By: Patricia Cermignano

Did you know that the average person breathes in nearly 2,000 gallons of air a day? Did you also know that indoor air is said to be 5 times more polluted than outdoor air? What this means is that the air people breathe in often contains bacteria, contaminants, pollen and viruses. Electronic Air Cleaners and HVAC Air Filters have proven to be a solution to help clean and improve indoor air quality.

A common question we are asked when our bi-annual Energy Savings Agreement forms get mailed each fall and spring is what is an Electronic Air Cleaner and how is it different than a standard air filter. While both Electronic Air Cleaners and HVAC Air Filters help clean and improve the indoor air quality in your home, it is important to know and understand the difference between the two.


Electronic Air Cleaners

By definition, Electronic Air Cleaners, commonly known as Air Purifiers, are electronic devices that filter out large particles and contaminants from your home's indoor air and electrically charges and traps the tiny particles (such as viruses and bacteria) in a collector plate to prevent them from being released back into your home's air. Electronic Air Cleaners can be attached to most heating and cooling systems.


Unlike HVAC Air Filters that need to be replaced every few months, Electronic Air Cleaners only require being cleaned four times a year- (1) time at the beginning of the winter, (1) time at the beginning of the spring, (1) time at the beginning of the summer and (1) time at the beginning of the fall.

For more information on Electronic Air Cleaners, please visit the following link on our website to watch this quick video produced by Bryant®: http://www.bobsredtrucks.com/support/product-knowledge/. Once you are on the site, please select the "Bryant Air Cleaner" link.


HVAC Air Filters

Similar to a lint trap in your dryer, a HVAC Air Filter is a filter that collects dust, dirt and other microscopic particles that are in your home's air. When you turn on your heating or air conditioning system, the air filter collects dirt and dust particles to help protect your HVAC system and to clean the air in your home. Contrary to Electronic Air Cleaners, HVAC Air Filters do not have the capability to electrically charge the particles that are captured in the filter.


There are three different types of HVAC Air Filters that we typically recommend/use:

  • 1" Standard Filter
  • 4" Media Filter
  • HEPA Filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter)
    • **This filter is highly recommended if you or someone in your household suffers from severe allergies **


Unlike Electronic Air Cleaners that need to be cleaned four times a year, HVAC Air Filters need to be removed and replaced every few months depending on the type of air filter. Please see below for how frequently each type of HVAC Air Filter should be changed:

  • 1" Standard Filter: It is recommended that you change these air filters once a month.
  • 4" Media Filter: It is recommended that you change these air filters every six months- (1) time at the beginning of the air conditioning season and (1) time at the beginning of the heat season.
  • HEPA Filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter):  It is recommended that you you change these air filters once a year. However, under normal conditions, it is advised that you rinse and clean the filter every few months.

Please visit our previous blog post on HVAC Air Filters at the following link for more details: http://www.bobsredtrucks.com/blog/tech-tip-of-the-month-april-how-often-should-i-change-my-hvac-air-filters/


If you are looking for more details or have any additional questions on the difference between Electronic Air Cleaners and HVAC Air Filters, please call our office at 610-642-6323 or visit our website at www.bobsredtrucks.com