Women sitting on couch enjoying a cool home

Just about everyone knows about air conditioners and furnaces. But there is an array of other air products you should also know about. Depending on the weather conditions in your area and your personal health needs, these devices can make a big difference in your home.

After all, we spend a heck of a lot of time indoors, especially in the winter. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, where air pollutants concentrate. While improper ventilation is often the main issue, air pollutants and heat may infiltrate a home due to the nature of its enclosed layout. For this reason, many homeowners choose to purchase various air products to remove unpleasant smells and purify the air they breathe.

If you’re uncertain about what products may work best for you and your home, you’ve come to the right place. Here, Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning, a family-owned and operated HVAC company, takes an in-depth look at five home air products you may want to consider purchasing.

Air Purifiers and Scrubbers

Air purifiers and scrubbers have a similar goal: to remove impurities from the air, such as pollutants, allergens, and even toxins. However, how they go about cleansing the air differs.

  1. Air Purifiers

An air purifier traps particles in a filter as air passes through the device. The filters in these devices vary and are largely dependent on your needs. Some are best for airborne pathogens, while others are only strong enough to remove pet dander and other allergens. While some may use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to contain or remove pollutants, other air purifiers may use:

  • Ultraviolet light (to break down molecular bonds and remove bacteria or viruses)
  • Activated carbon (to remove odors)
  • Negative ions (to combine with positively charged particles and remove them from the air outside the device)
  • Static electricity (to trap particles and remove them with positively charged ions inside the device)

2. Air Scrubbers

Air scrubbers are devices connected to the ductwork of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They can also exist on their own, unattached from any ductwork. Like air purifiers, air scrubbers remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pet dander, odors, and dust from the air. Scrubbers also use a combination of germicidal UV light waves and titanium dioxide-coated honeycomb matrices to kill pollutants.

In some cases, construction workers use portable air scrubbers during restoration jobs to prevent debris from traveling throughout the building. Hospitals may also opt for scrubbers for their waiting rooms and other public areas.

Vaporizers, Diffusers, and Humidifiers

It’s easy to confuse vaporizers, diffusers, and humidifiers. Even though these devices typically release products into the air by using some combination of water and/or essential oils, their methods and benefits are not the same.


3. Vaporizers

If you were ever sick with a sinus or respiratory infection as a child, your parents may have placed a vaporizer in your room to help you breathe. Vaporizers boil water to create thick steam and increase humidity. For extra benefits and fragrance, you can add essential oils or medicated liquid into the water before the vaporizer creates and releases the steam.

4. Diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusers release essential oils into the air after creating a mist by combining electronic frequencies with water. They also aim to do so with minimal noise. Other than the ultrasonic diffusers, there are three other types of diffusers available:

  • Heat (the diffuser heats the essential oils until they evaporate)
  • Evaporative (the diffuser uses wind to evaporate and spread the essential oils)
  • Nebulizer (breaks down essential oils into atoms using pressurized air; does not require heat or water)

If you are looking for a diffuser that’ll pump out the best smells, opt for a nebulizer, as it does not dilute the essential oils with water. What’s more, diffusers are typically smaller than vaporizers, cost less, and are easier to use.

5. Humidifiers & Dehumidifiers

A dehumidifier removes warm moisture from the air by cycling it through cold refrigerator coils. Conversely, a humidifier adds moisture and heat by releasing steam into the air. To sleep well and keep unwanted pests away, the EPA suggests keeping your indoor relative humidity (RH) between 30 and 50 percent.

During the summer, you’d most likely opt for using a dehumidifier to cool the air, whereas you would use a humidifier in the winter to bring warmth and comfort into your home. Many people use both devices to combat colds, dry skin, warped hardwood floors, and aromatherapy.

Clean Air Matters

At Hoffner Heating and Air, your comfort is our number one concern. Whether you’re looking to lower the humidity in your home or cleanse the air you breathe, the team at Hoffner is here to help. Visit our website or call us at 412-376-9080 today to receive more information about what HVAC services and products we offer.