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What is an Air Scrubber, and What Does It Do?

It’s a common misconception that we’re only exposed to air pollution when we’re outside. If you believe that, you’re in for a surprise. Research shows that the air inside your home can be up to 50-100% as polluted as the air outside. Moreover, indoor air pollutants are responsible for 1.6 million deaths each year.

Don’t get too scared, while there’s little you can do to control the pollution outside on a personal basis; there’s a lot you can do to minimize air pollution inside your home.

There are lots of options for you to choose from. You can go for air purifiers, humidifiers, and air scrubbers to clean up the air around you.

Let me guess, air scrubbers sound weird to you? Actually, they’re the most cost-effective and eco-friendly air-purifying appliances available. But, how do they work, and what makes them different from other air purifying devices? Click here to see the best review of industrial and home air scrubbers.

Air Scrubbers: What they Really Are

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Air scrubbers are high-power air-cleaning appliances used in commercial settings such as mold eradication and home renovation sites. Also known as negative air machines, they’re portable and don’t require any ducting, which makes them easy to set up and use.

Unlike typical home air purifiers and humidifiers, air scrubbers cover large areas with a high level of air pollutants.

Nowadays, you can get home-sized air scrubbers that clean the air in your home extensively and eliminate a variety of airborne contaminants. Experts recommend air scrubbers for homes with elderly residents and infants with respiratory problems.

How Do They Work?

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Air scrubbers work to remove a large variety of airborne impurities and particles across many square feet. This makes them a cost-effective option compared to other air purification methods.

Mainly, air scrubbers use both wet and dry scrubbing methods. In the case of a dry air scrubber, the machine sucks the pollutants by passing the air through a dry filter.

On the other hand, a wet air scrubber uses damp filters. It sucks the polluted inside and passes it through the filters to trap contaminants and clean the air.

Among the two, the wet scrubbing system is the most effective as it can remove up to 90% of all airborne impurities from a contaminated indoor environment.

Why is Air Scrubber so Important for You?

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If you have massive amounts of pollutants in the air around you, you’ll need an air scrubber. That’s because they use a variety of different filtering mechanisms to actually scrub the contaminants out of the air.

A typical air scrubbing device uses a carbon filter and blower as well, along with the primary filter, to remove all contaminants such as mold, pollen, dust, and harmful gases effectively.

Firstly, the pre-filter removes large particles to create efficient airflow, that’s great for small indoor spaces. Secondly, a media-based filter, mostly carbon, flushes out chemicals and pollutants that can cause severe health and environmental problems.

Lastly, the primary or HEPA filter, also found in air purifiers, will remove the finest particles and let the blower blow the clean air out.

Most importantly, the device is portable and doesn’t need any extra attachments, so if you have limited space at home, it’s a great option for you.

How is it Different From Air Purifiers?

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What really makes an air purifier different from the air scrubber is the coverage – the volume each of the tools can cover. Air purifiers usually cost anywhere from $100-$1000, while air scrubbers can cost more than $500-$1500.

However, they’re more pocket-friendly as they clean the air around your entire home. Also, they filter out chemical components and toxic particles that most air purifiers are ineffective against.

Besides that, while most air scrubbers are portable, you can install some models directly into your HVAC system.

Final Words

Summing it all up, an air scrubber is an excellent option for you if you want to cover a large surface area at a lower cost.

You should go for an air scrubber if you have gone through mold remedial procedures to clean the air and get rid of the bad odor. You can get them at a reasonable price and require less professional assistance for set up and maintenance.

Make sure you choose a reliable brand while purchasing an air scrubber so that you get the best deal for your money.


Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the foreignpolicyi.org started.

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