Do I Need an Air Scrubber? Your Indoor Air Quality FAQ

Do I Need an Air Scrubber? Your Indoor Air Quality FAQ

Fresh air is vital for good health, but unfortunately, our homes can harbor surprising amounts of pollutants. Dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and even volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from furniture and cleaning products can all contribute to indoor air quality issues. While standard air filters help capture some of these contaminants, air scrubbers offer a more comprehensive solution. 

Let’s explore some frequently asked questions to help you decide.

What is an air scrubber and how would it benefit me?

An air scrubber is an HVAC appliance that takes indoor air purification to the next level. While standard air filters trap airborne particles, air scrubbers actively eliminate them. They use various technologies, including HEPA filters, UV light, and ionization, to capture, kill, or neutralize a wider range of contaminants than basic filters can handle. 

Air scrubbers can be particularly beneficial for those who:

    • Suffer from allergies or asthma
    • Have pets
    • Live in a polluted area
    • Have concerns about mold or viruses

Will an air scrubber reduce odors in my home?

Absolutely. Those equipped with activated carbon filters are effective at eliminating odors caused by cooking, pets, smoke, and other sources. They can help create a fresher and more pleasant indoor environment.

Are air scrubbers difficult to maintain?

Not at all. Homeowners should expect to replace the pre-filters every 1-3 months, while HEPA filters and activated carbon filters may last 6-12 months. Replacement depends on factors like the type of filter, the level of air pollution, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, adhering to a regular maintenance schedule ensures optimal performance and prolongs the lifespan of your unit.

What’s the difference between an air purifier and an air scrubber?

Air purifiers and air scrubbers both improve indoor air quality, but they target pollutants differently. Air purifiers draw in airborne particles like dust, allergens, and smoke, and trap them in filters. They typically work well for everyday air quality concerns. 

Air scrubbers, on the other hand, can tackle tougher jobs. They may use technology like ionization to not only remove airborne particles, but also reach and neutralize contaminants on surfaces like walls and floors. This makes them a better choice for situations like smoke damage or mold remediation.

Permanent vs Portable: Which air scrubber is right for me?

When considering whether a permanent or portable air scrubber is the best choice for your needs, several factors come into play.


These are designed for higher power, making them well-suited for larger spaces and more challenging air quality issues. Permanent units offer whole-house coverage by integrating with your HVAC system, ensuring continuous purification of all the air circulating throughout your home. Additionally, they typically require less maintenance, often necessitating only occasional filter changes and periodic professional cleaning.


While still effective, portable units operate at lower power levels, making them better suited for smaller spaces and moderate air quality concerns. They provide limited coverage, purifying the air within a specific area around the unit rather than the entire house. However, this convenience comes with higher maintenance requirements, as portable air scrubbers may need more frequent filter changes depending on usage patterns.

Have More Questions?

The professionals at Southern Air Mechanical can help you breathe easier and create a healthier indoor environment for your loved ones. To schedule a free estimate, contact us today at 817-447-8247. Our team of experts can help you choose the right product to fit your needs and ensure it’s properly installed for optimal air purification.