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Is My Home Air Filter Enough or Do I Need Air Purification?

Find out why your air filter isn’t working as well as you thought it was, and how to tell if you need air purification in your space.

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need air purification

If your home has an HVAC system, then it has an air filter. The best air filters (those with higher efficiency ratings) effectively capture VOCs, dust, pollen, dander and more! If it weren’t for your HVAC system’s air filter, those pollutants would circulate throughout your home and cause a multitude of issues. While air filters are known to significantly increase indoor air quality, occasionally they require the assistance of an air purifier. But how can you tell when you need air purification for your home? Let’s take a look at why air filters aren’t always enough.

Are Air Filters and Air Purifiers the Same?

Air filters and air purifiers are often thought of as interchangeable devices that perform the same duties. However, this is not the case.


Air filters are installed directly into your home’s HVAC system. They filter the air of contaminants and debris, increasing indoor air quality. By preventing the buildup of harmful particles, air filters also prolong the life of your home’s HVAC unit. Air filters receive a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating to indicate their efficiency and efficacy. Generally speaking, the MERV rating scale extends from 1 to 20, with higher ratings being the better ratings.

There are several types of air filters including but not limited to:

  • Pleated Filters
  • Washable Filters
  • High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters
  • Media Filters


Air purifiers can also be installed directly into your home’s HVAC system. However, there are also portable air purifier devices for those looking to address one particular area of their home. They sanitize the air to eradicate viruses, bacteria and indoor air pollutants. Air purifiers are also capable of targeting the source of indoor air pollutants so that they do not multiply or return.

There are several types of air purifiers including but not limited to:

  • Ionizing Air Purifiers
  • HEPA Air Purifiers
  • Ultraviolet Air Purifiers

When Your Air Filter Is Not Enough

If you or your family experience one or more of the following symptoms indoors, then your home may require the help of an air purifier.

  • An increase in allergy and/or asthma symptoms
  • Loud snoring
  • Lingering odors
  • Excessive dust
  • Frequent illness
  • Stale or stuffy air

The aforementioned signs indicate that your home’s air filter is unable to capture all of the indoor air pollutants floating around your home. This could be due to the fact that your air filter has a low MERV rating. Or, you may neglect to change your air filter regularly. If either of these are the case, we highly recommend upgrading to a MERV 13 air filter. It is strong enough to capture the most problematic indoor air pollutants, and it lasts two times longer than other air filters.

Is Adding An Air Purifier Necessary?

There is no one true answer to this question. If you haven’t upgraded air filters, start by doing so. However, these signs may also indicate that there is an unusual amount of dust, dander or pollen in your home, and that simply capturing these irritants is not enough. Instead, the sources of these irritants must be eradicated through air purification. Determining if you need an air purifier in your home will really depend on the frequency of symptoms and noticeable poor air quality factors.

All of this is not to say that air filters are inefficient or ineffective, but rather there are some indoor air quality issues that require more than one solution. And above all–whole-home active air purification is an incredibly helpful solution to improve your home’s air quality when air filters prove insufficient.

Are HVAC Air Purifiers Worth It?

Most air purifiers on the market are an excellent home investment because they operate well in conjunction with air filters to better indoor air quality. However, a whole-home active air purifier will provide you and your family with the highest level of satisfaction for several reasons. It removes dust, bacteria, viruses, dander, pollen, odors, VOCs and is either ozone neutral or ozone-free. Name another product on the market that gets rid of that laundry list of pollutants!

A whole-home active air purifier will address the source of each air pollutant and eradicate it before the issue becomes unmanageable. Finally, this type of air purifier can be installed directly into your HVAC system and will reach every corner of your home. Healthy home improvements for the win.

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Smart Indoor Air Quality Monitor

Sensibo Elements detects harmful airborne contaminants in your air.

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