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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Whole House Central Air Purifier

Whole House Central Air Purifier Cost


How Much Does a Whole House Central Air Purifier Cost?

 
low costLow: Basic Air Filter Systems Can Run $200-$550average costMedium: Whole House Air Cleaners Can Run $1,000-$5,000

Also called whole house or in-duct air purifiers, a central air cleaner must be attached to a ducted forced-air heating or cooling system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most effective way to remove pollutants is to ventilate a home. But when that isn't possible, air purifiers can be a useful supplement.

Typical costs:

  • Whole-house air cleaners (which usually combine several different types of air cleaning processes) typically cost $1,000-$5,000 or more, with professional installation included (installation is generally not considered a reasonable do-it-yourself project). Total price will depend on the unit's capacity and efficiency. Features to look for include noise levels, fan speeds, a pre-filter to catch larger particulates, and ease of maintenance and filter cleaning/replacement.
  • For example, the Lennox PureAir Y6595 can start $700-$1,500, plus installation. The IQAir Perfect Air 16 runs $2,700-$3,200 before installation costs. Most installation estimates are for 4-6 hours of labor by an HVAC professional.
Related articles: Room Air Purifier, Whole House Humidifier, Central Air Conditioner, Central Heating

What should be included:
  • An air cleaner may use: mechanical filters (usually HEPA) to capture unwanted particles in the air; an electrical field to attract and trap particles; gas-phase (activated carbon) air filters to remove gases and odors; ultraviolet light to destroy pollutants in the air; or a mix of these air cleaning processes. Some air cleaners/purifiers are ozone generators, which use ultraviolet light and/or electrical discharge; but the EPA warns against ozone generators, and states there is a lack of proof that ozone-generating air purifiers are effective[1] .
  • The size and shape of air cleaners varies by type and brand. It's important to check that there's sufficient room available to add a central air cleaning unit to your forced-air heating or cooling system. In many cases, installation involves placing a unit about 6-8 inches wide between your home's return air duct and the intake for the forced-air system so that the air will pass through the air cleaner unit. This involves cutting and reforming the ductwork, then attaching the unit. This is not generally considered a do-it-yourself project.
  • The EPA provides a Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home[2] .
Additional costs:
  • The filters and annual kits in most air cleaners should be replaced frequently (based on the manufacturer's recommendations), and can cost anywhere from $120-$420 or more. Be sure to ask how often and the cost for replacing filter(s) before purchasing a specific model.
Shopping for a whole house central air purifier:
  • The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it captures pollutants from indoor air (a percentage efficiency rate) and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element (cubic feet per minute).
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External Resources:
  1.  www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/ozone-generators-are-sold-air-cleaners
  2.  www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-07/documents/guide_to_air_cleaners_in_the_...
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