Air Purifier vs. Air Scrubber: Which Is Right for You?

As air pollution is a rising problem in today’s society, it is essential for our health and wellbeing that the air we breathe be of a high standard. Air purifier and air scrubber are two common devices used to improve indoor air quality. Although both of them have the fundamental purpose of cleaning the air, they work differently and apply to different situations. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between air purifiers and air scrubbers to help you decide which option is best for your specific needs.

air pollution

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier is a product that may filter or kill air pollutants and effectively improve the cleanliness of the air, Most air purifiers are used in homes and businesses to eliminate indoor air pollution.

An air purifier can filter airborne particles, bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, pollen, asbestos, radon gas decay products and other pollutants.

What is an air scrubber?

An air scrubber is a type of air purification system that uses a device to remove particles, gases, or chemicals from the air by adding moisture to the air stream entering the scrubber or by chilling the stream of filtered air. The two types of air scrubbers are moist and dry; they are distinguished by the method used to remove the particles. Most scrubbers are configured to complete at least six cycles per hour, which helps to maintain the air in the area free of any kind of contaminants.

Air purifier applications

Air purifiers are usually equipped with three layers of filters; a pre-filter to remove larger particles such as dust, lint, fibers and pet hair; and a HEPA (H13) filter to catch bacteria, smoke particles, pollen, pet dander such as house dust, limescale and pollen. Formaldehyde air filter with activated carbon eliminate unwanted odors, gases and volatile organic compounds from the air.

Air Scrubber

Air purifiers are primarily intended for home use, so they are designed with aesthetics in mind and blend naturally into the surrounding space. They also operate more quietly. They are frequently used to enhance indoor air quality for schools, workplaces, hospitals, and other places where there are inhabitants as well as where noise levels need to be kept to a minimum.

Air scrubber applications

Air scrubbers also come with HEPA filters for smaller particles down to 0.3 microns; some versions additionally employ negative ion generators for tiny particles in the air and on surfaces, making them heavier so they can settle or be more easily adsorbed. Developed for industrial-scale uses such as mold remediation, building renovation, welding and other types of manufacturing areas, and even cleaning outdoor air around facilities. Air scrubbers are not made to be delicate due to their intended use in an industrial context. In addition to construction and industrial work, air scrubbers are perfect for carpenters, locksmiths, laundries and more.

Air purifiers

Choose the right air-cleaning device for your needs

Indoor environment: Assess the specific indoor environment you want to address. If you need localized air purification in your home or office to combat allergens, dust or pet-related problems, an air purifier would be the right choice. However, if you are dealing with large areas of pollution, chemical odors or industrial applications, an air scrubber is a better choice.

Type of contaminant: Consider the type of contaminant you are dealing with. Air purifiers are superior at common allergens, while air scrubbers are good for removing a wider range of contaminants, including gases and smells, and we recommend an air scrubber with stronger airflow if mold has occurred.

Portability and size: Determine whether you require a permanent installation or a portable solution. Air purifiers are usually compact and easy to move around, allowing you to target specific areas. On the other hand, although being bigger than the air purifier owing to its industrial-grade features and high airflow design, AlorAir HEPA MAX 870 air scrubber is still portable and includes a handle.

Noise level: It is important to consider the noise produced by the device. Air purifiers are typically quiet, so they are suitable for bedrooms, living rooms, or other places where low noise level may be required. However, air scrubbers tend to produce higher noise due to their powerful motors.

Cost and maintenance: Include the initial purchase price of the equipment, air filter replacement costs, and continuing maintenance expenses. The pre-filter included in the majority of air purifiers must be changed after each usage. An air scrubber may have a high initial cost due to its heavy weight, but its filters only need to be replaced every 3 months, making it cost-effective in the long run.


By eliminating dust, contaminants, and mold from the air you breathe every day, air scrubbers and air purifiers both contribute to the creation of a healthy atmosphere. For commercial facilities and large-scale clean air needs, it is best to use an air purifier. It’s a mistake to think that an air scrubber is better than an air purifier, and vice versa. It always depends on the industry you work in and the pollutants you have to deal with on a daily basis.


How long does an air scrubber run?

The air scrubber should run for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours, especially when removing dust particles, pollutants and mold from the air.

How long does the air purifier run?

You should allow the air purifier to run for approximately 12 to 24 hours before the next cycle of cleaning. The air purifier requires routine maintenance, which means you must occasionally interrupt the purifying process and then restart it under ideal operating circumstances.

Can air purifiers eliminate harmful gases or chemicals?

An air purifier with an activated carbon filter can help reduce certain gases and chemical odors to some extent. However, for the complete removal of gases and chemicals, an air scrubber with a specialized filter or scrubbing mechanisms are more effective.

Can an air scrubber be used for home air cleaning?

Air scrubbers are not typically designed or recommended for home air cleaning due to their industrial-grade capabilities and higher power consumption. They are maded to be used extensively in commercial or industrial settings where large-scale pollution, chemical odors, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) need to be controlled. The amount of noise is also relatively high, can be used for air cleaning in garages, warehouses and basements.

Can an air purifier help during a renovation or construction project?

An air purifier can assit reduce air particles in a renovation or construction, but the control is considerably less effective due to its lower power. It often takes more time to complete, which results in more power consumption. Additionally, air purifiers working continuously 24/7 may not achieve the air quality you need, as well. Therefore, for industrial and commercial environments, it is still recommended to purchase a professional air scrubber for restoration work.

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