Air Scrubber Vs Air Purifier [Top 5 Air Scrubbers Comparison]

Air Scrubber vs Air Purifier - Top 5 Best Air Scrubbers

Pollutants like allergens, VOCs, mold and air particles form a major part of our air troubles. Breathing in bad air can cause severe irritation in the respiratory tract, aggravate asthma and even affect the lungs and heart in some way.

This is why certain appliances are often deployed to help clean indoor air and rid our homes of such harmful air pollution.

Air Scrubbers and Air Purifiers are two of the most popular appliances used by homeowners and experts for air cleaning purposes, but what exactly makes one different from the other?

Air Scrubbers are mostly used to remove contaminants like pet dander, dust, VOCs, mold and other forms of air pollution from your home. It attaches directly to your HVAC system’s ductwork to keep your home clean and fresh.

Air Purifiers, on the other hand, are appliances with filters to trap dirts that go through them, negative ions that attach to air particles and pull them to the ground and, sometimes, with activated carbon for exterminating gases a VOCs that make your room unhealthy.

Based on these facts, can we substitute an air purifier for an air scrubber? Will an air scrubber do the job of an air purifier? Let’s find out.

Does An Air Scrubber Clean the Air?

Yes, an air scrubber does clean the air. But with the air scrubber, it’s not just the air that is cleaned. An air scrubber has the ability to also clean table tops and surfaces in your home.

This is because cleaning via this device is done within your space and not in your device.

The air scrubber often uses negative ions released to attach themselves to positively charged particles in your home and forces them to drop to the ground or rest on surfaces in your ductwork. Eventually, this is blown out to ensure your air is clean and fresh.

It is necessary to point out that the air scrubber has to be fixed in the HVAC system. So, when your air conditioner is turned on, the air passes through the Scrubbers honeycomb that is coated with titanium dioxide.

There it is exposed to UV lights which kill the germs. The effectiveness of air Scrubbers is also evident in their ability to send negative ions to your cushions and carpets to kill any germs that may be found there.

It doesn’t matter the kind of pollutant you’re dealing with. Using different filtration systems and methods, air Scrubbers can help get rid of dust, mold, fungi, bacteria and even gases.

Rather than simply trapping these contaminants for you to dispose them off, air Scrubbers actually kill them.

In large spaces, an air scrubber is equipped to provide needed filtration using a combination of fans, filters and negative ions, in most cases.

According to EPA, our indoor air is at least two to five times more polluted that the air outside, making it extremely important to deploy air cleaners. For most people, an air scrubber is an effective alternative to making this happen.

Key Functions of Air Scrubber

1. Air Cleansing

This is the first and most obvious function of air Scrubbers. They clean the air by removing all forms of pollutants and irritants. Apart from floating particles, air Scrubbers also clean out surfaces, making your indoor air breathable and healthy.

2. Helps with allergies

People who have asthma or other forms of allergies will also benefit a lot from air scrubbers because most of the irritants are taken out easily, ensuring that indoor air is cleaner and healthier for everyone.

3. Supports your HVAC system

By detonating and eliminating pollutants, rather than just storing them, air scrubbers are able to reduce the burden on your HVAC systems by giving them less to do. This helps to extend the lifespan of your HVAC systems, giving your much more value for your investment.

4. Acts as better option for fresheners

When you spray air fresheners in your home, you’re adding chemicals and contaminants to the air. With air scrubbers, you’ll freshen the air naturally by killing odor-bearing bacteria from decaying food or pets.

This is done by releasing charged ions which combat such odors as well as those arising from cooking.

Top 5 Recommended Air Scrubbers

Air Scrubber vs Air Purifier [Key Differences]

We’ve often heard many people ask if there’s a difference between an air purifier and an air scrubber.

Some others have wondered if one can do the job of the other or if both can be deployed at the same time. Truth is, the two appliances, though similar, are quite different in operation.

Also, it is possible to deploy the air scrubber and air purifier at the same time in the same house. While one works to clean up the air flowing in and out of your air conditioning or heating ductwork, the other will simply clean up the air in your room.

Here are some key differences to consider:

 Air PurifierAir Scrubber
MechanismFiltration is internal; pollutants are trapped by the filters inside the device and cleaned off eventually.Filtration can be internal and external; pollutants are killed rather than trapped (stored).
OperationOnly traps airborne (floating) pollutants.Eliminates pollutants floating and on surfaces.
UsesMostly for domestic use, indoors.Suitable for industrial exhaust streams and power plant exhaust systems.
ModeIt is filter based.Not necessarily filter based.

Which Is Better? Air Purifier OR Air Scrubber?

Air Purifiers and air scrubbers have their own uses and applications. It is difficult to say one is better than another, so we’ll look at them through different parameters.

1. Coverage

In terms of large space or industrial application, air scrubbers are the device of choice. They are able to cover more spaces and are great for industrial purposes.

2. Performance

An air scrubber also takes the verdict here. It tends to eliminate more particles than air purifiers because they also clean out surfaces using charged ions.

3. Purification Mode

What’s more, air scrubbers kill the germs in your home or industrial space, rather than trap them, leaving you with very little more to do.

4. Cost

In terms of cost, it depends on how much you’re willing to spend and what you need the appliance for. An air scrubber will certainly cost more in initial investment, but when you consider that maintenance is close to non-existent, it may be worth it after all.

On the other hand, an air purifier is cheaper, easier to install and manage, consumes less energy and is great for small spaces.

Top 5 Best Air Scrubbers [Pros & Cons]

1. BlueDri Negative Cleaner HEPA Air Scrubber

Best Durability

This is a HEPA scrubber with multiple filtration components for effective air cleaning. It is designed to eliminate airborne pollutants like mold and dust particles, as well as harmful gases and smoke, using a combination of pre-filter, an optional carbon filter and a HEPA filter.

It is a heavy duty device with a powerful ⅓ HP motor capable of cleaning whole houses, warehouses, factories and industrial spaces.

The BluDri air scrubber has an airflow rate between 250 and 500 CFM and a very powerful blower that blows air all around until at least 99% of it all is cleaned.

As an industrial unit, you should expect some noise arising from its heavy-duty fans. It is a very durable and efficient machine, with just the right sizing and features for home or industrial use.


  • Effective against particulate and gaseous pollutants
  • Powerful motor
  • Impressive CFM range
  • Can clean up 99.9% of all pollutants in the room.


  • Can be pretty noisy.

2. CostWay Industrial Commercial Air Scrubber

Value for Money

This is another extremely powerful industrial air scrubber that can take care of large spaces up to 1,500 or more square feet.

Whether it’s water damage damp smell restoration, or trying to get your house back in shape after a fire accident, this air scrubber can get the job done. Even sewage remediation and construction site vacuuming can be taken care of using the CostWay air scrubber.

Airflow control up to 500 CFM means the device can blow air significantly while cleaning it with its double filtration mechanism. And if you have allergies, you don’t have a problem using this.

Great for ductwork but can also work on its own. To make this more convenient, eight pads are included for support. This ensures the body of the device doesn’t touch the ground and not get scratched or defaced.

There is also a groove on the side with which you can summarise the long wire to prevent entanglement.


  • Good for very large spaces.
  • Powerful and effective against pollutants.
  • Great anti-dent support.
  • Impressive airflow rate.


  • Not aesthetically pleasing.

3. ALORAIR CleanShield Industrial Air Scrubber

Best Price

ALORAIR is a known and trusted name in the air scrubber industry. Their range of products are known for many things, including durability and flexibility.

The CleanShield Industrial Air Scrubber comes highly recommended for its superb filtration technology,  portable build and impressive affordability.

If you need to move this around or lift it for ductwork attachment, you won’t have any problems at all. It’s attractive green color is also great to look at, giving an appealing and exciting exterior beauty.

The unit is equipped with HEPA 550 filter and is ETL listed and certified for performance and safety.

It comes with several advanced features including Change the Light filter signal, regulator, speed control, Daisy Chain DFCI Duplex, and is easily stackable. It also comes with circuit breaker protection and has a 10-year housing warranty.


  • Pocket-friendly device.
  • Easy to move around.
  • Compact build for easy manipulation.
  • Comes with 10-year warranty.
  • Great to look at.


  • May not pack as much power as some in its category.

4. MOUNTO AF500 1/3hp 500cfm Industrial HEPA Air Scrubber

Best for Dust Cleaning

Construction workers can testify to the amazing work that this product accomplishes. On construction sites, the major concern is dust, apart from accidents, of course.

With this unit, you can take care of your dust problems, along with other allergens and pollutants that fill the air.

The Mounto AF500 is a negative air scrubber machine with ⅓ HP and airflow up to 500 CFM when dealing with sewage remediation, mold, fire and water damage restoration, as well as odor and dust control. This means it is a natural way to freshen the air and give it a pleasant smell.

Whether attached to ductwork or not, this product will help you clean your air. The 2-stage filtration system, consisting of a pre-filter and a primary HEPA filter, combine to take out particles as tiny as 0.3 microns at an accuracy rate of 99.97%.

The filters are also compatible with many other brands in the market, which makes it easy to replace and switch.


  • Compatible with most duct systems
  • Incredibly effective filtration system
  • Good airflow rate
  • Durable build.


  • Not effective against gaseous pollutants.

5. B-Air AP-450 Max Professional Air Scrubber

Best Filtration System

The B-Air industrial air scrubber holds its ground in the midst of more famous brands. It is a great piece of technology, renowned for its excellent filtration system.

While many other products are great at removing dust and Particulate contaminants and not so great at getting rid of smoke and VOCs, this product is excellent for both particulate and gaseous pollutants.

Its 3-in-1 filtration system works magic, beginning from its prefilter, to its HEPA filter and down to its Carbon filter. Pollution in your workshop, from pets or even from the kitchen can be eliminated by this scrubber.

It is a powerful air scrubber machine with 450 CADR rating, great for both home and industrial uses. The egg-shell white exterior is a beautiful and mature piece of interior decor that can fit into any space.

It is also quite portable, with a powerful motor and fan speed reaching 2,400 RPM. What’s more, you can use this with or without an HVAC ductwork.


  • Amazing filtration system
  • Can be used with or without a ductwork
  • Very powerful air cleaning motor
  • Above average airflow rate.


  • Quite pricey.

Comparison of Above Listed Air Scrubbers

 Dimensions (Inches)Weight (Pounds)AirflowFilter System
BlueDri Negative Cleaner HEPA Air Scrubber  14 x 25 x 20 inches41.2 pounds250-500 CFM3-Stage
CostWay Industrial Commercial Air Scrubber  25 x 16.5 x 25 inches39 pounds150 to 500 CFM2-Stage
ALORAIR CleanShield Industrial Air Scrubber  24.8 x 21.6 x 14.5 inches37.4 pounds270-550 CFM3-Stage
MOUNTO AF500 1/3hp 500cfm Industrial HEPA Air Scrubber  25 x 24 x 16 inches40 pounds250 to 500 CFM2-Stage
B-Air AP-450 Max Professional Air Scrubber  23.3 x 19.9 x 13.7 inches42.1 pounds250-500 CFM3-Stage

Final Words:

Some people tend to confuse air purifier and air scrubbers to be the same. A quick recap; while an air scrubber can be attached to your ductwork, an air purifier cannot. Also, air scrubbers are commercial and industrial in design, even though they can be used at home as well.

If your scrubber tends to blow a lit of air around the room, causing dust to move around while it cleans, it is best to leave the room for a few hours until the job is done. For best results, consider any of the products reviewed above.

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