Air Scrubber Vs Negative Air Machine | Which is Suitable for You?

Air Scrubber Vs Negative Air Machine

There are two common terms associated with air filtration in homes, offices, and industrial settings; air scrubber and negative air machine. While the two may seem very similar, they are quite different in a number of ways.

Hence, they are designed with similar purposes but have different applications for use. To understand this subject matter and understand Air Scrubbers vs Negative Air Machines, it is important to provide definitions for an air scrubber and a Negative machine.

Purpose Of an Air Scrubber Vs Negative Air Machine

An air scrubber is used to evacuate pollutants in a defined space. Its main priority is to get rid of particles, molds, dust, asbestos, lead, chemicals, and gases from a specific place. Air scrubbers trap airborne particles through a series of filters. An Air scrubber, which is sometimes loosely called an air purifier, is a filter that is built to improve the quality of air in a space. They can be placed anywhere inside the space and often come with no ducted attachments.

Negative Air Machines, also known as negative pressure machines, are designed to remove polluted air from an area and send outside the space through the ducts leading out of the window or the HVAC system. This process of properly disposing of the polluted air helps to prevent the spread of dangerous particles to anyone outside of that negatively pressurized space.

Negative machines have fans that are suitable for cleaning the ductwork because they are able to remove large amounts of air from the spaces they are applied. They are a common addition in construction sites, ductwork cleaning factories, and also for asbestos abatement. Negative air machines are sometimes positioned in specific locations in a construction site, especially when demolition is taking place so that the harmful dust released can be captured effectively.

As far as asbestos is concerned, negative machines are designed to help control airflow and pressure in sealed enclosures, especially when armed with a HEPA filter.

Is A Negative Air Machine the Same As An Air Scrubber?

Although the terms Negative Air Machine and Air scrubber have been used interchangeably for so long, they are not exactly the same. It is easy for one to see them as the same machine, but there are differences in modes of operation, exhaustion, and several other components.

For instance, the air exhausted by the negative air machine from a room is deposited outside the room. This is not the case with an air scrubber.

Can An Air Scrubber Be Used as A Negative Air Machine?

An air scrubber can only be used as a negative air machine if certain components are put in place. For instance, you’d need to add duct tape, a sealed housing, and carry out specific HVAC airflow adjustments.

Also, you need to add a bowler motor to make it work as a negative air machine. Otherwise, it is best to use both machines for different purposes.

You’d be surprised to find that you won’t get the same result when you apply an air scrubber in a contaminated room as you would when you apply a negative air machine.

Air Scrubber Vs Negative Machine

It is impossible to say that one is better than the other because air scrubbers and negative air machines have different uses and applications. One clear difference between an air scrubber and a negative air machine is its design and function.

An air scrubber is usually designed in a tower-like form or a box with round openings on different sides. They are positioned in a space to help purify the air and, based on the room’s shape and size, you may require multiple air scrubbers to achieve the needed air changes (ACH) and air cleansing.

The ACH simply describes the number of times per hour the room’s air is sent through the filters of the scrubber. For best results, air scrubbers must be located at the right spots in rooms for enhanced air circulation.

The negative machine, on the other hand, is quite portable, or at least manufacturers aim for portability. They are often designed in such a way that they can be moved easily and as regularly as required.

This means you can change their positions as often as you want and as work goes on. Flexible hoses are connected to the machine’s inlet and outlet to allow precise collection and release of air.

Notable differences between the Air Scrubber and Negative Air Machine

  1. Air scrubbers are smaller in size while negative air machines are usually bigger in overall relative terms.
  2. Air Scrubbers are positioned inside the space where air needs to be purified but the negative air machine requires a duct outlet or window for it to be connected.
  3. An air scrubber is multipurpose in nature and can be used in almost any application. On the other hand, negative air machines are designed for areas like a dentist’s office, medical buildings, nursing homes, and other healthcare spaces.
  4. You should opt for a negative air machine if you intend to cleanse the air in a large space since they’re best suited for large-scale use and industrial settings. Air scrubbers, on the other hand, are suited for small-scale commercial use.
  5. Negative Air machines help to provide favorable and clean spaces throughout work hours,  but an air scrubber does not have this privilege.
  6. Air Scrubber devices are often more portable, with strong rpm motors, and efficiency. They remove as much as 99.97% of air particles. They also make it easier to breathe by cleansing the air in the room. If your goal is to eliminate harmful contaminants, you may want to consider an air scrubber. Negative air machines pretty much do the same, except that they make the air uncomfortable for contaminants to even come in.

When To Use Negative Air Machine Over Negative Air Scrubber?

1. Mold Remediation

1. Negative Air Machine for mold remediation

Negative air machines are superb for mold remediation. In an attempt to remove molds, spores can become airborne and find their way around the room and other areas in the building.

With the negative air pressure created by negative machines in the room, contaminated air will only have one way out of the room; and that’s through the machine which has a ducted filter.

2. Dust Control in Construction Sites

2. Negative Air Machine for dust control at construction site

Negative air machines are also very useful in construction sites for dust control. The dust produced in construction sites can lead to allergies in workers.

Hence, the “vacuum effect” produced by negative machines can quickly filter airborne particles like dust, especially when placed near tools or used during processes that create and release dust.

Negative Machines lead to a significant drop in the release and spread of particulate dust around the site. This is important because built-in filtration tools or water suppression mechanisms aren’t enough to control dust release.

3. Health Facilities

3. Negative Air Machine for Health care facilities

Whether it’s a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or health facility, the treatment offered by a negative air machine is such that it turns your facility into a safe isolation room, though temporarily.

This is because it reduces the risk of circulating contagious diseases because the negative machine transforms the room into a somewhat negative environment, which is unconducive for pollutants.

When To Use Air Scrubber Over Negative Air Machine?

1. At Home

1. air scrubber for home

Air scrubbers are a great choice if you need to clean small rooms and spaces, like bedrooms, offices and kitchens.

They are the best choice for household use and are particularly a good idea if you live in polluted areas or at the center of the city.

Citizens who inhabit busy street areas, bus stops or busy roads are at a higher risk of contaminants finding their way into their homes and polluting indoor air, but having a negative machine can make all the difference.

2. At work and in the office

2. air scrubber at office

Portable workplaces like studios, home offices, hair salons, boutiques, and some small commercial spaces.

As long as they’re properly positioned, air scrubbers are able to pull in large amounts of air and pass them through durable and effective filters before sending out purified air back into the room.

3. Small business places

3. air scrubber for small business

Other small businesses like private clinics, eateries, and hair salons will benefit a lot from air scrubbers because they are well suited for such spaces.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the idea of home offices which have suddenly become a norm across the globe.

An air scrubber will also do well in such situations.

Summary of Differences between Air Scrubber and Negative Air Machine:

 Air ScrubbersNegative Air Machine
SizeSmaller, with average dimensions at 24.8″D x 20.87″W x 14.96″HNegative air machines are relatively larger, but still portable.
ApplicationHome, offices, and small commercial spacesLarge industrial spaces, large health facilities, and workshops.
Mode of ExhaustionContaminated air is not sent outside the room, but trapped in the machine.The machine sends the contaminated air outside through ducts.
DesignDesigned to fit into small spacesPortable, usually with mechanisms for mobility.

Air scrubbers and negative air machines do similar jobs; nonetheless, there are clear-cut disparities in how these two machines work and how they are designed, and their results and efficiency vary too.

An air scrubber helps to clean and improve indoor air quality by filtering out dirt particles, chemicals, and gases in the places it is. However, a negative air machine can be used for other purposes such as ductwork cleaning, dust control and damp removal.

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