Shopping for an HVAC air scrubber?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this comprehensive buying guide, we recommend and review the best HVAC air scrubbers and answer common questions to help you make a quick decision.
Clean air is vital to human health. It nourishes the lungs with oxygen which, in turn, improves the blood circulation to all the other organs of the body.
However, the air we breathe is often contaminated with pollutants like dust particles, fungi, viruses, bacteria, pollen, and animal hair.
In fact, according to the WHO, indoor air quality is about ten times worse than outdoor air.
But fret not!
You can improve the air quality of your home with a good HVAC air scrubber.
Similar to air purifiers, air scrubbers remove irritants and harmful pollutants from the air that flows through your central heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Portable air scrubbers are also used during remodelling and construction projects when the air quality worsens due to excess dust particles and contaminants in the air.
Does Every HVAC System Need an Air Scrubber?
An HVAC air scrubber directly connects to the ductwork of your HVAC system. It is a negative air machine that draws air inside itself, traps airborne pollutants, and emits cleaner and fresher air.
HVAC scrubbers efficiently remove all forms of indoor pollutants including VOCs, pet dander, air pollution, odor, surface contaminants, and dust, creating a healthier environment to live in.
While every HVAC system does not necessarily need an air scrubber, we recommend getting oneif your family is allergic to or sensitive to common indoor pollutants. Unlike most air purifiers, an air scrubber will remove all of the pollutants from all of the air in your home.
Our Top 3 Picks
What’s In This Buying Guide
Table of Contents
In this buying guide we recommend and review the best HVAC air scrubbers for a variety of applications.
All of the units below are made by well-known manufacturers, are durable, and highly effective at what they do.
We’ve also included a buying guide that explains the features to look for as well as answers to commonly-asked questions about air scrubber.
So let’s begin:
Best HVAC Air Scrubbers
BlueDri BD-AS-550-BL Negative Machine Airbourne Cleaner
Best for Commercial Usage
2 stage filtration with optional carbon filter
1-year and 5-year housing warranty
ALORAIR CleanShield HEPA 550 Heavy Duty Air Scrubber
Best Portable HVACAir Scrubber
14.8 x 20.8 x 24.8 inches
2 stage filtration
Solid 10-year warranty on housing
XPOWER X-2580 Professional 4-Stage HEPA Mini Air Scrubber
Best 4 Stage HVAC Air Scrubber
16.6 x 10.4 x 18.9 inches
Up to 600 CFM
4 Stage Filtration
1-year limited warranty
The Air Shield 550 (AS 550) from BlueDri is a spectacular product not just because of its high specs but also because of its affordable price.
While many similar units come at a significantly higher price, the BlueDri BD-AS-550-BL Negative Machine Airbourne Cleaner is reasonably priced.
This air scrubber is a fantastic option for people who want an air purifier to decontaminate their home of dust, asbestos, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and other allergens. It is a heavy-duty machine that comes with a two-stage filtration system – the pre-filter and the HEPA filter.
You can also purchase the optional carbon filter. Together, all of these work efficiently to remove both small and large particles from the air as well as unpleasant odors that linger around your home.
It is a robust machine that features a rugged, single housing body. It performs efficiently and can be left running unattended for longer periods to scrub and clean your home environment.
The size is compact, and you can even stack up a few units upon one another. Simply connect them to one another via the GFC, and you can operate them all together.
The machine boasts spectacular specs such as up to 500 CFM airflow with only 2.5 amps of power and can easily cover 550 sq. ft of area.
It can handle fire, mold, mildew, and general construction leftovers, along with common household contaminants. Hence, it is a useful machine for both homeowners and professionals alike.
If you want to pick up a versatile air scrubber that can handle the worst of mold infestation, look no further than the ALORAIR CleanShield HEPA 550 Heavy Duty Commercial Air Scrubber.
With its solid combination of pre-filter and HEPA filter, and the high 550 CFM airflow rating, it is ideal for various jobs both for residential and commercial applications.
The ALORAIR CleanShield is a robust machine that features a two-stage filtration by default. It boasts a rugged root-mold construction that makes it durable and long-lasting.
The company backs it up with a ten-year warranty coverage not just for the housing but also for the internal components.
So, whether you are using it to improve the air quality of your house or to clear up after a construction project, you can rely on it to deliver excellent results.
The machine is highly apt at removing mold. If you are struggling with a frustrating mold infestation, you can hook up multiple units together to remove it all.
Moreover, the device is great for restoration, sewage, construction, and other polluted environments. It is equipped with variable-speed control and a regulator to adjust it according to the job. It is both rugged and practical and completes any job you put it to.
Looking for something more advanced than a regular two or three-stage filtration system air scrubber? Be sure to check out the X-2580 from XPOWER.
It is a portable and lightweight machine that can trap dust, bacteria, pollen, fungi, and any other particle right down to 0.3 microns. And its carbon filter effectively removes offensive odors.
This device stands out to us because of its ability to filter indoor air at a higher rate than home air purifiers. It has a maximum airflow rating of 600 CFM, making this powerful machine one of the most efficient options you will come across.
It works effectively to improve the indoor environment of your home, allowing you to breathe easily. Thanks to its four-stage filtration system, you won’t regret a single penny spent on it.
Whether you have burnt your food or have experienced a diaper blowout, the smell lingers for quite some time. However, with X-2580, these smells are not a problem anymore.
While other air scrubbers require you to purchase a separate carbon filter, this portable device boasts one as a part of its four-stage filtration system.
The activated carbon removes all offensive smells by absorption, while the two nylon pre-filters and the HEPA filter work together to rid your home of particles that pollute your home environment.
The machine weighs around 24 pounds and comes with a handle for easier transportation. It has a powerful motor inside its durable ABS housing that allows it to operate at five different speeds.
XPOWER designed it to capture smoke, odor, VOC, and, of course, mold remediation. It is an advanced machine, yet it is extremely easy to clean and maintain. Hence, it should remain at the top of your priority list.
HVAC Air Scrubbers: Buying Guide
An HVAC air scrubber not only tackles airborne particles; it also rids surrounding surfaces of dirt build-up. They are quite useful when you have a dirty clean-up job at hand. They are useful for both residential and commercial purposes. In fact, most builders and contractors rely on them to complete a dust-free job.
Many places actually lease air scrubbers. But if you want to purchase one for yourself, you have to be mindful of a few things, such as:
If you are interested in purchasing an HVAC air scrubber, you must already know that they don’t come cheap. Even the simplest unit costs serious money, so you should be ready to shell out the appropriate amount. And the more features you want, the higher the price will go.
However, you can find some affordable yet efficient options that also get the job done. So, when you are out shopping for one, keep an eye on your budget and get the best one that comes within your range.
When it comes to air scrubbers, always go with a tried and tested brand that has a reputation for producing high-quality products. Brands like BlueDri, Alorair, XPower, and Dri Eaz are reliable HVAC air scrubbers manufacturers.
Old Customer Feedback
Whenever you purchase something new, it’s always good to check what existing customers have to say about it. We live in a digital era today,customer testimonials and reviews are easilyavailable since nobody hesitates to narrate their experiences.
You will find lots of reviews telling you which air scrubbers to check out and which ones to avoid. Take them into account and go for the model that has the most satisfied users.
Just like everything else, HVAC air scrubbers are backed with a warranty. Some offer minimalistic coverage, while others are more confident about their product’s performance and offer extended warranty coverage to back it up.
You should check the warranty terms of each device to understand what it covers. Also, look for a model that comes with a lengthy warranty so you can have it looked at if it runs into any problems.
What are HVAC Air Scrubbers – And How Do They Work?
HVAC air scrubbers are useful devices that connect with the ductwork of your HVAC system and filter out dust particles and other pollutants from your home air. It is a negative air machine that creates negative pressure to clean the air.
Simply speaking, it sucks in the air from your home environment and filters it to remove dust, microbes, pollens, and other airborne debris that decrease its quality.
They are especially useful during construction and remodeling procedures that release considerable amounts of particulates into the air.
Most air scrubbers boast a two-level filtration system to remove dust and debris from your home. A big fan creates airflow that draws air inside the machine.
Once inside, the air passes through a standard pre-filter that captures larger particles like dust and vents out dust-free air. This air then passes through the level two HEPA filter that’s specially designed to capture smaller particles.
It removes 99.97% of pollutants even if they measure 0.03 microns. The clean and fresh air is then blown out and circulated around your home with the help of the HVAC system.
Why Buy an HVAC Air Scrubber?
HVAC air scrubbers are extremely useful devices that efficiently help rid your home of dust, debris, and other allergens. They are especially useful for people who suffer from allergies and asthma as they effectively remove allergens and other asthma triggers polluting the air.
They are also quite useful for contractors who work in the construction industry. Such projects involve lots of dust. Even a small paint job can leave behind an unpleasant odor that can become unbearable for their client.
That’s why contractors rely on HVAC air to clear up the space where once the construction is complete. You should also look into purchasing one if you live in a dusty area where the air quality is not very good.
How to Choose the Best HVAC Air Scrubber
A good HVAC air scrubber is high in quality, performs at an optimum capacity, and fulfills the purpose it was purchased for. Whether you are buying an HVAC air scrubber for domestic or commercial purposes, some factors you should never overlook include:
Air scrubbers are used for a wide variety of purposes. You may need one to filter allergens from your home environment or to remove odors after a fresh paint job.
You could have a fiberglass problem in your attic that needs attention, or the drywall dust could be creating a problem.
No matter what the problem, a portable air scrubber can quickly tackle the situation. That’s why you should look for a lightweight model with handles and wheels that you can use to transport the machine from one place to another easily.
These machines deal with a lot of air pressure, which results in build-up accumulating over the machine’s filters.
When the filters get dirty, your machine will have to strain itself, leading to overheating and a significant drop in performance.
Although you can remedy it by changing the filters regularly, they are also equipped with powerful blowers that prevent debris from building up on the machine.
Different air scrubbers have different types of blowers installed on them. For example, airfoil blowers are designed to easily overcome the drop in the pressure of dirty air filters. Take a closer look at each blower type and choose the one suitable for your application.
Airflow rating is a critical consideration in an HVAC air scrubber. Your choice will depend upon the size and type of area you want to use it in.
If you are planning to buy one for your house, a unit with a 500 CFM airflow will get the job done effectively. However, if you are purchasing one for commercial or industrial usage, consider a unit with a much higher airflow rate.
Also, note that the airflow rate is directly proportional to the size of the unit. The higher the airflow rate, the bigger the size.
Since you will be running your air scrubber round the clock, you need a device that is both reliable and safe to use.
Trusted organizations like ETL and UL grant safety certificates to devices that fulfill their safety standards. When you finalize a unit, be sure to check its certification to ensure it is safe to operate 24/7.
Durability and Build Quality
An HVAC air scrubber is a hefty investment to begin with. That’s why it is unwise to spend your hard-earned money on a cheap and flimsy device. Focus on finding a unit that boasts superior build quality and is durable enough to withstand air pressure and continuous usage.
At the end of the day, filtration is what an air scrubber is made for. The air entering the device passes through different filtration levels that trap contaminants and blow out clean air. The quality of the filtration system determines the performance of the machine.
Most air scrubbers come with two filtration levels. The first is a standard filter that traps larger particles. Meanwhile, the second filter, more commonly known as the HEPA filter, captures the remaining minuscule air pollutants.
You can also look for an optional third filter – the carbon filter that traps absorbs odors, making the air fresh and easy to breathe in.
Installation of HVAC Air Scrubber
There are many different kinds of air scrubbers available on the market, each featuring a different design and features. That’s why there is no thumb rule for their installation.
All the devices come with their own instructions about how to install them. You can go over the user manual to understand the process. But if you are unsure, we strongly recommend hiring professionals so your air scrubber performs optimally.
Pros and Cons
With people becoming increasingly aware of health issues related to allergens and air pollutants, indoor air quality has become more important to homeowners, especially if they have a family member who suffers from respiratory issues like allergies or asthma.
Amongst all the concerns, HVAC air scrubbers came as the welcome solution. These low-maintenance devices specialize in creating a cleaner and healthier home, yet they also have some drawbacks.
Cleaning and Maintenance
When you decide to purchase an HVAC air scrubber, remember that it requires regular cleaning and maintenance to work at its peak potential.
Just as with dehumidifiers, you need to take good care of it. Fail to do so, and you will notice a significant drop in the air quality around your home. Proper cleaning and maintenance mean you can get the most out of your initial investment. Here’s how you can take care of your machine:
Replace the Filter
Since this machine relies on its filtration system to clean the indoor air, it is crucial to replace its filters regularly. Just as the dehumidifier bucket needs emptying every time it fills completely, your air scrubber will also need filter changes to work at an optimum level.
Most experts recommend changing the filter after every remediation job or 800 hours of use. You can also use the opportunity to clean out the entire machine to avoid cross-contamination.
Look for Kinks and Bends
Kinks and bends are the first sign that the machine is not running smoothly. If you spot any, call a professional immediately to have a look because ignoring them can lead to bigger issues.
Checking your machine regularly for kinks and bends is a preventive measure that allows you to avoid expensive repair and replacement costs for as long as possible.
Inspect the Fan Blade
Since the fan is an integral part of your air scrubber, you need to make sure it remains in top shape. If your unit is vibrating strangely, it can be an indicator of a bent or dirty fan blade.
If it’s only dirty, wiping it with a damp cloth should resolve the issue. But if it is bent, you may need to replace it right away so that your device does not encounter further issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to run an air scrubber continuously?
Air scrubbers are designed to work 24/7. You can leave them to run unattended overnight or over the weekend without any issues. They are safe to use and consume very little energy, so you can run one continuously without any worries.
However, the minimum industry guidelines suggest running it for 24 to 48 hours with four air exchanges every hour. You can run it for longer if you want to achieve better results.
Are air scrubbers safe?
After carefully observing numerous different options and seeing them in action, we can confidently declare that air scrubbers are not dangerous.
In fact, they are quite safe and easy to use. You can install one in your HVAC ductwork and observe the air qualitybecoming significantly better with the air getting cleaner and fresher.
Can air scrubbers eliminate mold?
Yes, commercial air scrubbers that feature a HEPA filter can efficiently remove mold spores from the air. In fact, they are designed especially for eliminating mold from your home. These days, many restoration companies use commercial air scrubbers for mold removal and remediation.
Can air scrubbers actually improve air quality?
Air scrubbers are specifically designed to improve air quality around your house. They reduce dust, pollen, bacteria, mold, and various other air pollutants contaminating indoor air.
If you want to remove such air contaminants, along with VOCs and other gaseous compounds that can negatively affect your health, an air scrubber is your best bet.
How do air scrubbers and air purifiers differ from each other?
Air scrubbers and purifiers are quite similar in their functionality. However, a significant difference lies in their installation. An air purifier is conveniently installed within your HVAC system while the air scrubber is attached to its ductwork.
Air scrubbers also stand out because they can remove particles from surfaces that air purifiers cannot. They are also apt at removing lingering odors that some homeowners may find uncomfortable.
Final Verdict: Which is the best HVAC air scrubber and why?
After this detailed reviewof various air scrubbers above, we think that the XPOWER X-2580 Professional 4-Stage HEPA Mini Air Scrubber is the best option. It is a portable machine that can capture the smallest of particles and rid your home of unwanted odors.
BlueDri BD-AS-550-BL Negative Machine Airbourne Cleaner is not far behind with its effective performance and affordable price.
Lastly, the ALORAIR CleanShield HEPA 550 Heavy-Duty Commercial Air Scrubber is also great for its portability and variable speed performance.
I’m a degreed ME (mechanical engineer) who is passionate about machines of all kinds. I created MachineWonders.com as a way to connect with others who love machines like me – or need help choosing one for their needs, application, or situation.