What is a whole-house air cleaner for? Do I need one?
November 30, 2011 6:29 PM   Subscribe

What is a whole-house air cleaner for? Do I need one?

Mr. Ipsum and I are building a new house, and due to the time of year the builder is offering a "holiday" promotion with some discounts.

One of the discounts is either a whole-house air cleaner or an upgrade on the furnace. We were already getting a 90% high-efficiency furnace, and this would give us 95% at no additional charge.

Or we could go with the other option, listed as:
"Honeywell F100 Whole-House Media Air Cleaner"

It sounds like a higher efficiency furnace would save money in the long-run, but it might only be a slight savings compared with the 90%. Neither of us are very familiar with air cleaners. I almost wonder if this is just something that has a "placebo effect," giving peace of mind to hypochondriacs. In any event, neither of us have much problem with allergies or sensitivities anyway.

So, is there something about an air cleaner that makes it worth considering? I've lived my whole life without one and I feel fine, but I'd be willing to consider getting one if people think there's a real benefit.
posted by LaurenIpsum to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Go the furnace. Real, tangible and understandable benefits versus preying on gullible fears and paranoias.
posted by wilful at 6:52 PM on November 30, 2011

Seconding furnace. Those whole-house air cleaners seem to be of dubious use.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:02 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

What is a whole-house air cleaner for?

It is for separating you from your money. Get the furnace!
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on November 30, 2011

Here is what the EPA has to say about air cleaners and their effects on indoor air quality:
posted by scalespace at 10:25 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Any decent furnace will have proper filtering built-in. Skip the dedicated air cleaner.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:38 AM on December 1, 2011

Response by poster: Well, I guess that settles it! Thanks everyone! We have told the builders that we want to go with the upgraded furnace.
posted by LaurenIpsum at 3:06 PM on December 6, 2011

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