Washable Filter vs Filterless Air Purifiers – What’s the Better Choice and Why?

When it comes to air purification, nothing beats the efficiency of an air purifier designed to filter the air and retain every threatening particle in it. However, not all purifiers are the same and they differ not only in size or features but also in the technology they use to clean the air. At a closer look, you will notice that besides the regular model with a filter included, you can find two other more innovative types. The filterless air purifier might some impossible but it’s actually a fact and so is the one with a washable filter. We are about to reveal which of the two is the best choice and why.

Pros and cons of filter-less purifiers

Filter-less purifiers come in two different types, namely the electrostatic precipitators and the air ionizers. They are both known as ionic air purifiers that include plates that release positively and negatively charged ions that attract particles from the air. When the plates get clogged with impurities, you need to remove and clean them so the purifier will be ready to clean the air once again. The biggest advantage of such an air cleaner is that it eliminates the need to spend money on replacement filter cartridges. Although this type is very popular and is considered more economical given that there are no filters to replace, it isn’t as effective as a HEPA filter purifier. This is mainly because the plates aren’t capable of removing the small particles that are practically invisible, like the dust mites or pet dander that wander through the air. Not to mention the device gets even less effective when the plates get dirty and they no longer retain particles because there is no space left for them to stick.
Besides the low performance often seen in ionic purifiers, there is also the ozone problem. Ozone is a by-product of the electrically charged plates that is released into the air while the unit is working. It’s known as a pollutant and it shouldn’t be found in the air we breathe, not to mention the indoor air that is harder to clean. Regardless their operating method, air purifiers do a great job in removing allergens that worsen asthma symptoms. However, ozone is highly dangerous for people suffering from asthma or with serious allergies that are worsened in case of a poor quality indoor air. Still, it is very useful in eliminating odor particles from the air, smoke in particular. This is also the reason why it’s acceptable for an air filter to release a pollutant into the air. However, it’s no reason enough for you to accept bringing into your home a device that will eventually cause more harm than good and that will not successfully serve its purpose.

Pros and cons of purifiers with washable filters

The second category we are interested in is the one that includes purifiers with washable filters. There are two different products in this category as well, the one with a washable filter and the one with a permanent filter. Usually, air purifiers include a filter with a lifespan ranging from 3 months to one year. After that, you will have to purchase replacement filters that not only bring additional costs but also imply some hassle. The ones that don’t need this part of maintenance are the most convenient for many reasons but what makes them really great is the fact they don’t sacrifice performance by reducing maintenance.
The washable filters are, as expected, the ones you can wash with soap and water when they get clogged with impurities captured from the air. Although it looks as much as a hassle as having to replace a filter, you will appreciate the fact that you won’t have to spend money on a new one. Once it’s dry, you can put it back on and the purifier will start working to the highest standards. The filter that can be washed is either the HEPA filter or the ifD filter, a type that is equally effective in removing even the smallest pollutants as the HEPA one.
The permanent filter is the one that you never have to change but that also needs to be cleaned, this time using a vacuum to get out all the dust and dirt it accumulates from the air. Carefully vacuum each area using a crevice tool to make sure you remove all the debris that gets stuck in the media.
While being better than the filterless air cleaner, the one with either a washable or a permanent filter also has its drawbacks. It can’t capture even the smallest particles like bacteria or smoke odors and it usually comes in a smaller size that can’t handle large rooms. Still, it’s the most economical and effective way of cleaning the air at home.