How effective and green are whole-house electronic air cleaners? Which are the best?

Asked by Laura
Southampton, PA


Jason La Fleur

Answered by Jason La Fleur

Oak Park, IL

Alliance for Environmental Sustainability

February 24, 2011

Electronic air cleaners are a tricky subject. While they may purify the air somewhat, it is important to note that they do not always remove contaminant particles in the air.

  • It is very important for your home air quality to remove pollutants with an efficient filter if you have a forced-air heating and cooling system.
  • This is why green building programs such as LEED require that filters have a certification called "MERV" that shows how good the filter is at removing contaminants.
  • Ensure your air filter has a MERV rating above 7 (the higher, the better).

Once you are trapping pollutants, you can look at electronic air cleaners to further purify your indoor air quality.

In terms of electrical consumption, you can search for a stand-alone air cleaner that is Energy Star certified. There are some nice quality electronic air cleaners worth investigating at


For more information:

Read "Can I use house plants to improve my home's indoor air quality?" a Q&A answered by Richard Heller.

Tagged In: home air quality

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