Whole-House air filtration


Active Member
I'm in the market for cleaner air and have recently been looking at air purifiers. We've decided that we really don't want several table-top and/or console units dotted around the house but would like to investigate the whole-house solutions that are installed inline on the return side of the HVAC.

I'd like UV light, HEPA, eletrostatic, O3, and all the other buzzwords. It should go without saying that I'd also like a tie into the HA system when the filter/bulb/plates/etc. need cleaning/replacing. ;)

Does anyone have any recommendations? I'd love something that's DIY friendly if possible, but will use a pro if I have to. FWIW our current system is a single-stage Carrier Weather maker 8000 Natural gas system with conventional AC (no heat pump) that heats/cools a 2000 sq ft split-level ranch.

I added a spacegard 2200 to my central air unit. No maintenance other than changing a filter once a year or so.

It does not have the germicidal/uv/etc bells and whistles. It was fairly inexpensive (a few hundred to install) and simple. I didn't see a need to go with the more complex units (more initial cost and more to break) but that may be a matter of choice. This seemed to add a lot of function for not much cost and little to break. I did not spend a lot of time on this, but did get some feedback from some people I knew in the industry.
Are you a consumer reports subscriber? CR did a review of many air filters, and found:
1) Most produce moderate amounts of Ozone -- good for the uper atmosphere, but at the ground it causes cancer. I'm dumbfounded as to why some manufacturers actually promote that they create ozone!!
2) Many don't clean well -- especially the whole-house variety.
3) Note that unless you have an ECM motor on your central hvac system, you're going to pay dearly for running the fan continuously. Also, the suction isn't so great as to provide tremendous benefits.

One option: Consider getting an air-to-air exchanger (outside air is much cleaner than inside air, and this helps you swap it out at a controller rate), or related products like an HRV or ERV (heat or energy recovery ventilator).
I agree and am not a fan of an ozone generators or electronic filters that create ozone. At the high end, Lifebreath makes some good stuff from what I've been told, but I settled on a more modest media air filter. A good thick pleated media filter should perform pretty well, but not quite as good as pure HEPA. I went with a MERV 13 rated system by Honeywell. This is the unit I got (from this store). These actually have better airflow and better filtering then the cheapo 1" filters most people use. They will take care of the bulk of filtering. For organics and such a UV light is not a bad idea. Usually they are installed in the air handler by the coil and they will destroy most of the live growth from the moisture. A second unit upstream is not a bad idea to kill off anything that gets through the handler.