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How Much Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Cost?

Whole-house air purifiers can help reduce respiratory irritants and minimize allergy symptoms. For homeowners interested in such benefits, the average whole-house air purifier cost is $2,448, with a typical range of $456 to $4,557.
How Much Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Cost

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Highlights

  • A whole-house air purifier typically costs between $456 and $4,557, with a national average cost of $2,448.
  • The exact cost of whole-house air purifier installation will depend on the size of the home, the type of filter used, the brand of the air purifier, the location and accessibility of the HVAC system, and the cost of labor.
  • Installing a whole-house air purifier has numerous benefits, including healthier air, an improved living environment, reduced odors, decreased dust buildup, and a prolonged HVAC system life.
  • While DIY installation can save homeowners on labor costs, whole-house air purifier installation is not a DIY project. A professional has the right experience, tools, and equipment to install the system safely and properly.
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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be two to five times as polluted as outdoor air. Breathing in polluted air can cause asthma, headaches, and serious respiratory problems. Installing a whole-house air purifier is a simple and effective way to remove airborne pollutants and reduce the risk of health-related issues for those inside a home. Whole-house air purifiers work to remove contaminants and pollutants indoors by drawing air in and passing it through a series of filters. These filters trap dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold spores, and even microscopic allergens and bacteria. Some purifiers also neutralize odors.

Several factors come into play when it comes to the cost of whole-house air purifiers. House size is typically the most influential factor, with filter type, brand, and local labor costs also playing major roles in determining whole-house air purifier costs. According to HomeAdvisor, the national average whole-house air purifier cost is $2,448, falling within a typical range of $456 to $4,557. This guide will help homeowners learn how to estimate the cost of a whole-house air purifier, explain the different types of air purifiers, explore the benefits of whole-house air purifier installation, suggest ways for homeowners to save on installation, and offer tips on hiring the best professional for the job.

How Much Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Cost
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Factors in Calculating Whole-House Air Purifier Cost

A whole-house air purifier can be configured to fit different homes and personal needs. Because of this, whole-house air purifiers can vary in price. There are several factors that can help homeowners determine a reasonable budget for their air purifier installation; homeowners will want to keep the following factors in mind when estimating the cost of a whole-house air purifier.

Home Size

The size of a home receiving a whole-house air purification system can influence the total cost for a number of reasons. Generally speaking, larger homes are more likely to require more powerful air purifiers or potentially multiple units, increasing the overall cost.

Homes with several more rooms than average or with multiple levels may benefit from larger units, which can come at a higher price. Additionally, homes with open floor plans may need a more powerful unit to handle a larger space.

Layout also plays a role in whole-house air purifier costs, with unique home layouts or architectural features influencing the total cost if customized installation or additional equipment is required to ensure proper air circulation.

Filter Type

The type of filter used in a whole-house air purifying system helps determine both its performance and cost. There are various options available, including everything from economical flat filters to cutting-edge UV light filters. Homeowners will want to explore their options to find what best suits their needs and budget.

Flat filters capture large particles but not smaller pollutants and require replacement every 1 to 3 months—but they’re the most affordable with an average cost range of $50 to $170, including installation. Extended media filters cost between $400 and $700 and only need to be replaced approximately once a year. Electronic filters can cost up to $2,000 and utilize an electrical field to trap charged particles. A UV light filter can cost as much as $3,000 but isn’t effective against dust or pollen. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are the most expensive, with a cost range of $2,000 to $4,000, and capture over 99.97 percent of particles. However, they’re not typically found in traditional home HVAC systems and require modification to ductwork and vents for successful whole-house air purifier installation. These types of filters are explored in more detail in a section below.

Brand

The brand a homeowner selects for their whole-house air purification system can influence upfront costs and long-term satisfaction. A brand’s reputation, product quality, and warranty support can all play a role in the overall value of an investment.

An established brand is more likely to invest heavily in research and development, typically resulting in innovative and high-performing air purification systems that tend to come with a higher price tag. A well-known brand with a reputation built on quality can typically command higher prices, while brands offering exceptional warranties and customer support can also sell their systems at a higher price than brands offering less value. The following chart offers price ranges for some common whole-house air purification system brands, excluding installation costs.

BrandUnit Cost Range
AprilAire$600 to $1,000
Carrier$1,000 to $1,100
Field Controls$300 to $800
Honeywell$500 to $800
Lennox$600 to $1,100
Respicaire$700 to $1,200
Trane$800 to $900

HVAC Location and Accessibility

When homeowners are budgeting for a whole-house air purifier, it’s important to consider the accessibility of the home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Systems located in difficult-to-access areas, such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces, tend to require more labor and time for installation, leading to higher costs.

A homeowner will want to budget more for installation costs if there is limited space surrounding an HVAC system, obstructions, or intricate ductwork. Additional equipment or modifications may be required to ensure proper installation, all of which come with a higher cost. To reduce the potential for additional costs, homeowners will want to make sure the path leading to their HVAC system is free of obstructions, including furniture and stored items.

Labor

Labor influences whole-house air purifier costs in several ways. First, labor costs can vary based on the expertise and experience of an HVAC technician or other professional performing the installation. As a general rule of thumb, homeowners can expect to pay more for highly skilled technicians than they will for those with only basic skills.

Besides the technician’s skill level, the job’s complexity also directly affects labor costs. Larger homes, unique layouts, difficult-to-access HVAC systems, and additional services such as ductwork modification or electrical work can all increase the time and effort required to complete a job. These factors typically boost the overall installation cost. Most HVAC technicians charge between $75 and $150 per hour.

How Much Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Cost
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Additional Costs and Considerations

When planning for the installation of a whole-house air purification system, homeowners will want to account for additional costs and considerations that go beyond the initial purchase price of the unit. While not all of the following factors may be necessary, understanding how they influence air purifier prices can help homeowners avoid costly surprises.

HVAC Inspection

As part of an HVAC inspection cost, a technician will assess the overall condition and performance of the system, inspecting the furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, and ductwork. They’ll examine the air filters and electrical connections and calibrate the system if necessary to ensure it’s operating at its optimal settings.

An HVAC check normally costs between $150 and $500, depending on the system’s location and complexity. Before a whole-house air purifier is installed, an HVAC assessment is typically recommended. By identifying necessary repairs or improvements during the inspection, homeowners can avoid complications and costly repairs with their HVAC and air purifier down the road.

HVAC Replacement

While HVAC replacement is not ideal, there are some instances where it’s the best route to take. This can be especially true in older systems that are inefficient, outdated, or in need of costly repairs. HVAC unit replacement can cost between $5,000 and $11,000, depending on the system size and efficiency rating.

If an HVAC replacement is suggested, homeowners will want to bear in mind that opting to keep the system and install a whole-house air purifier anyway can be more costly down the line. It’s recommended that a homeowner ask about bundling the cost to install a central AC unit or HVAC system with the installation of an air purification system for potential savings, as the labor and materials required for both jobs can be combined. In addition, homeowners may consider seeing whether whole-house dehumidifier costs can be combined for even more savings.

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Air Duct Cleaning

Air duct cleaning involves removing dust, debris, and contaminants from a home’s ductwork. Cleaning ductwork can improve indoor air quality, reduce allergens, and ensure an HVAC system performs properly and optimally. With the enhanced efficiency of an HVAC system, an attached whole-house air purifier can perform better as well. This is why air duct cleaning is typically recommended when homeowners are installing a whole-house air purification system. The average air duct cleaning cost ranges from $300 to $700, or $25 to $45 per vent.

Electrical Outlet Installation

Air purifiers require a dedicated power source to operate. Installing a new electrical outlet is sometimes necessary when homeowners are installing a new system. Outlet installation involves determining the appropriate location, running electrical wiring, installing the outlet box, and connecting the wiring. Hiring a licensed electrician for this task is crucial for homeowners to ensure safe and proper installation. DIY electrical work is not recommended due to the associated risks of electrical shock, fire hazards, and potential code violations.

On average, adding an electrical outlet costs between $150 and $350, with the final number depending on how difficult the installation is and whether any other electrical work is needed. Homeowners will want to consider this potential cost when budgeting for a whole-house air purifier.

Filter Replacement

While replacement filters contribute to ongoing maintenance expenses, they are a crucial investment for maintaining clean and healthy indoor air quality. Replacement filters are typically priced between $10 and $200 each, and they vary in cost depending on the system type and specific filter requirements. It’s important for homeowners to understand that filters need regular replacement to ensure optimal performance.

Homes with higher levels of dust, tobacco smoke, pollen, or pet dander may require more frequent filter replacements. These pollutants can accumulate on the filter, reducing its effectiveness over time. By replacing filters promptly, homeowners can ensure that their air purifiers will continue to trap and remove airborne particles.

How Much Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Cost
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Whole-House Air Purifier Cost by Type of Filter

When installing a home air cleaning system, homeowners will benefit from understanding the different types of filters available. Not only do filters determine the effectiveness of an air purifying system, but they also influence the overall purifier cost. Homeowners will want to explore the various types of air purifier filters and associated air filter replacement costs below so they can make an informed decision for their needs and budget.

Type of FilterCost
Electronic$600 to $2,000
Extended media$400 to $700
Flat$50 to $170
HEPA$2,000 to $4,000
Portable$500 to $1,800
UV light$800 to $3,000

Electronic

An electronic filter, specifically an electrostatic precipitator, is an air purification device that utilizes an electrical field to capture charged particles. These filters typically consist of a set of charged flat plates where particles are trapped.

One notable advantage of electronic filters is their low operating costs. Unlike other filter types, they don’t require regular replacement, resulting in long-term cost savings. However, electronic filters produce ozone as a byproduct, which can be dangerous if inhaled. Furthermore, they may not be as effective in trapping bigger particles such as dust and mold spores.

Electronic filters range in cost from $600 to $2,000 for installation. Homeowners will want to note that adequate and regular cleaning is necessary for electronic filters to function effectively. Bundling filter cleaning with other HVAC maintenance services, like coil cleaning, can offer convenience and potential cost savings.

Extended Media

An extended media filter, also known as a pleated filter, is a type of air filter commonly used in whole-house air purification systems. These filters are priced between $400 and $700, which includes professional installation. Extended media filters are designed to be more effective than flat filters in capturing smaller airborne pollutants, such as mold spores.

Extended media filters offer several advantages, constructed with high-efficient filter paper pleated in an accordion-style frame. Pleating increases the surface area available for filtration, allowing the filter to absorb additional debris and airborne particles.

However, extended media filters require periodic replacement, typically once a year, at an average cost of $40 to $60. While these filters are more effective than flat filters, they may still have limitations in capturing extremely fine particles or specific types of contaminants.

Flat

A flat filter is constructed with fibers, typically fiberglass stretched over a framework. They’re known for their low costs, which range from $10 to $70. If homeowners choose professional installation by an HVAC specialist, the total cost could range from $50 and $170 due to labor costs.

Flat filters offer several benefits, such as the effective capture of large particles, including dust, pollen, and lint. However, it’s important for homeowners to note that flat filters have limitations. They’re less effective in capturing smaller airborne pollutants like viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. Additionally, they require regular replacement, typically every one to three months.

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters provide superior air filtration. However, they’re the most complex and costly to install compared to other types of filters. Most HVAC systems will require modifications that can boost a HEPA filter installation cost to as much as $4,000.

HEPA filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. Homeowners can significantly improve their indoor air quality by incorporating a true HEPA filter.

Due to their size and energy requirements, HEPA filters are not commonly found in standard home HVAC systems. Retrofitting an HVAC system to accommodate a HEPA filter often involves costly adjustments to the ductwork and vents to ensure proper airflow and system compatibility. Before proceeding with a HEPA filter installation, homeowners will want to consult an HVAC professional to assess the feasibility and costs of modifying their system.

Portable

A portable whole-house air purifier is a standalone unit designed to improve indoor air quality in specific areas of a home. These units are commonly used in residences without HVAC or duct systems, offering a convenient solution without the need for extensive installations.

The key advantage of portable air filters is their mobility. Homeowners can easily move these units from room to room, providing localized air purification where needed. For instance, they can be used in bedrooms at night for enhanced sleep quality.

While portable air filters offer flexibility, they may have limitations compared to whole-house air purifiers. They may not provide comprehensive filtration throughout the entire home and require regular filter replacements, typically every few months, to maintain optimal performance.

Compared to other types of air purifiers, portable units generally have a lower up-front cost. Portable air filters range from $500 to $1,800, depending on the unit’s features and filtration capabilities.

UV Light

A UV light filter, also known as a UV germicidal lamp, is an air purification device that utilizes shortwave UV light to combat harmful pathogens like bacteria and viruses.

The benefits of a whole-house air purifier with UV light include its ability to effectively neutralize airborne pathogens. By emitting UV light, these filters disrupt the DNA structure of microorganisms, rendering them inactive and unable to reproduce. This feature is particularly valuable for homeowners prioritizing germ reduction and seeking extra protection against infectious agents.

However, UV light filters aren’t designed to capture or eliminate common particulate pollutants such as dust, pollen, or gaseous contaminants. Combining UV light filters with other filtering systems is recommended for best results. Because of the particular technology required, UV light filters can be more expensive than other types of air purifiers, ranging from $800 to $3,000.

How Much Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Cost
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Benefits of Installing a Whole-House Air Purifier

Air purification systems for whole houses offer many benefits by creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment. Homeowners considering installing a whole-house air purifier can explore these benefits below.

Healthier Air

Poor indoor air quality can induce allergies, aggravate preexisting respiratory disorders, and possibly lead to long-term health concerns. A whole-house air cleaner effectively removes various airborne pollutants, such as dust, allergens, pet dander, mold spores, and even harmful gases, using advanced filtration technologies or other methods like UV light.

Clean air is crucial for healthy living, since it reduces the risk of respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma symptoms, allowing homeowners and their families to breathe better. Homeowners often notice a significant difference in their home’s air quality within a few days or weeks of installing a whole-house air purifier.

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Improved Living Environment

Polluted air in the home can aggravate existing respiratory diseases and provoke allergies. Pollutants in the air can also lead to unpleasant smells and increased dust collection. A whole-house air purifier can significantly improve a home’s living environment by effectively removing harmful airborne pollutants, allergens, and irritants, creating a cleaner and healthier atmosphere. The cleaner the air is, the more comfortable, fresh, clean, and inviting a home will feel.

Homeowners can expect to experience fresher air, reduced allergens, and a general improvement in indoor air quality relatively quickly after installing a whole-house air purifier.

Reduced Odors

Lingering odors can be unpleasant in a home. Guests can be particularly offended by unappealing smells, and homeowners may feel self-conscious about their living spaces. Additionally, persistent odors may negatively impact indoor air quality and worsen respiratory problems and allergies.

By actively filtering and neutralizing odor-causing particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a whole-house air purifier effectively tackles and reduces odors, creating a home environment that is fresh and inviting. By removing cooking odors, pet smells, tobacco smoke, and other unwanted scents, an air purifier helps create a more enjoyable and comfortable living space for homeowners and their families.

Homeowners can experience a fresher-smelling environment within a short period after installing a whole-house air purifier and enjoy the benefits of a clean and inviting home.

Decreased Dust Buildup

Excessive dust in a home can be problematic, triggering allergies and respiratory issues and worsening existing conditions like asthma. If a homeowner doesn’t have the time to dedicate to dusting, accumulating dust can also give a living space a dull and unclean appearance.

A whole-house air purifier decreases dust buildup by capturing and filtering out airborne dust particles, preventing them from settling on home surfaces, and helping maintain cleaner and dust-free surroundings.

Having less dust buildup minimizes the need for frequent dusting and cleaning, saving homeowners time and effort. As a result, living spaces tend to be cleaner and more visually appealing, making a home more inviting and comfortable.

Prolonged HVAC System Life

A whole-house air purifier can prolong an HVAC system’s life by preventing the accumulation of dirt, debris, and contaminants within the system. It filters out harmful particles, ensuring that cleaner air passes through the HVAC components, reducing strain and potential damage.

HVAC systems with a short lifespan may experience frequent breakdowns, increased maintenance costs, and decreased energy efficiency, leaving homeowners with an ineffective heating and cooling system and an expensive repair bill. A whole-house air purifier for furnacelongevity can help homeowners avoid these setbacks. By prolonging an HVAC system’s life, a whole-house air purifier helps homeowners avoid expensive repairs that can throw off their budget and lets them enjoy reliable and efficient heating and cooling for longer.

How Much Does a Whole-House Air Purifier Cost
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Whole-House Air Purifier Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Installing a whole-house air purification system is not a suitable DIY project, although it’s understandable that homeowners may be tempted to tackle it themselves if they believe they know how to install a home air filter. However, several important reasons make hiring one of the best AC installation companies or HVAC professionals for this task essential.

  • Experience. HVAC professionals have the necessary expertise and knowledge to correctly install whole-house air purifiers. They understand the complexities of such a system and can ensure proper integration with any existing HVAC equipment.
  • Tools and equipment. Installing a whole-house air purifier requires specialized tools and equipment that a homeowner may not already own. Professionals, however, have access to industry-standard tools that can improve efficiency and safety during an installation.
  • Safety considerations. HVAC systems involve electrical wiring and potentially harmful substances. Professionals are trained in safety protocols and can safely work under potentially dangerous conditions. In addition, they can identify any potential hazards that may go unnoticed by an inexperienced homeowner and take appropriate precautions to prevent accidents.
  • Potential for serious errors. An improperly installed whole-house air purifier can void the warranty, damage the unit, or compromise the entire HVAC system, not to mention the health of the residents.

While DIY carries serious risks, hiring a professional ensures a whole-house air purifier installation will be done correctly and with minimal risk. Additionally, professionals can provide valuable guidance on selecting one of the best air humidifiers and purifiers based on a home’s specific needs.

Furthermore, professional installers stay up to date with the latest industry standards and regulations, ensuring compliance and avoiding potential code violations. They also possess the necessary insurance coverage, providing homeowners with added protection and peace of mind throughout the installation. Hiring a professional guarantees a seamless and efficient installation, saving homeowners time and potential frustration.

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How to Save Money on Whole-House Air Purifier Cost

While a whole-house air purification system is a wise investment that can quickly improve indoor air quality to create a safer and more comfortable living environment, it’s important that unit and installation costs fit within a homeowner’s budget. Luckily, there are several ways to save money on whole-house air filtration system costs without sacrificing quality or effectiveness.

  • Shop around. Find the most affordable and efficient air purifier by comparing different brands and models, including whole-house water air purifiers.
  • Get several quotes. Consult with HVAC professionals to get multiple quotes and find competitive offers for installation services.
  • Ask about bundle discounts. Bundle air purifier installation with other HVAC services, including furnace and AC installation, to potentially save on overall costs.
  • Keep up with maintenance. Follow proper maintenance practices to prolong the lifespan of the air purifier and avoid costly repairs.
  • Make use of warranties. Take advantage of warranties, and contact the manufacturer for any covered issues.
  • Opt for an energy-efficient model. Choose energy-efficient air purifiers to save on long-term operating costs.
  • Watch out for deals. Look for promotions, discounts, or seasonal sales on air purifiers to potentially save on the initial purchase cost.

Questions to Ask About Whole-House Air Purifier Installation

By asking HVAC technicians relevant questions about a whole-house air purification system installation, a homeowner can ensure they’re making an informed decision and establishing a good rapport with the professional. Below are some questions a homeowner will want to consider asking when searching for the best HVAC companies for the job.

  • What air purifier size would be best suited for my home’s square footage?
  • Based on my family’s unique health concerns, is there a type of filter you recommend over another?
  • How often will my model air purifier require maintenance, like cleaning or replacing the filter?
  • How long until you can add my installation to your schedule?
  • When my appointment comes, how long will the installation take?
  • Are there any additional costs I should know beyond the initial quote?
  • What type of warranty coverage is provided for the air purifier unit and the installation work performed?
  • Do you offer any financing options, or are you aware of any rebates that can help with the cost?
  • How will the air purifier integrate with my existing HVAC system?
  • What is the recommended schedule for maintenance or general service to ensure optimal performance and longevity of my air purifier?

FAQs

For homeowners looking for a simple and affordable way to improve the comfort of their homes, a whole-house air purifying system is a smart investment. With the average whole-house air purifier cost coming in at $2,448, it’s one of the easiest ways to improve indoor air quality in just a few hours for better breathing and enhanced comfort. The following commonly asked questions concerning whole-house air purifiers may help to alleviate any remaining doubts homeowners have.

Q. Is a whole-house air purifier worth it?

An air purification system can be a worthwhile investment for several reasons. First, it improves indoor air quality by lowering allergen and pollutant levels. An air filter also removes airborne impurities such as germs and viruses. Finally, it helps eliminate stale or foul odors. All of this adds up to a safer, healthier, cleaner, and more inviting space that can be beneficial for physical and mental health.

Q. Is it OK to leave an air purifier on all day?

Leaving an air purifier on throughout the day is perfectly safe. However, regular filter cleaning is essential to maintain its effectiveness. It’s recommended that homeowners clean the filters approximately once a month to prevent the accumulation of dust and allergens, which may pose risks to sensitive individuals. Homeowners can also run a whole-house air purifier and humidifier simultaneously.

Q. What are the disadvantages of air purifiers?

Air purifiers have few disadvantages, with the main consideration being the initial cost. Some older models, particularly ionizers, may produce ozone during operation, which can worsen asthma symptoms. However, a modern air purifier is often an ozone-free whole-house air purifierwith advanced technology that minimizes ozone generation. Overall, the benefits of cleaner air and reduced allergens outweigh any potential drawbacks.

Q. How long does a whole-house air purifier last?

A whole-house air purifier’s lifespan is determined by its filter type and size, as well as its usage. Under ideal conditions, larger HEPA filters can last up to 5 years. However, 2 to 3 years is more common in areas with high levels of airborne particles. Carbon filters typically have a 3- to 5-year lifespan.

Q. What do whole-house air cleaners remove from the air?

Whole-house air cleaners can effectively capture and filter out dust, mold, pet dander, pollen, smoke odors, cooking odors, general odors, viruses, and bacteria. The specific particles that a whole-house air cleaner can remove depends on the type of filter used. Flat filters are effective in trapping larger particles like dust and pollen, while advanced filters such as electronic and UV filters can target smaller particles like bacteria.

Q. Do air purifiers use a lot of electricity?

Air purifiers do use power. However, their energy consumption is normally low. An air purifier normally consumes a respectable amount of power, around $1 per day. It’s crucial to note, however, that the precise energy usage may vary based on the brand and settings of the air purifier. Overall, air purifiers are made to be energy efficient while still offering excellent air purification advantages.

Sources: HomeAdvisor, HomeGuide (1 and 2), U.S. Air Purifiers, Ultima Cosa, Reliable Heating and Air