Aprilaire 5000 Air Cleaner - A Review

The Aprilaire 5000 Air Cleaner is a fine unit, and a good company from what I know of it. They make good products. But with that said I'm going to be bold here, take a deep breathe, and venture into an area I have taken heat for (pun unintended) and that is to adress whether a cleaning or air purification system (like the Aprilaire 5000 cleaner) is better than putting a portable air cleaner or purifier in each room. The following Q&A will shed some light on my opinion and research

Q & A Regarding Whole House Cleaners

Q: Heating and ventilation systems in most homes are designed for what?

A: Moving Heat and Cool air.

Q: Air moves in what motion or direction in a room?

A: It circulates. (moves in a circle)

These answers address the problem I have had with whole house units - because the air "circulates" the strength of air movement into a room from the vents is insufficient for proper cleaning. The vent air doesn't push and the recirculating vents don't pull air back at a strong enough rate (CFM) to clean the air. The vents also tend to push/pull it in a "non-circular" path. So for those with allergies and asthma you're not going to get a true changeover of air 3-4 times an hour as I (and Doctors) recommend.

The only exception I have seen is if the house is custom-designed or built specifically for air purification with separate "zone-base" fans. If you're counting on a single whole house fan or blower motor it will be energy inefficient if it's on all the time. And if the heat or a/c is off (with the blower off) then of course you're not cleaning the air at that time either.

However I will say that the filters on the heating or cooling system are important - to collect dust and soot from the furnace before air goes back into the room. I'm just saying that the whole house approach to cleaning isn't the best approach from a financial as well as an effectiveness standpoint

My Experience With A Whole House Cleaner

I had a whole house air cleaner a number of years ago where I lived. (It wasn't an Aprilaire 5000 air cleaner, but the technology was the same.) I still found enough dust in the room that I needed an air purifier in the room as well.

The air purifier I had was on all the time, unlike the air conditioner, and used less electricity than running the whole house fan all day.

Note: I use an air cleaner in the rooms I use - just my office, living room, and bedroom - the rooms I spend the most time in.

Air Conditioning Depletes Healthy Negative Ions

I always have some form of negative ionizer (usually inside the air purifier) in my rooms because air conditioning does deplete the air of the healthy ions. Negative ions can improve breathing and even energy levels. It's a big reason why we feel more alive in the country than in the city or indoors where the ion levels are low.

I started using these when I was young and had bad asthma and allergies, and it helped.


Whole House is a great idea, but just doesn't clean the air the way I want it cleaned.

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