Air Purifiers vs Air Scrubbers – Which Should You Choose?

It’s no secret that air pollution is a major global issue. The World Health Organisation estimates that air pollution causes an estimated 7 million deaths every year. While air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular to combat air pollution, some people are still unsure about what an air purifier is and what it does. This guide will discuss the differences between air purifiers and air scrubbers and help you decide which one is right for you.

air purifiers vs air scrubbers

What is an air purifier, and what does it do?

An air purifier is a device that helps to clean the air in your workspace by trapping airborne particles and pollutants inside various filters and removing them from the air. The cleaning process is internal, inside the actual air purifier.

There are a variety of air purifiers on the market. Some air purifiers are designed for specific rooms, while others may be used in any part of office or commercial premises. Air purifiers can also help to alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms, destroy viruses and bacteria, and eliminate unpleasant smells.

What is an air scrubber, and what does it do?

An air scrubber is a device that can be connected to the ductwork of an HVAC system; they are not standalone devices. Wet and dry air scrubbers remove pollutants, toxic VOCs surface contaminants like construction dust making commercial premises more healthy and clean.

How do air purifiers and air scrubbers work?

Air purifiers work by drawing air into the device, passing through several filters, including HEPA 13 filters that trap airborne particles and pollutants, before these are destroyed by exposure to UVC light within the device. The cleaning process is internal, with negative ions released into the air and positively charged particles eventually dropping to the floor.

An air scrubber is an industrial air purification equipment that removes gases or particles from the air and surface microorganisms. Air scrubbers create negative ions that bond with positive ions from airborne pollutants or surface matter.

Wet or dry scrubbing with air scrubbers

Wet air scrubbers use a wet filter to remove particles from the air. This type of air scrubber is often used in industrial settings with large amounts of air pollution.

Dry air scrubbers work similarly to wet air scrubbers, but they do not use water. Instead, dry air scrubbers rely on a filtration process to remove particles from the air.

Air purifiers using filtration technology

There are two types of filtration technology used in air purifiers – mechanical and electronic. Mechanical filters use a fan to force air through either a mesh or paper filter, which captures particles in the process. Electronic filters work by using an electrical charge to attract and capture particles from the air stream.

The newest soundless UVC technology in RUHENS Air Purifiers traps minute allergens, particles, and viruses. All our air purifiers are equipped with UV lights that can effectively sterilise the air against viruses or bacteria due to their capacity to break down and destroy cellular microorganisms completely.

Ionisation in air purifiers vs air scrubbers

It is crucial to target pollutants that are present in nanoparticles and fine particles. The RUHENS HEPA H13 air purifier captures negative ions by making use of the most current purification technologies, one of which is cluster ion technology.

At Air Care Solutions, our air purifiers release negative ions, which act as a magnet for other harmful particles in the air. These particles become weighed down and fall to the ground where they are no longer harmful. Negative ions are beneficial for your health and can help reduce stress levels and alleviate depression.

Like air purifiers, air scrubbers also use negative ions to clean the air and surfaces. Negative ions are released from the air scrubber and work to remove contaminants such as dust, pollen, smoke, and others by bonding with these positively charged air particles.

Pros and cons of air scrubbers

An air scrubber is a great way to remove contaminants from the air and surfaces. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing an air scrubber.


  • Dual cleaning function: Air scrubbers can clean larger airborne pollutants alongside surface particles.
  • Large spaces: Air scrubbers tend to cover higher square footage than traditional air purifiers. However, our range of RUHENS air purifiers can cover up to 150m2. More information here.
  • Toxic contaminant removal: Air scrubbers are able to remove toxic chemicals and gases from the air, making them ideal for industrial settings. 


  • Noise: Air scrubbers can be quite noisy, so an air scrubber may not be the best option if you are looking for a quiet air cleaning device.
  • Particle size: Air scrubbers work better with larger particles like sawdust, metal or silica dust than small particles like viruses or bacteria, which is why they are usually used for commercial premises, including construction sites.

Maintenance and running costs: Air scrubbers are generally more expensive than air purifiers and can easily cost you over £1,000. The filter of an air scrubber needs cleaning every three months, which can be more costly than replacing an air purifier filter. At Air Care Solutions, we offer free filter replacements & sanitation visits for any of our rental plan customers.

Why rent from Air Care Solutions?

By purchasing one of our rental plans, you will benefit from:

  • Free Delivery
  • Free Expert Installation
  • Free filter replacements & sanitation visits
  • Free breakdown cover & replacement parts
  • Unlimited Callouts
  • Option to upgrade at the end of service agreement
  • Flexible rental terms and one regular payment

Plus, you can upgrade at any time throughout your rental term. To find out more about our air purifier rental options, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the main difference between an air purifier and an air scrubber?

    An air purifier is designed to remove harmful airborne contaminants up to 0.1 microns from the air, while an air scrubber filters larger airborne particles and cleans the surfaces in industrial and commercial premises.

  2. What is the main benefit of an air scrubber?

    An air scrubber is a device that cleans the air and surface particles. It removes VOCs, smoke, and other allergens from the air and dust from surfaces. This can improve your health by reducing your exposure to these allergens.

  3. What is the main benefit of an air purifier?

    An air purifier is a device that:
    – filters particles from the air,
    – reduces harmful gases and odours,
    – and, in some cases, sterilises the air.

    Air purifiers can remove many contaminants from your indoor air, including pollen, dust mites, pet hair, mould spores, bacteria, viruses, and smoke.

    The main benefit of an air purifier is that it can improve indoor air quality significantly. Indoor air pollution is a major problem nowadays, as we spend more time indoors. According to the EPA, “Indoor levels of many pollutants may be 2 to 5 times — and occasionally more than 100 times — higher than outdoor levels.”

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