Air cleaners are often incorporated into the heating, ventilating, and/or air conditioning system of the home, where they are used to filter heated or cooled air before it is returned, through ducts, to the house. Sometimes portable, tabletop, or larger console air cleaners are used in individual rooms. Air cleaners are most likely to be used to control particulate pollutants such as dust, pollen, or tobacco smoke.
A typical air cleaner will use a fan to take air through a filtering medium, and then blow the air back into the room, or through ductwork. Because of the importance of exhaust ventilation in a bathroom, which removes moist and possibly polluted air to the outside, individual air cleaners are rarely used. In addition, the fan of the air cleaner may create objectionable noise in the small space of a bathroom.
If an air cleaner is desired, choose a filtering medium that is effective for the type of pollutant the client wants removed. Look for information that the air cleaner has been tested and rated against an efficiency standard, such as ASHRAE’s (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standard for in-duct cleaners or AHAM’s (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) and ANSI’s (American National Standards Institute) CADR (clean air delivery rate) standard for portable air cleaners. Finally, make sure the capacity of the air cleaner is matched to the size of the room.