air purifier vs air conditioner

The Difference between the Air Conditioner and Air Purifier

Understand the differences between air conditioners and air purifiers to improve indoor air quality and comfort. Learn how each device works, their benefits, and situations where you might need one or both. Make an informed decision to enhance your indoor environment and enjoy significant health benefits. Contact Abestorm for innovative products to achieve the highest indoor air quality levels.
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Comfort and indoor air quality go hand in hand. The air conditioner (AC) and air purifier promote these elements in homes and other enclosed spaces. However, the operating principles and roles of the two devices are slightly different.

For the best IAQ and comfort in your home, it is worthwhile to identify which of the two items would be most suitable. There is no better way to conclude than identifying the differences between the AC and air purifier. This article outlines a few differences but first gives an overview of the devices. 

Understanding Air Conditioners

What is an Air Conditioner?

An air conditioner is an equipment whose operation follows the refrigeration cycle. Its role is to regulate and cool air in a building or room. It removes heat from the air and recirculates cool air into the building or room. Some air conditioners have air dehumidification capability for enhanced indoor air quality.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

An air conditioner typically operates around four main components: Compressor, condenser coils, refrigerant, and evaporator coils. The refrigerant travels along these components and changes phases at some points.

The first step is when the refrigerant in the evaporator coils absorbs heat from the indoor air. Initially cold, the refrigerant becomes hot as the indoor air becomes colder. If the air is moisture-ridden, the most is also condensed and directed to the outside.

Next, the hot refrigerant enters the compressor unit that is located outdoors. Upon being compressed, the hot refrigerant turns into a gas.

When the hot refrigerant gas goes to the condenser coils, it is condensed into a liquid. As the heat in the refrigerant is dissipated to the environment at the condenser, the refrigerant turns into a cooler liquid.

The cool refrigerant passes through the expansion valve before it goes back to where it all began – the evaporator.

This cycle continues until the temperature set in the thermostat is achieved.

Benefits of an Air Conditioner

A room or building with a good air conditioner accrues several benefits. A big one is that it removes heat and prevents human death. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, heat caused at least 9,000 deaths in America from 1979 to 2013.

Here are other benefits related to the use of the air conditioner:

  • Protects furniture
  • Keeps electronics at safe temperatures
  • Promotes good sleep
  • Minimizes stress levels
  • Controls noise pollution

Understanding Air Purifiers

What is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that removes harmful contaminants such as allergens, chemical components, dust, and pet dander from the room. Some of these devices incorporate UV-C lights and other advanced features for even better air purification.

How Does an Air Purifier Work?

There are different versions of air purifiers in the market, but the working principle is the same. The device is equipped with a fan, which sucks air through a filter or set of filters. As the air passes through the filter, contaminants are trapped. The clean air is then redistributed into the room.


air conditioner vs air purifier

Benefits of an Air Purifier

The World Health Organization reports that air pollution at home can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, lung cancer, and other serious diseases. That the air purifier improves indoor air quality by removing contaminants is significant. When the air purifier is of high quality, particularly a HEPA air purifier, it offers many benefits, including the following.  

  • Helps prevent asthma symptoms
  • Filters out harmful chemicals
  • Reduces the amount of allergens in indoor air
  • Helps control dust particles and pet dander
  • Can reduce the risk of airborne diseases

Situations Where You Might Need an Air Conditioner, an Air Purifier, or Both

Given the different functions of the two devices, it is important to consider whether you need both of them or one of the two. Consider investing in an air purifier if the main concern is challenges with allergies caused by pest dander, dust, and such. If you want to get rid of mildew, smoke, viruses, and bacteria to enhance health in the family, consider getting an air purifier.

An air conditioner makes the most sense when the issue is climate control in the room or building. The device is ideal for ensuring general comfort in the home through temperature and humidity control.

The air conditioner and air purifier can co-exist without any issue. This is because the air purifier complements the refreshing action of the air conditioner by handling indoor air pollution.

Together, these machines can make your indoors comfortable and healthy regardless of the season. The air purifier and AC combination would help in highly polluted areas where improved general IAQ is necessary. Users with asthma and allergic conditions find this combination effective.

Remember that the room size can determine the performance of the air purifier. A smaller space is generally better for this device. As for the AC, ensure proper sizing and always follow the maintenance schedules.

Choosing Between an Air Conditioner and an Air Purifier

Choosing between the two equipment is about the specific user needs. Is your family struggling with allergies and asthma symptoms? Or is general comfort critical for now? The air purifier is the best for removing air pollutants, while the air conditioner is ideal for air and humidity control.  

In case of limited budget and space, different configurations and designs to suit most user requirements are available. Get in touch with an expert for advice.  


Armed with this information, choosing between the two home appliances shouldn’t be daunting. The biggest determinant is what kind of service you want in your indoor space. Whichever device you decide to pick, you are sure to enjoy significant health benefits.  

At Abestorm, we are committed to the highest indoor air quality levels. Contact us to learn about our innovative products.


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