Both air rangers and air scrubbers clean the air in your home or office. They both remove contaminants such as dust, allergens, and other particles to ensure you can breathe easier. However, they go about it in slightly different ways.

When comparing these two HVAC products, you must consider their cleaning scope. An air scrubber has a larger scope than an air ranger and is capable of removing germs from surfaces such as doors and countertops. Meanwhile, an air range can only remove airborne particles from the room. However, they cost more and use the most power.

This difference arises from the way these home air cleaners work. By reading further, you will learn these differences, as well as which one is best suitable for your situation.

Air Ranger or an Air Scrubber?

Most people rarely consider the quality of the air in their homes. However, even with regular cleaning, the inside air can be up to five times more contaminated than the outdoors, leading to numerous unnecessary illnesses. As such, improving your indoor air quality should be a high priority.

Luckily, you have two great air-cleaning options. You can go with a traditional air purifier or ranger, or one of the newer air scrubbers. Both will remove the various airborne particles, allergens, and other debris from your space. However, they function slightly differently, making them more suitable for different situations.

What is an Air Ranger?

Also commonly known as an air purifier, an air ranger cleans the air by capturing and killing the contaminants within itself. You can have them as standalone devices built into your existing ductwork. Either way, they use a filtration system to clean the air.

As air recirculates through the ranger, it passes through an ionization array, giving the pollution an electric charge. The air then passes through an electrically charged fiber filter which traps the pollution. The newly cleaned air is then sent back out into your room. It may take a few cycles, but this system will make your air pure.

Costs of Using an Air Ranger

While air rangers clean the air, they are very reliant on the quality of the filters. The filters work by collecting the pollution, but the process blocks the air passing through. As such, you must replace the filter regularly which can cost $50 or more.

Fortunately, most people will only need to replace the filter once per year. That makes air rangers the cheaper option even if you factor in the initial $100-$1,000 for the units themselves.

Limitations of Air Rangers

Air rangers do a decent job cleaning the air, but they are restricted to larger airborne particles. That means they leave a lot of things in the air. You can offset some of these limitations with better filters, but there will always be an upper limit to their effectiveness. Your best bet is to combine your purifier with plants or switch it out for an air scrubber.

What is an Air Scrubber?

An air scrubber cleans the air through a search and retrieve method. This HVAC method removes all contaminants from the air, including germs, dander, pollen, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It even eliminates smoke and mold from the air.

Some of the things air scrubbers can remove from your home include:

  • Pet odor
  • Cigarette smoke
  • VOCs
  • Mode spores and smells
  • Burnt food odors

These HVAC devices work by creating an always constant electrical field around them that draws in all the dirt and pollution in the room to them. A series of honeycomb-shaped tubes imputes this static electricity to the air flowing through the unit. This charged air then collects and drops the pollution into a filter.

Costs of an Air Scrubber

The process works wonders and can even pick up even the smallest particles out of the air. However, it can make your room dustier, especially during the first week of operation. This is because the charged air binds to the pollution, making it larger enough to fall and stick to surfaces.

This is normal and temporary as the air scrubber will eventually suck these larger dirt particles with each passing cycle. Though, you can always speed up the process by cleaning them up as a part of your usual home cleaning routine. Either way, the issue should go away within a week or two.

However, an air scrubber cannot be a portable standalone device. It needs a direct link to your HVAC system. This lets the device clean your entire house. Instead of just a single room. It also raises the installation and uses costs. A typical air scrubber can set you back $500-$2000 plus installation. It is more of an investment into your home’s value rather than just a maintenance device.

Benefits of Using an Air Scrubber

As air scrubbers clean your air, you will notice a sharp reduction in:

  • Allergy Symptoms and sinus problems
  • Chest Tightness
  • Coughs
  • Nausea and fatigue
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Eye, Nose, and Throat Irritation

Air Rangers Versus Air Scrubbers

While both HVAC devices deep clean your room through similar processes, they differ in scope, size, and dust collection.

Air rangers keep the dirt locked in internal filters, ensuring you only breathe clean air. They are also portable enough to move between rooms. So, you can take the cleaning with you wherever you need it. However, they require regular maintenance to remain functioning at peak performance. They are also limited to cleaning up airborne particles.

On the other hand, an air scrubber can clean your entire home, including any surfaces such as doorknobs and light switches, with minimal maintenance. They cost a lot more, but you can generally install and forget them. However, they can leave your furniture dirtier, requiring you to manually clean them.

As such, the right choice for an HVAC cleaner comes down to your desired air quality, portability, and how much you can afford. For example, if you have a large family with pets, you may want an air scrubber. However, if you do not need all the benefits, then an air ranger would be best suited for your situation.


Air rangers and air scrubbers will clean your indoor air, making it healthier in the process., but they differ in scope. As such, your choice will depend on the features you need and can afford.


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