How Much Does a Whole-House Air Filtration System Cost?

Typical Range:

$425 - $4,992

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 675 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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Updated September 30, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The national whole-house air filtration system cost is between $425 and $4,992, or an average price of $2,611. However, some budget units can cost below $100, while hospital-grade purification units can run as high as $10,000. The final whole-house air purifier cost depends on the type of air cleaner, efficiency, and labor rates.

Air purifiers remove dust, allergens, and harmful particles from your home using special filters to improve indoor air quality. While the most effective models attach to your existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, others are stand-alone units designed to connect to your existing ductwork from your home's basement, attic, or closet.

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National Average $2,611
Typical Range $425 - $4,992
Low End - High End $65 - $12,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 675 HomeAdvisor members.

Whole-House Air Cleaner Prices

A whole-house air filtration system unit can cost anywhere from $100 to $3,000 or more, excluding installation. The price depends on the type of filter, size, and brand. It can be helpful to consult a local HVAC professional to determine the right model size and type based on:

  • Home size

  • Existing HVAC setup

  • Budget

  • Performance expectations

  • Efficiency

  • Specific allergy concerns

  • Pets in your home

  • What your HVAC system/ducts can accommodate

Whole-House Air Cleaner Installation Cost

The labor cost of whole-house air filtration system installations ranges between $40 and $100per hour. Installing a whole-house air cleaner is generally not regarded as a DIY project. You'll typically need to hire an HVAC pro to have the cleaner professionally installed. Installation time can range from one to six hours, depending on the unit type and duct accessibility.

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Whole-House Air Cleaner Cost by Filter Type

Air cleaners have minimum efficiency reporting values (MERVs) from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) that rate a filter’s ability to capture particles between 0.3 and 10 microns using a scale of 1 to 16. Whole-house air filtration systems with higher MERVs are more expensive because they’re better at trapping specific particle types.

Here are the most common types of air cleaning filters and their average cost range.

Flat Filter

Flat filters are the most affordable at around $10 to $70. If you have an HVAC technician install one for you, the cost can jump to between $50 and $170 due to labor charges. These filters consist of fibers—usually fiberglass—stretched over a framework. 

Flat filters can efficiently capture large particles like dust, pollen, and lint and prevent them from entering your heating and cooling system and spreading to your home. However, they can’t catch smaller-size air pollutants, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. Flat filters also need replacing every one to three months. Some homeowners use flat filters as pre-filters for more efficient efficiency.

Extended Media Filter

Extended media filters, also called pleated filters, cost between $400 and $700, including installation by a pro. These filters are often more effective than flat filters at removing smaller airborne pollutants such as mold spores. 

Extended filters are made of high-efficient filter paper pleated in an accordion-style frame. The pleating increases the total surface area for filtration and allows the filter to capture more debris. Like flat filters, extended filters need replacing every so often (about once a year) at around $40 to $60.

Electronic Filter

Most electronic filters cost between $600 and $2,000 to install. These filters employ an electrical field to trap charged particles. The most common type of electronic air cleaner is the electrostatic precipitator, which typically traps particles on a set of charged flat plates. 

One disadvantage of these filters is they generate ozone as a by-product of the air purification process. Inhaling ozone can cause respiratory problems. Furthermore, while highly effective against smaller particles, they usually don’t trap larger particles like dust and even mold spores.

Electronic filters have low operating costs since they don’t need replacing, but you must clean them regularly to maintain their effectiveness. You can save money by combining your electronic filter cleaning with other services:

UV Light Filter

A UV light filter costs between $800 and $3,000. If germs are your main worry, this filter—which uses shortwave UV light to capture pathogens such as bacteria and viruses—could be the one for you. However, these filters can’t remove dust, pollen, or gaseous contaminants.

HEPA Filter

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter installations cost between $2,000 and $4,000. True HEPA filters claim to capture more than 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter and larger.

But these filters are typically not common in traditional home HVAC systems due to their size and energy requirements. Most HVAC systems require costly modifications to handle the installation of a true HEPA filter and counter the airflow slowdown these filters cause due to their higher density. To install a HEPA filter, you might have to budget for the costs of adjusting ductwork and vents

Portable Air Filter

Portable air filter units cost between $500 and $1,800. They’re typically used in homes with no HVAC systems or duct systems if you don’t want to incur new HVAC installation costs.

The greatest advantage that portable air filters offer is you can move them from room to room. You can use them whenever you need localized air cleaning, such as in your bedroom at night.

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Whole-House Air Filtration System Costs by Brand

Whole-house air filtration systems are available from a variety of different manufacturers. Some of the most popular brands are AprilAire, Lennox, Carrier, Trane, and Honeywell. The cost and reliability of units vary by brand. Make sure to do your research and read customer reviews before making a purchase. 

Here’s a look at the average home air filtration system cost for some of the most popular brands on the market right now.

Whole-House Air Filtration System Brand Average Unit Cost Range (Excluding Installation)
AprilAire $600 – $1,000
Carrier $1,000 – $1,100
Field Controls $300 – $800
Honeywell $500 – $800
Lennox $600 – $1,100
Respicaire $700 – $1,200
Trane $800 – $900

Whole-House Air Cleaner Cost Factors

Homeowners have all the control when choosing the model of air cleaner they want. However, labor costs can come down to factors like home size and duct accessibility. 

If you don't have an existing HVAC system to which you can attach a box, having a stand-alone unit paired with your ductwork can be a more time-consuming project with higher labor costs. 

DIY vs. Hire a Whole-House Air Cleaner Pro

Due to the complexity of this project, installing a house air purifier should only be done by a licensed local HVAC pro. Licensed professionals can make recommendations for safety and efficiency while doing all installation work to code. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do whole-house air cleaners remove from the air?

Whole-house air purifiers can remove particles of different types and sizes that harm your indoor air quality, including:

  • Dust

  • Mold

  • Pet dander

  • Pollen

  • Smoke odors

  • Cooking odors

  • General odors

  • Viruses

  • Bacteria

The particles your whole-house air cleaner can remove depend on the type of filter. Flat filters can remove large particles like dust and pollen from the air, while higher-level filters like electronic or UV filters can remove smaller particles such as bacteria.

What's the best whole-house air cleaner?

The best whole-house air cleaner depends on your unique needs. A flat-filter system will suffice if you're looking for a budget-friendly option to clear dust from your home. But if you're looking for a filter that can remove a greater amount of particles without incurring the cost of high-end filters like UV or HEPA filters, an electronic one offers good value for the price. Make sure you budget for the cost of air duct and vent cleaning for maximum efficiency.

Can you get a whole-house air cleaner system if you don't have an HVAC system?

You can get a whole-house air cleaner if you have an existing duct system, even without an HVAC system. Most typical whole-house air cleaners work by attaching them somewhere on your HVAC system to clean the air that flows out of ducts into your home. If you don’t have an HVAC but have a duct system, you can get a whole-house stand-alone air purifier that attaches to your duct system.

Are whole-home air filtration systems worth it?

If you or someone in your household suffers from conditions like allergies or asthma, a whole-home air filtration system may be worthwhile. They can improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones by lowering the number of allergens and pollutants in your indoor air. Also, if you live in an area with a lot of smog or other forms of air pollution, a whole-home air filtration system may help clean the air and make it easier to breathe.

How do house air filtration systems work?

Air filtration systems draw in dirty or contaminated air and pass it through a series of filters. There are many types of filters, each capable of capturing different types and sizes of pollutants and contaminants in the air, such as pollen, viruses, bacteria, pet hair and dander, and dust. Once the filter removes these foreign particles, the clean filtered air is then circulated back into the room.