Using an air conditioner + air purifier combo is a great way to solve your home’s cooling and air quality needs at a go. A built-in air purification system eliminates airborne particles, including allergens and other unhealthy particles and organisms, leaving your indoor air clean and healthy.
Unfortunately, finding the perfect combo to perform these two functions isn’t always a straightforward process. Many AC units only filter air at the basic level without eliminating micro, disease-causing organisms.
We’ve done the research for you and bring you six quality air conditioners with hepa filters to turn your home into a refreshing, healthy environment. Later on, we also discuss how to identify the perfect air conditioner + air purifier combo unit, whether from or outside our list.
Best Air Conditioner With Hepa Filter Buying Guide
So, why would anyone buy an air conditioner + air purifier combo? Why not be contented with just the AC. Or, if you must have both, why not purchase them separately?
The AC isn’t an Air Purifier
It’s great that many air conditioner manufacturers equip their appliances with filters that sieve out airborne particles. However, it takes a little more to remove all the impurities in the air.
Elements like cigarette smells and smoke can pass some filters. The same applies to very tiny, disease-causing viruses and bacteria.
A specialized air purification system uses advanced air filtration systems, including active carbon filters and pre-filters, to remove up to 99% of impurities.
How the Air Purifier Works
Air purifiers contain one or more filters and a fan. In combo systems, such as an AC + air purifier combo, it may also use the AC fan.
The fan sucks air into the air purification system and forces it through the set of filters where airborne particles are trapped. The standard air purifier can trap impurities such as pollen, dust, and bacteria. After the impurities are removed, the now-clean, healthy air is blown out of the air purifier and dispersed evenly throughout the room by the filters.
Types of Air Purifiers
The best air purifiers contain HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. HEPA filters can capture pollutants as little as 0.3 microns. For context, the smallest particles visible to the human eye is 50 microns.
However, it’s impractical to install HEPA filters in some air purifier units because of cost and other reasons. So, most manufacturers often use a combination of the following air filtration systems;
- Pre-filters: Pre-filters are basic air filters designed to capture large airborne particles such as hair, dirt, and mold spores. Besides protecting you from these airborne particles, they also protect the AC by keeping the unit clean.
- Activated carbon filters: Activated carbon filters rely on a large surface area to capture smoke particles, odors, gases, and more. They can also trap allergens, such as dust mite and pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander. However, they can’t trap bacteria and viruses.
- Ozone/anion generators: Ozone/anion generators primarily help to remove foul odors. Remember, though, that prolonged exposure to ozone is harmful to your health.
- UV purifiers: Some air purifiers use ultraviolet (UV) light to kill the germs floating in the air. They tend to be highly effective. However, like ozone generators, overexposure to UV light is harmful to human health.
Why You Need Both an AC and Air Purifier
The air conditioner exists to remove the excess heat from indoor air, thus lowering indoor temperatures to comfortable levels.
However, indoor air can also contain impurities, ranging from dirt to dust and allergens to disease-causing pathogens. Air purifiers are designed to remove these impurities from the air. Air purifiers also;
- Eliminate harmful chemicals from the indoor environment
- Neutralize unpleasant odors and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Improve sleep by minimizing the disruptions of fungi, bacteria, and mites
- Eliminate hazardous asbestos and radon particles
Why a Combo Makes Sense
You can always purchase an air conditioner and air purifier separately. Many people actually have separate appliances for the two functions. However, purchasing a combo comes with several benefits;
- Lower upfront cost: A combo unit costs much less than purchasing the two appliances separately.
- Conserve space: Having one appliance rather than two leaves you with more space in the home. You’ll also have fewer cables, thus less clutter.
- More convenient control: A combo unit allows you to control the air conditioner and air purifier from the same control panel and same remote. It’s a massive convenience.
- Easier maintenance: A combo unit means you only get to maintain one appliance rather than two.
Considerations When Buying an AC + Air Purifier Combo
Different people will consider different factors when shopping for an air conditioner + air purifier combo. However, consider prioritizing the following;
- Size: Both the AC and air purifier must be the right size. For the AC, you need about 20 BTUs per square foot.
- Noise levels: Most air conditioner + purifier combos produce noise between 35 decibels to 70 decibels. Ideally, you want a unit rated 58 decibels or lower.
- Clean air delivery rate (CADR): The CADR rating is a measure of an air purifier’s overall cleaning speed. It shows the speed at which the purifier can remove smoke, dust, pollen, etc. You need about 400 CFM CADR for an average-sized (250 sq. ft.) room.
- Air change per hour (ACH): An air purifier’s ACH rating is a measure of times per hour the entire volume of air in the room gets filtered. You want a 3x ACH and 4-5X ACH if you or someone in the house has asthma.
Air Purifier Air Conditioner Combo FAQ
Do air conditioners have air purifiers? Yes, but not all. The majority of air purifiers are equipped with regular filters to trap airborne particles. However, if you want a true AC/purifier combo, consider models with active carbon filters and HEPA filters.
Are air purifiers worth it? Yes. Air purifiers eliminate airborne particles, some of which may be disease-causing. The filters also remove bad odors, smoke, and unsafe microorganisms.
Do air purifiers help you sleep better? Yes. Air purifiers remove allergens from your indoor environment that may otherwise trigger endless sneezing and coughing, compromising your sleep.
Best Air Conditioner with Hepa Filter
The following are six of the best air conditioners with built-in air purification mechanisms. We’ve included a few portable units, ductless mini splits, and a window, so there’s something for everyone.
1. Whynter Elite ARC-122DS Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner with Carbon Filter
- 12,000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 7,000 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity
- Three operational modes: air conditioner, fan or dehumidifier. This unit can cool up to a 400 square feet space (ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance)
- Full installation set includes extendable exhaust and intake hose (up to 60") and window kit: 6.5" W x 20" (min)/ 46" (max) L
- AWARD WINNING : 1. Good Housekeeping's "Best Portable Air Conditioners to Buy in 2019" 2. The New York Times Wirecutter named "the most efficient and fastest cooling portable AC"
- Full thermostatic control (61°F - 89°F) with digital readout, 24 hour programmable timer; Eco-friendly CFC free Green R-32 refrigerant; Patented auto drain function fully exhausts all condensate automatically in most environments
Let’s kick off with the majestic model ARC-122DS portable air conditioner from Whynter. The 12,000 BTU air conditioner is a compact, dual-hose unit for better space utilization and efficient cooling. It’s a tad bulky at 60.0 pounds. However, the caster wheels mean you can still quickly move it around the house and between applications.
It employs two sets of filters to purify your air – washable pre-filter and activated carbon filters. This way, the model ARC-122DS can remove the tiniest particles from your indoor air.
Aside from air purification, the AC doubles as a fan and dehumidifier. The blows at 222 CFM in the high setting while the dehumidifier can remove up to 101 pints/day.
There’s a lot more to love about the unit. The intake and exhaust hoses allow for more air intake, exhaust more heat, and maintain a higher pressure for more reliable air conditioning.
It also has a 24-hour programmable timer. All the functions, including cooling, dehumidification, fanning, and timer setting, can be controlled from the remote. The patented auto-drain function is another key feature.
The AC arrives with the required window venting kit (6.5 inches wide x 20 inches long) and is recommended for spaces up to 400 square meters.
- Doubles as dehumidifier and fan
- Digital and remote control
- Portable with caster wheels
- Auto-restart after a power outage
- No smart controls
- No heating
2. Whynter MSFS-012H230017-01NE DC Inverter Ductless Mini Split System
- Cooling capacity: 12, 000 BTU/heating capacity: 12, 000 BTU
- Advanced Inverter technology for quieter operation and reduced energy consumption
- Complete Installation Kit Included, AHRI certified
- Infra-red remote control with follow-me feature, sleep mode & auto restart function
- Equipped with two 3M Filters and two high density filters
- Air Flow (at high speed): 294 CFM
If you’re a fan of Whynter but want a more permanent AC + air purifier solution, the model MSFS-012H230017-01NE ductless mini-split would be a good shout.
It’s another 12,000 BTU AC that guarantees a powerful flow of cool air (maximum speed is 294 CFM). It’s also fairly efficient at 11 EER and 17 SEER.
The air purification process is accomplished via a combination of two 3M filters and two high-density filters. 3M filters are some of the most advanced air and water filtration systems today. They utilize large, 6.5” outer diameter compound radial pleated cartridges for maximum usable surface area.
Besides cooling and air filtration, this mini-split AC functions as a heat pump to add supplemental heat to your home during the cold season. The heat pump is rated 11,800 BTU.
It also functions as a dehumidifier (rated 60 pints/day) and features a fan-only mode. Follow-me remote control, refrigerant leak detection, auto-restart, and a 24-hour programmable timer are the other noteworthy features.
Whichever function or mode you choose, the directional air discharge louvers ensure an even and reliable distribution of air throughout the room.
- Powerful AC with 3M + activated carbon filters
- Follow-me remote control
- Refrigerant leak detection
- 24-hour programmable timer
- Includes auto mode
- No smart/app control
- Requires 230V wiring
3. Klimaire 12,000 BTU 20 SEER Ductless Mini Split
We also love this Klimaire ductless mini-split. It’s an AC + heater (heat pump) combo and is very efficient at 20 SEER. It’s also an attractive unit. The indoor air handler is particularly gorgeous, with the dark grey finish a welcome departure from traditionally white air handler colors.
On-board controls on the air handler make it easy to change settings and adjust temperatures. You can also turn to the remote device for greater convenience.
Its air purification mechanism is even more impressive. First off, it has carbon air filters made of active carbon to eliminate certain kinds of odors, such as cigarette smoke, pet odors, and other unpleasant odors. Meanwhile, electrostatic fibers in the carbon filter trap small particles, such as dust, pollen, and pet fur.
It doesn’t end there. The Klimaire also features an ion generator. Air ionizers improve indoor air quality by generating hydrogen-oxygen ions that eliminate microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and mold.
The AC is self-cleaning. The condensate water automatically washes away the dust from the evaporator golden hydrophilic fins, then dries the evaporator.
The 12,000 BTU air conditioner is recommended for spaces up to 550 square feet and exceeds the US EPA’s high-quality standards. It arrives with a free 16-foot installation kit.
- Powerful 12,000 BTU AC
- Features active carbon filters
- Features anions generator
- It’s a self-cleaning unit
- Exceeds EPA standards
- Requires professional installation
- No built-in dehumidifier
4. Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable AC with Activated Carbon Filter
- 14,000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 9,500 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity
- Award Winning: 1. Good Housekeeping's "2020 Best Overall" and "can cool down a room faster than other portable units" 2. Consumer Report's 2020 Highest Score; UL listed
- Dual hose operation; Cools up to a 500 square feet space(ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance); Dehumidifying capacity: 71 pints per day; Air Flow (at high speed): 430 m3/h / 253 CFM; 3 fan speeds
- Three operational modes: Air conditioner, dehumidifier or fan; Cooling capacity 14000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 9500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard); Maximum power consumption: 1300 W / 11.6 A.
- Eco-friendly CFC free Green R-32 refrigerant; Extendable exhaust hose (up to 60″); Window kit dimension: 6.5″ W x 20″ L (minimum), 46″ (maximum); Unit dimensions: 19″ W x 16″ D x 35.5″ H
Environmental degradation is a major topic today. The world over, people are seeking ways to minimize their carbon footprint. If you’re on such a mission, the new eco-friendly CFC-free model ARC-14S air conditioner from Whynter would be a good choice.
It’s a powerful AC unit at 14,000 BTU, making it ideal for spaces up to 500 square feet. It’s also very efficient and features two drain hoses for greater effectiveness.
Moreover, the patented advanced drain technology uses and recycles moisture collected during the cooling process to produce cool air. You’ll also appreciate that it has three fan speeds (up to 253 CFM) and comes complete with a window installation kit.
The washable pre-filter and activated carbon filters turn it into a reliable air purifier. You can rest assured that 99% of all airborne particles, including microorganisms, pollen, dust, and dirt, won’t enter your home. Aside from air filtration, it also functions as a dehumidifier and fan. The dehumidifier function removes up to 101 pints/day.
It’s fairly quiet at 56 decibels and compact at 19 x 16 x 35.5 inches. Caster wheels are provided for when you need to move AC around. A three-year warranty covers the compressor.
- Powerful at 14,000 BTU
- Includes pre-filters and active carbon filters
- Doubles as a dehumidifier and fan
- 1-year parts warranty
- It’s a tad pricey
- No remote control
5. Honeywell HL10CESWK 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Air Dual Filters
- Stylish, powerful & dependable - cools rooms 350- 450 square feet. Thermal overload protection for added safety & peace of mind. Automatic vertical wind motion helps distribute powerful cool air evenly for fast & consistent cooling
- Dual filters designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filters clean easily under a faucet for easy maintenance. Full set window kit included for quick & easy installation for vertical and horizontal windows (max. Hose length is 4 feet)
- Designed for comfort with 3 fan speeds, sleep mode, digital controls, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control with digital display included
- Stress-free auto evaporation – no bucket to empty (except in areas with high humidity). built-in dehumidifier removes up to 80 pints/24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation
- 10000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 5500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard)
- Voltage: 115 volts
The stylish and powerful model HL10CESWK from Honeywell is a dependable unit with thermal overload protection for added safety and peace of mind.
At 10,000 BTU, it is best suited to applications up to 450 square feet. Automatic vertical wind motion helps distribute the powerful cool air evenly for consistent cooling.
It features dual filters to protect you and your loved ones from dust, pet hair, and other airborne particles. The filters clean easily under a faucet with running water.
Aside from cooling and air filtration, it also functions as a dehumidifier, capable of removing up to 80 pints/day. The built-in fan moves air at speeds up to 241 CFM.
It’s a reasonably quiet air conditioner rated 49 dB in the low fan setting and 52 dB in the High setting. These ratings make it a good fit for living rooms and even quiet areas such as the bedroom.
An even quieter energy-saving Sleep mode is available if you choose to use it in the bedroom. It also comes with a set-it-and-forget-in programmable timer function to lessen the burden on your shoulders.
This AC has onboard controls accessible via the LCD control panel and remote control for greater convenience. The built-in self-evaporation system means you don’t have to worry about emptying the drain pan.
- It’s a reliable AC and air purifier
- Doubles as a dehumidifier and fan
- Self-draining mechanism
- Remote control
- Impressively quiet
- 5-year limited warranty
- No app/Wi-Fi control
6. Friedrich Kuhl 24,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner Heat Pump with Washable Antimicrobial Filter
- Brand: Friedrich
- Manufacturer's Part Number: YL24N35C
- Item Description: Window/Wall AC
- Cooling Square Feet: 1,400
- BTU Cooling: 24,000
Finally, many window air conditioners also attempt to remove solid particles from indoor air. The majority have at least one form of filtration for this purpose.
However, the Friedrich Kuhl model KHL24A35A is a little different. It comes with washable antimicrobial filters that remove 99% of all microorganisms and airborne particles.
You’ll love a lot of things about this air conditioner. For one, it’s very efficient at 10.2 CEER. It’s estimated that it costs just $228 to run per year. It also features a built-in heat pump that can come in handy during the cold months. A fan-only mode is available whenever you need light cooling without engaging the AC function.
What separates it from the rest, though, is the Friedrich Connect App. Downloadable from iTunes and the Google App Store, the app allows you to control the AC via Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
You can also use it to schedule air conditioning, heating, and other functions for the next even days. The app also allows you to control multiple Kuhl units in your home from the same dashboard.
A steel inner wall, dense insulation, and other built-in technologies keep the AC reasonably silent even during peak operation.
- Powerful at 24,000 BTU
- Features washable antimicrobial filters
- Doubles as a heater and fan (600 CFM)
- Remote and app control
- No dehumidifier/sleep mode
- Requires professional installation
Air conditioner + purifier combos are a thoughtful investment when looking to address air quality in the home. The AC guarantees a refreshing, more relaxing indoor environment while the air purifier eliminates airborne particles to leave your air clean and healthy. If you plan to bring in an AC this summer, it’s something you should strongly consider.