Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What's Ideal for Me?

Indoor air quality is important for every household. If you lack the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted over outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods available, how do you determine which one is ideal for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality options—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built to improve indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers can be found in a portable form, which means they can only work in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform a little differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particulates. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One common side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone affects lung function and intensifies the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are advised to use proven methods of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add or create ozone.

How Do UV Lights Work?

Ultraviolet-C (UVC) rays are the highest energy portion of the UV radiation spectrum. This type of light is known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically boost indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Every time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particles moves through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be installed in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the likelihood of producing ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can point you to the ideal combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 540-302-8645 today!

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