Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What’s Ideal for My Needs? 

Indoor air quality is important for every home. Without the right air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you recognize which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular options—air purifiers and UV lights. 

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

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

There are several types of air purifiers, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne pollutants. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them. 

One common byproduct with several air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its pure form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone decreases lung function and enhances the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are advised to stick to 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 intensify 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically enhance indoor air quality. 

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Every time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates moves near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work with one another to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home. 

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can: 

  • Clean the air in your entire home 
  • Eradicate most viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Minimize the potential of producing ozone 

If you feel a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can suggest the ideal combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 right away! 

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