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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times less healthy over outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you know which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

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

There are many types of air purifiers, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all function a little differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne particulates. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One underlying byproduct with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Being exposed to ozone affects lung function and increases 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are advised to rely on proven approaches of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically improve indoor air quality.

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants drifts past the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be utilized in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work in tandem to provide 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 maximum indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, namely in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the likelihood of generating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is best for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can point you to the best combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 330-305-2799 now!

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