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

Indoor air quality is important for every home. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted over outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you determine which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top choices—air purifiers and UV lights. 

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to increase indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a clean 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, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne substances. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them. 

One frequent problem with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its natural form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Being exposed to ozone affects lung function and intensifies the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are advised to take advantage of proven systems of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add or generate 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically enhance indoor air quality. 

The process is quite simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs constantly. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particles drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work with one another to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home. 

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

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

  • Filter the air in your entire home 
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Prevent the possibility of creating ozone 

If you believe a UV germicidal light is right for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can walk you through the ideal combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 right away! 

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