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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every home. If you lack the right air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods available, how do you find out which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built to improve indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air 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 perform a little differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particles. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One common problem with many air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its natural form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Being exposed to ozone weakens lung function and intensifies the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are reminded to use proven methods of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically improve indoor air quality.

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

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

TML Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those dealing with asthma and allergies, particularly in warm, humid climates where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the likelihood of generating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest 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 dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 208-488-4892 now!

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