Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What’s Best for My Home? 

Indoor air quality is a concern for every homeowner. If you lack the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you learn which one is correct 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 designed to increase 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 several types of air purifiers, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all function somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particles. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One frequent problem with many air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone hampers lung function and enhances 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) guidance, homeowners are reminded to utilize proven ways of controlling 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 produce 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly enhance indoor air quality.

The process is quite simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particulates blows through 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 equipment. 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?

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to anyone suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid climates where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

    • Improve the air in your entire home
    • Eradicate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
    • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
    • Reduce the possibility of producing ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest 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 trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 today!

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