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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every home. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you learn which one is ideal for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are designed to enhance indoor air quality by filtering 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 clean the air in one room at a time.

There are different 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 capture airborne substances. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One common side-effect with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Breathing ozone weakens 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 make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are advised to stick to proven techniques of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, adding 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 a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is very straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs throughout the day. Every time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates moves through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work together 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 the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to anyone struggling with asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid settings where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

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

If you decide a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can recommend the perfect combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won’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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