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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. 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 available, how do you find out which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality 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 absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time. 

There are many types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all function slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne pollutants. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them. 

One consistent problem with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing 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 weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are advised to rely on proven techniques 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 increase 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically increase indoor air quality. 

The process is quite simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing pollutants blows through the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home. 

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing encourages you to consider installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to those dealing with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can: 

  • Filter the air in your entire home 
  • Eliminate most viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Avoid 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 specialists today. We can suggest the perfect combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 now! 

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