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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. If your home doesn’t have the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted over outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you recognize which one is best 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 built to increase indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a fresh 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, including 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 filter out airborne particulates. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them. 

One frequent problem with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to stick to proven ways of controlling 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 increase 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically boost indoor air quality. 

The process is very simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs constantly. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates drifts past the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile 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 conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work with one another to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home. 

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

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

  • Improve the air in your entire home 
  • Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Avoid the potential of creating ozone 

If you believe a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can recommend the ideal combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 now! 

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