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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every home. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you recognize which one is ideal 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 used to increase indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers can be found 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, like 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 pollutants. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them. 

One underlying byproduct with a number of air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Being exposed to ozone hampers lung function and escalates 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) guidance, homeowners are advised to stick to proven systems of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t increase or generate 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 mechanism in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality. 

The process is surprisingly straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates drifts past 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 encouraged that UV lights be utilized in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work with one another to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home. 

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to anyone dealing with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid climates where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can: 

  • Filter the air in your entire home 
  • Eliminate most viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Prevent the potential of generating ozone 

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

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