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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times less healthy compared to outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods available, how do you determine 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 trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresh 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, such as 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 trap airborne particles. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them. 

One frequent problem with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone weakens lung function and increases the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are reminded to use proven techniques of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t intensify 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 eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality. 

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates moves past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work together 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 encourages you to consider installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid climates where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can: 

  • Filter the air in your entire home 
  • Eliminate most viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Prevent the possibility of creating ozone 

If you feel a UV germicidal light is best for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality technicians 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 use an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 now! 

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