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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every homeowner. If your home doesn’t have the right air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you find out 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 improve indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only work 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 work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne substances. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One common side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Exposure to ozone decreases lung function and enhances 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are reminded to stick to proven approaches of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, adding 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality.

The process is quite uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particles moves through the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work with one another to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Air Engineers Service Experts 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 hot, humid settings where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the possibility of creating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is best for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can point you to the ideal combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 904-450-5672 right away!

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