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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. Without adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods on the market, how do you find out which one is right 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 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 come 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, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all function a little differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particulates. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One consistent side-effect with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Being exposed to ozone decreases 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are reminded to utilize 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 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out 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 straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Every time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates blows near the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile 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 installed in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work in tandem 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 encourages you to consider installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

    • Improve the air in your entire home
    • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
    • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
    • Reduce the likelihood of creating ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can recommend the perfect combination of systems 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 can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 right away!

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