Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What's Right for Me?

Indoor air quality is important for every household. If you lack 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 available, how do you find out which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to enhance indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect 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 several 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 capture airborne substances. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent byproduct with several air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Exposure to ozone hampers lung function and intensifies the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to rely on proven techniques of reducing 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically increase indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particulates drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be used in conjunction with 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?

Donelson Air Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to anyone dealing with asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the likelihood of generating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can recommend the ideal 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 dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 615-953-9885 right away!

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