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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy over outdoor air. But with so many 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 top methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to increase indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a pleasant 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 work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particulates. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One consistent byproduct with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its natural form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Being exposed to ozone decreases lung function and enhances the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to stick to proven systems of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add 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 system in hospitals and food production for decades. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically improve indoor air quality.

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants blows through the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work in unison to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning recommends installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid regions where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the likelihood of creating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is right for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can recommend the best combination of systems 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 won't affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 239-908-6991 right away!

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