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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every homeowner. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you know 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 improve indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture 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, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne particles. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them. 

One common side-effect with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its natural form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone weakens lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to use proven systems of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality. 

The process is very simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particulates drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be used in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in tandem to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home. 

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

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

  • Improve the air in your entire home 
  • Eradicate most viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Minimize the likelihood of producing ozone 

If you feel a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can suggest the perfect combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 now! 

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