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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every home. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods available, how do you know which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality options—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built 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 come in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time.

There are different 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 trap airborne pollutants. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One underlying problem with many air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Being exposed to ozone hampers lung function and increases 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are encouraged to use proven approaches of managing 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 intensify or create 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 decades. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Every time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particles blows near 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 utilized in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. 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?

Levy & Son Service Experts suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen 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 technicians today. We can point you to the ideal combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 469-250-0932 now!

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