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

Indoor air quality is important for every household. If you lack the right air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods available, how do you know which one is best 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 built to improve indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers are available 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 a little differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne substances. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One consistent side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone weakens lung function and enhances the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are encouraged to use proven techniques of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, adding 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 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 installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly enhance indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particles drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be utilized in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in unison 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 suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid settings where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the potential of creating ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can recommend the perfect combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 305-440-1505 today!

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