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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. If your home doesn’t have the right air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you recognize which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular options—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 are available in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, such as 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 capture airborne substances. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One common byproduct with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its natural 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, considering that a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to take advantage of proven ways of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add or produce 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 method in hospitals and food production for many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly enhance indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs constantly. Any time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particles moves past the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. 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 encourages you to consider installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to anyone suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid climates where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the likelihood of creating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is best for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can point you to the best combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to trap 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 919-578-4329 now!

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