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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy over outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods available, how do you learn which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to enhance indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers can be found in a portable form, which means they can only be used 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 work a little differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne substances. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One common byproduct with many air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its natural form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone hampers lung function and escalates 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 make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are advised to take advantage of proven ways of controlling 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 add 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for decades. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly increase indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particles moves near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated 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 utilized in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work together to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Service Experts Commercial HVAC recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to anyone dealing with asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the likelihood of creating ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can recommend the ideal combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 289-201-2346 right away!