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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If you lack the right air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy over outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you learn which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top options—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to improve indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only work in one room at a time.

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

One underlying byproduct with several air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Being exposed to ozone affects lung function and enhances the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to utilize proven approaches of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, adding 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically improve indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs throughout the day. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants drifts near 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 utilized in addition to 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 Best?

All American Air Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to anyone struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid settings where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the potential of generating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can point you to the perfect combination of equipment 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 inanimate allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 386-310-2061 today!

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