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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If your home doesn’t have adequate 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 on the market, how do you determine which one is ideal 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 built to increase indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only be used 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 work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne substances. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One frequent side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Exposure to ozone hampers lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are reminded to use proven ways of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out or controlling pollutant sources, increasing 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 known as 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 many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates drifts past the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be used alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work together 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 encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid regions where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the potential of producing ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can recommend the best combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 330-269-7235 now!

Contact Us