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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. If you lack the right air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you find out which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality options—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built to increase indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air 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 perform somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne substances. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One frequent byproduct with many air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone affects lung function and intensifies the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of proven methods of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t intensify 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically increase indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs constantly. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particles 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 advised that UV lights be used in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in unison to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid settings where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the possibility of creating 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 walk you through the best combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 954-736-4314 today!

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