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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. If your home doesn’t have the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods available, how do you find out which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are designed to enhance indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a fresh 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 several types of air purifiers, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all work slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne pollutants. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One common byproduct with several air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone decreases 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 install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to stick to proven ways of managing 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 add 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically boost indoor air quality.

The process is quite uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs constantly. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates moves near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. 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 encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those dealing with asthma and allergies, namely in hot, humid regions where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the possibility of generating ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is right for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can walk you through the best combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to remove 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 561-629-1826 today!

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