Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What's Ideal for Me?
Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. Without 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 best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality methods—air purifiers and UV lights.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Air purifiers are used to enhance indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only be used in one room at a time.
There are different types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne pollutants. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.
One underlying byproduct with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Breathing ozone decreases lung function and intensifies the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to use proven ways of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering 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 wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically enhance indoor air quality.
The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particles blows 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 installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work together to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.
Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning suggest installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people dealing with asthma and allergies, particularly in warm, humid regions where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:
- Improve the air in your entire home
- Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
- Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
- Prevent the possibility of creating ozone
If you decide a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can recommend the best combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 407-329-7661 today!