Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: Whats Ideal for My Needs?

Indoor air quality is important for every household. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods on the market, how do you recognize which one is right 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 built to increase indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only be used 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 function somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne substances. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One consistent side-effect with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone affects lung function and escalates 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 weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are advised to stick to proven approaches of controlling 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for decades. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Every time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing pollutants moves through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Climate Control Service Experts suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in warm, humid regions where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

    •Improve the air in your entire home •Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold •Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan •Prevent the potential ofcreating ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can point you to the ideal combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 251-202-7503 today!

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