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

Indoor air quality is important for every home. If you lack the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods on the market, how do you recognize which one is best 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 used to increase indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only work 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 function a little differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particulates. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One underlying side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing ozone weakens lung function and increases 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 make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to utilize proven approaches of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, adding 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Any time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing pollutants blows through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be utilized in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in tandem to provide 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 bring relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, namely in hot, humid climates where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the possibility of generating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest the ideal combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still have 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 (713) 352-7887 today!