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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times less healthy 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 quality choices—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 absorb odor-causing molecules for a clean 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, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform a little differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne pollutants. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One common byproduct with several air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Being exposed to ozone hampers 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are reminded 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 intensify 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly improve 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 turns on, indoor air containing pollutants drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work in tandem to give you 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 maximum indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those dealing with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the possibility of producing ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is best for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can suggest the perfect combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 330-235-1260 right away!