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

Indoor air quality is important for every home. If you lack the right air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you determine which one is ideal for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular choices—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 collect odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers can be found in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time.

There are different types of air purifiers, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particles. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One frequent problem with a number of air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Being exposed to ozone affects lung function and enhances 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) instructions, homeowners are encouraged to use 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 intensify 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 considered 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 decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is quite uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants moves past the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, 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
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the likelihood of generating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is best for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can walk you through the best combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 321-428-7635 today!

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