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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you know 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 built to enhance indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a clean 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, including 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 capture airborne particles. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One common problem with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone affects lung function and enhances the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to take advantage of proven approaches of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t increase 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs constantly. Any time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates drifts past the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be installed in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work with one another to give you 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 those dealing with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the likelihood of creating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, talk 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 use an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 587-404-0790 today!

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