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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If your home doesn’t have the right air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods on the market, how do you know which one is best 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 built to enhance 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 many types of air purifiers, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particulates. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One common byproduct with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone hampers lung function and increases the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of proven systems of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, adding outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add or produce 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 system in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically increase indoor air quality.

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs constantly. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particulates drifts near 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 used 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 Recommended?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid climates where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the potential of generating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is best for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can point you to the best combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still install 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 440-252-1375 today!

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