Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: Whats Right for Me?

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you learn 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 trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, including 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 particles. However, once allergens drift down 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 pure form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone decreases lung function and escalates 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to rely on proven techniques of controlling 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 add 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality.

The process is very simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs constantly. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. 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 encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people dealing with asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

    •Clean the air in your entire home •Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold •Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan •Minimize the possibility ofgenerating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is best for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can point you to the perfect combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 330-236-4793 right away!

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