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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every home. Without adequate 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 available, how do you determine which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built to improve indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only be used 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 function slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particles. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One underlying side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone decreases lung function and increases the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are advised 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 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 method in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs constantly. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated within 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 addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work with one another to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Roland J. Down Service Experts suggest installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the likelihood of producing 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 recommend the perfect combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 518-417-2938 now!

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