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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. If your home doesn’t have the proper air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you find out 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 improve 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 different types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particulates. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One common byproduct with a number of air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone hampers lung function and intensifies 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 make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to use proven methods of reducing 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 increase 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates 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 greatly boost indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particles moves through the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in unison 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 suggest installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid climates where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

    •Filter the air in your entire home •Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold •Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan •Prevent the likelihood ofgenerating ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can recommend the ideal combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 303-647-5749 right away!

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