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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every home. Without the right air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you recognize which one is ideal for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are designed to improve indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only be used in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, like 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 capture airborne particles. 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 mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing ozone decreases 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 use 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 stick to proven approaches of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering 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 instrument in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly increase indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs throughout the day. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particulates drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work in unison to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Strand Brothers Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid settings where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the possibility of producing ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is best for your home, discuss it 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 install an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 512-596-1257 now!

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