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

Indoor air quality is important for every household. If you lack the right 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 on the market, how do you determine which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular options—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 capture odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers can be found 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, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all function somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particles. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One frequent problem with many air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Being exposed to ozone weakens 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 weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are advised to utilize proven approaches of managing 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 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically improve indoor air quality.

The process is quite simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particles blows near the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work in unison to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Teays Valley Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in warm, humid settings where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the possibility of producing ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can suggest the perfect combination of systems 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 won't affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 304-760-5088 right away!

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