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

Indoor air quality is important for every household. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods available, how do you recognize which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality options—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are designed to increase indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a pleasant 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, such as mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform a little differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne pollutants. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One underlying problem with a number of air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure 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 advised to utilize proven methods of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality.

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Every time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants blows near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be utilized in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

A-PLUS Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to anyone suffering from asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid regions where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the likelihood of producing ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can point you to the ideal combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 301-747-3140 right away!

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