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

Indoor air quality is important for every household. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods on the market, how do you find out which one is correct 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 enhance 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 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 perform somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particulates. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One common side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone hampers lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are encouraged to stick to proven ways of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t increase 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically increase indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants blows through 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 accessories. All three work together to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Stevenson Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to anyone struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid regions where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the possibility of producing ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can point you to the ideal combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 937-503-7896 right away!

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