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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. If you lack the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times less healthy compared to outdoor air. But with a large number of 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 quality choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built to improve indoor air quality by removing 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 several types of air purifiers, like 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 substances. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One consistent side-effect with several air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone decreases lung function and increases the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since 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) instructions, homeowners are reminded to rely on proven methods of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t intensify 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically improve indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs constantly. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be installed in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work together to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Roy Inch & Sons Service Experts suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those dealing with asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid climates where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the likelihood of creating 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 walk you through the best combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 226-270-1164 today!

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