Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: Whats Right for My Home?

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you recognize which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular choices—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 collect odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air 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 function slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne particles. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One underlying side-effect with several air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its pure form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Being exposed to ozone affects lung function and enhances 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 weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are advised to rely on proven methods of managing 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs throughout the day. Every time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants moves near the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be utilized 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?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning encourages you to consider installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

    •Clean the air in your entire home •Eliminate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold •Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan •Avoid the possibility ofcreating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can walk you through the ideal combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 403-279-5760 now!

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