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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. Without adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times less healthy over outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods available, how do you know which one is correct 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 used to enhance 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 work in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, like 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 pollutants. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One frequent side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone weakens 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 use 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 systems 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and kills 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 very straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants moves past the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated 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 used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work together to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid climates where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the potential of producing ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can recommend the ideal 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 don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 318-588-8163 right away!

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