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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every homeowner. Without the right air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods available, how do you find out which one is ideal 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 used to enhance indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb 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 several types of air purifiers, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particulates. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One common problem with a number of air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Exposure to ozone affects lung function and escalates 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 encouraged to utilize proven systems of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, adding outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t increase 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 wipes out 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 drastically boost indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs constantly. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants blows past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Comfortech Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid settings where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the possibility of creating ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is best for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can walk you through the best combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 601-852-3105 now!

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