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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every home. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted over 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 options—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 clean scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, such as 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 capture airborne particulates. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing ozone hampers 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 use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are encouraged to use proven ways of controlling 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 increase 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for decades. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality.

The process is quite simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs constantly. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, 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 shortly after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Bob Brown Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the possibility of generating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is right for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can point you to the best combination of equipment 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 don’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 623-243-4517 today!

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