Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What's Best for My Home?

Indoor air quality is a concern for every homeowner. If your home doesn’t have the right air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods on the market, how do you know which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to increase indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only work in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all work slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne substances. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One underlying 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 hazardous to health. Breathing ozone weakens lung function and escalates 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) guidance, homeowners are advised to utilize proven methods of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, adding 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 instrument in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particles blows past the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be used in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work together to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Eveready Service Experts suggest installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid climates where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the potential of creating ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest the best combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 804-548-4480 right away!

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