Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What’s Ideal for My Needs?
Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. If you lack the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted compared to 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 popular choices—air purifiers and UV lights.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Air purifiers are built to improve indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only be used in one room at a time.
There are several types of air purifiers, including 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 filter out airborne pollutants. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.
One frequent byproduct with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Exposure to ozone decreases lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because 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) instructions, homeowners are encouraged to utilize proven ways of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality.
The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants blows past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be utilized in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work in tandem to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.
Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?
Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:
- Clean the air in your entire home
- Eradicate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
- Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
- Prevent the possibility of generating ozone
If you feel a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality specialists 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 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 866-397-3787 right away!
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