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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. Without adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more contaminated over outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you recognize which one is best 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 removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only be used in one room at a time.

There are several 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 pollutants. 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 produce ozone. Whether in its pure form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Being exposed to ozone decreases lung function and increases the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are reminded to stick to proven techniques of managing 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 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality.

The process is very simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates moves near 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 recommended that UV lights be used alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work with one another to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Golden Seal 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 flourish. 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
  • Minimize the possibility of generating ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can recommend the best combination of equipment 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 won't affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 630-246-2698 now!

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