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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every household. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy over outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you recognize 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 used to increase indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only work 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 perform somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particulates. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One underlying byproduct with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its natural form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Exposure to ozone weakens lung function and enhances 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 weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are advised to stick to proven methods of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add 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 eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization instrument in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs constantly. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particulates moves near the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work with one another to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Falso Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to those suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid climates where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the possibility of producing ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest the perfect combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 315-313-6531 right away!

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