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

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

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to improve indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers come 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 perform a little differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne particles. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One frequent side-effect with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Exposure to ozone affects lung function and enhances the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are advised to use proven methods of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t intensify 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for decades. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly improve indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants blows past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work in unison to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Atmostemp Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to anyone struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid regions where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the possibility of generating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is right for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can walk you through the best combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 856-310-4824 today!

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