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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If your home doesn’t have the right air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you determine which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top methods—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 capture 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 different types of air purifiers, including 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 substances. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent side-effect with several 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 intensifies 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 reminded to rely on proven systems 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 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 installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically boost indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates blows through the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work together to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

A1 Chesney Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid climates where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the potential of generating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can recommend the perfect combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 587-315-5271 today!

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