Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What's Best 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 polluted compared to outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you find out which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top options—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are designed to increase indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only be used 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 trap airborne particles. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One common side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its natural form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Breathing ozone affects lung function and escalates 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 make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are advised to take advantage of proven systems of managing 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 intensify 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particles drifts past the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work in unison to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to people dealing with asthma and allergies, namely in hot, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the possibility of producing ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is right for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can point you to the ideal combination of equipment 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 won't affect non-living allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 226-773-3357 now!

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