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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted over outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods on the market, how do you determine which one is ideal 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 enhance indoor air quality by trapping 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 work in one room at a time.

There are several types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne pollutants. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent problem with several air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone weakens 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 use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are encouraged to stick to proven techniques of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, adding outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add 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 known as germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates 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 quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing pollutants 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 encouraged that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work in unison to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Strogen's Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to anyone suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid climates where microorganisms flourish. 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
  • Reduce the possibility of generating ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is right for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest the best 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 dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 603-923-4570 now!

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