Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What's Best 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 likely to be two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods available, how do you recognize which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to improve indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air 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 slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particles. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent byproduct with several air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Being exposed to ozone affects lung function and increases 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 weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are reminded to utilize proven ways of reducing indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering 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 called 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 many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly boost indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs throughout the day. Any time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particles drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be installed in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in tandem to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning recommends installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people dealing with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the potential of creating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is right for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can suggest the ideal combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 215-278-9690 right away!

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