Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: Whats Ideal for My Home?

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. Without adequate 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 learn which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular 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 absorb odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only be used 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 function 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 capture and remove them.

One frequent side-effect with several air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Exposure to ozone affects 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 purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are reminded to rely on proven methods of managing 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 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 kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: 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 particulates moves past 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 equipment. All three work together to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning suggest installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to those suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid climates where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

    •Improve the air in your entire home •Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold •Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan •Avoid the likelihood ofproducing ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can recommend the ideal combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 901-235-1196 now!

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