Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights: What's Right for Me?

Indoor air quality is important for every home. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy compared to outdoor air. But with different 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 choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to enhance indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers can be found 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 work slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne substances. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer capture and remove them.

One frequent side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing ozone affects lung function and enhances the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are encouraged to rely on proven techniques 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and kills bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly enhance indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs continuously. Every time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particles drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be used in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work together to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Peachtree Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in warm, humid regions where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the potential of creating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can suggest the perfect combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 678-235-9699 now!

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