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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. Without adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you find out which one is ideal for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built to increase 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 can be found in a portable form, which means they can only work 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 capture airborne particulates. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One common byproduct with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Being exposed to ozone decreases 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 hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to utilize proven techniques of managing 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 create 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 many years. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically boost indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing pollutants drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated 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 used in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work together to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Jack Nelson Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to anyone suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the potential of creating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is best for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can recommend 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 can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 918-212-8927 today!

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