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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times less healthy than outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you know which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to improve indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers come in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time.

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

One underlying side-effect with many air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing ozone decreases lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are reminded to use proven ways of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out or controlling pollutant sources, adding outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t increase 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 system in hospitals and food production for decades. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality.

The process is very uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Every time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particles drifts past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be utilized alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work with one another to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Chief/Bauer Service Experts suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, particularly in warm, humid regions where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

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

If you feel a UV germicidal light is best for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can walk you through the ideal combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect non-living allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 217-689-2469 now!

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