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

Indoor air quality is important for every home. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods available, how do you know which one is best 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 designed to improve indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers can be found 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, like 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 particulates. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One underlying side-effect with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its natural form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental 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 use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are advised to stick to proven methods of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t intensify 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 mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically improve indoor air quality.

The process is very simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs constantly. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particles blows near the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be installed in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work with one another to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

Broad Ripple Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the potential of producing ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can point you to the best combination of products based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 317-527-0271 today!

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