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

Indoor air quality is important for every household. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you determine 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 designed to improve indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a pleasant 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, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform 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 trap and remove them. 

One consistent byproduct with many 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 weakens lung function and intensifies the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only purchase an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to rely on proven systems of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out or controlling pollutant sources, increasing 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically enhance indoor air quality. 

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs constantly. Any time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates moves past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in unison to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home. 

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing recommends installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid regions where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can: 

  • Clean the air in your entire home 
  • Destroy most viruses, bacteria and mold 
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan 
  • Prevent the potential of producing ozone 

If you decide a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk 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 remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 today! 

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