Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every home. If you lack the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with so many air cleaning methods on the market, how do you recognize which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular options—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 collect odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers come 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 a little differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne particulates. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.
One frequent side-effect with many air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Being exposed to ozone affects lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to use proven techniques of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add or generate 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 wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly boost indoor air quality.
The process is surprisingly straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing pollutants drifts past 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 encouraged that UV lights be installed in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work in unison to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.
Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning encourages you to consider installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to people dealing with asthma and allergies, namely in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:
- Improve the air in your entire home
- Eradicate the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
- Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
- Avoid the potential of generating ozone
If you decide a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest the perfect combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 866-397-3787 right away!