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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. Without adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently two to five times more polluted over outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods available, how do you determine which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality methods—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 absorb 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 several types of air purifiers, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne pollutants. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent problem with many air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Exposure to ozone weakens lung function and enhances 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) instructions, homeowners are encouraged to utilize proven techniques of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, adding outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t add 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 considered 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 a very long time. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically improve indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates blows near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. 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?

R & M Climate Control Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, namely in warm, humid settings where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Reduce the possibility of creating ozone

If you think a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can suggest the perfect combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 865-229-6176 right away!

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