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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. If you lack the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more contaminated compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods on the market, how do you determine which one is ideal for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to enhance indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a fresher 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, such as 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 filter out airborne particles. However, once allergens drift down to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One consistent problem with several air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Being exposed to ozone hampers lung function and increases 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 make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are advised to use proven techniques of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, increasing outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t intensify 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 wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for decades. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically increase indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants moves past the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be utilized in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work in unison to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Komfort Air Service Experts suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid regions where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the potential of generating ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is right for your home, talk with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can walk you through the best combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Don’t forget, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 704-705-8135 now!