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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you know which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two quality choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built 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 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 slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne substances. However, once allergens settle to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One frequent byproduct with many air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous 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, considering that a homeowner would only install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are encouraged to stick to proven approaches of reducing 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 eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly increase indoor air quality.

The process is quite uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particles drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work together to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Parker Pearce Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to anyone suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the majority of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Extend your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the likelihood of producing ozone

If you believe a UV germicidal light is right for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can point you to the ideal 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 trap dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 301-476-4577 today!

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