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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every home. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is frequently 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 right 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 filtering 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 clean the air in one room at a time.

There are different 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 common byproduct with many air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing ozone weakens 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 install 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 reducing 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 increase 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization method in hospitals and food production for decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is quite uncomplicated: 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 pollutants drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated in under 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is recommended that UV lights be used in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work in tandem to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Robinson Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, particularly in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Avoid the possibility of producing ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is best for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality technicians 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 don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to arrange a free home health consultation, call us at 847-306-8730 right away!