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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every homeowner. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods available, how do you recognize which one is correct 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 increase indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers can be found in a portable form, which means they can only work in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particulates. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One underlying problem with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its raw form or combined with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Breathing ozone decreases lung function and increases the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance, homeowners are reminded to rely on proven methods of controlling indoor air pollution. These methods include phasing out or controlling pollutant sources, bolstering outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t increase or create 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 known as 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 installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically increase indoor air quality.

The process is quite straightforward: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing particulates drifts through the light. Airborne microorganisms are made sterile within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die soon after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be used alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work together to provide the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Peitz Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those suffering from asthma and allergies, namely in hot, humid regions where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the possibility of generating ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is best for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can recommend the best combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still have an HVAC air filtration system to collect dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 605-223-0307 today!

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