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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted compared to outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods on the market, how do you know which one is correct 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 built to increase indoor air quality by removing dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a pleasant scent. Air purifiers can be found in a portable form, which means they can only be used in one room at a time.

There are many types of air purifiers, like mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all function slightly differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particles. 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 raw form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Breathing ozone decreases lung function and enhances 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 weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are encouraged to rely on proven ways of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include eliminating or controlling pollutant sources, adding outdoor air ventilation and using any proven methods of air cleaning that doesn’t intensify or generate 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 instrument in hospitals and food production for many years. When installed in your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically improve indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs continuously. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing particulates moves past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is suggested that UV lights be installed 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 Better?

Matz-Rightway encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people suffering from asthma and allergies, particularly in hot, humid climates where microorganisms thrive. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the potential of generating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is best for your home, discuss it 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. Keep in mind, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to remove dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights can’t affect inanimate allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 631-406-9220 now!

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