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

Indoor air quality is a concern for every homeowner. If your home doesn’t have adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times more contaminated over outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods available, how do you determine which one is correct for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two top methods—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 absorb 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 work a little differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne substances. However, once allergens settle 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 raw form or combined 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 install an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not weaken it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, homeowners are reminded to rely on proven ways of managing 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 intensify 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 considered germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and eliminates bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization mechanism in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can drastically improve indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ventilation system, where it runs constantly. Every time the air conditioner or furnace turns on, indoor air containing particulates blows through the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated within 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 addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work together to produce the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Service Experts Home Services by Enercare recommends installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in sunny, humid regions where microorganisms flourish. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

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

If you feel a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can suggest the perfect combination of equipment based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 613-817-1591 right away!

Contact Us