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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every household. If your home doesn’t have the right air quality products, indoor air is frequently 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 recognize which one is ideal for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular options—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are designed to increase indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also capture odor-causing molecules for a fresh scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only be used in one room at a time.

There are several types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all perform somewhat 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 underlying byproduct with many air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its natural form or blended with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Being exposed to ozone hampers lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, because 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) guidance, homeowners are reminded to rely on proven methods of managing indoor air pollution. These methods include removing or controlling pollutant sources, increasing 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 called germicidal because it inactivates most viruses and wipes out bacteria and molds. UV lamps have been used as a sterilization system in hospitals and food production for decades. When placed in your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly enhance indoor air quality.

The process is very 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 blows past the light. Airborne microorganisms are deactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be installed in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation systems. All three work in tandem to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Recommended?

D&K Home Services by Enercare suggest installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to those suffering from asthma and allergies, especially in warm, humid settings where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Increase your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the possibility of generating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is useful for your home, chat with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can suggest 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 dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights won't affect non-living allergens. To learn more about different air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 613-707-2421 now!