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

Indoor air quality is something to keep in mind for every home. If you lack adequate air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy over outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you recognize which one is right for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular methods—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are used to enhance indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also collect odor-causing molecules for a clean scent. Air purifiers are available in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air 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 work somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to capture airborne particles. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer catch and remove them.

One consistent problem with many air purifiers is that they produce ozone. Whether in its raw form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be hazardous to health. Exposure to ozone affects lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not hurt it! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are advised to stick to proven techniques 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 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 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 drastically enhance indoor air quality.

The process is surprisingly uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs constantly. Each time the air conditioner or furnace activates, indoor air containing pollutants drifts near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated 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 installed alongside both high efficiency filtration and ventilation accessories. All three work in unison to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Best?

Rob's Albertan Service Experts encourages you to consider installing UV lights for maximum indoor air quality. This solution can bring relief to people dealing with asthma and allergies, namely in sunny, humid settings where microorganisms prosper. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Clean the air in your entire home
  • Eradicate most viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Lengthen your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the likelihood of creating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is beneficial for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality technicians today. We can walk you through the perfect combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Keep in mind, you should still use an HVAC air filtration system to dust, pollen and pet dander since UV lights don’t affect non-living allergens. To learn more about available air cleaning methods, or to request a free home health consultation, call us at 780-800-9047 now!

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