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

Indoor air quality is important for every homeowner. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is likely to be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But with a large number of air cleaning methods to choose from, how do you learn which one is best for your home and family? Here’s a comparison of two popular choices—air purifiers and UV lights.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are built to enhance indoor air quality by trapping dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers come 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 work a little differently, but the goal is the same—to filter out airborne substances. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent byproduct with several air purifiers is that they generate ozone. Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be detrimental to health. Exposure to ozone weakens lung function and escalates the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, since a homeowner would only use an air purifier to improve indoor air quality, not make it worse! Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instructions, homeowners are reminded to utilize proven approaches 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 add 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 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 decades. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can greatly increase indoor air quality.

The process is very simple: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your ductwork, where it runs constantly. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants drifts past the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated within 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die quickly after UVC exposure. It is encouraged that UV lights be installed in addition to both high efficiency filtration and ventilation equipment. All three work with one another to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Stark Services encourages you to consider installing UV lights for the highest possible indoor air quality. This solution can offer relief to those struggling with asthma and allergies, especially in hot, humid settings where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Improve the air in your entire home
  • Eliminate the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Minimize the likelihood of creating ozone

If you feel a UV germicidal light is right for your home, discuss it with one of our indoor air quality Experts today. We can suggest the perfect combination of products 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 can’t affect inorganic allergens. To learn more about these air cleaning methods, or to schedule a free home health consultation, call us at 817-668-6689 today!