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

Indoor air quality is important for every household. Without the proper air quality products, indoor air is often two to five times less healthy compared to outdoor air. But with different air cleaning methods on the market, how do you know which one is ideal 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 used to enhance indoor air quality by filtering dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen from the air. Some also absorb odor-causing molecules for a fresher scent. Air purifiers can be found in a portable form, which means they can only clean the air in one room at a time.

There are different types of air purifiers, including mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, ozone generators, electronic air purifiers, and ionization systems. They all function somewhat differently, but the goal is the same—to trap airborne particulates. However, once allergens fall to the floor, purifiers can no longer trap and remove them.

One consistent problem with a number of air purifiers is that they create ozone. Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health. Breathing ozone affects lung function and increases the risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and lung inflammation. This is an ironic side effect, considering that 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) recommendations, 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 intensify or produce 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 instrument in hospitals and food production for many years. When added to your HVAC system, UV lights can dramatically improve indoor air quality.

The process is quite uncomplicated: an ultraviolet lamp is installed in your air ducts, where it runs throughout the day. Any time the air conditioner or furnace starts, indoor air containing pollutants moves near the light. Airborne microorganisms are inactivated after just 10 seconds of contact, rendering them unable to reproduce until they die shortly after UVC exposure. It is advised that UV lights be utilized in conjunction with both high efficiency filtration and ventilation devices. All three work together to give you the best, most pure indoor air for your home.

Air Purifiers vs. UV Lights – Which is Better?

Gordon's Service Experts recommends installing UV lights for enhanced indoor air quality. This solution can provide relief to anyone struggling with asthma and allergies, namely in hot, humid regions where microorganisms are in abundance. Unlike air purifiers, UV lights can:

  • Filter the air in your entire home
  • Destroy the bulk of viruses, bacteria and mold
  • Enhance your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Prevent the possibility of generating ozone

If you decide a UV germicidal light is right for your home, speak with one of our indoor air quality specialists today. We can suggest the perfect combination of systems based on your HVAC equipment and indoor air quality needs. Remember, you should still install an HVAC air filtration system to trap 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 405-432-2197 today!

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