Do You Need a UV Air Purifier?

South End Plumbing, Heating, & Air Expert Tips

Do You Need a UV Air Purifier?

For most people and most homes, there isn’t a need for an ultraviolet air purifier. A UV air purifier can be an additional help to people or families with specific needs or requirements for cleaner air or environments. In almost all cases, a UV air purifier can be one device or part of an overall effort to clean the air in a home.

The efficacy of UV air purifiers is debatable. While the tech with these purifiers is improving over time, there’s still a wide range of questions about how well they work. Choosing a highly-rated and effective device can give you some added protection against contaminates, moisture, mold, and allergens. UV air purifiers will kill some percentage of bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms, but are not a total decontaminant or purifier. UV light can help give an additional layer of protection against viruses, microorganisms, and germs on surfaces or airborne.

Yet because of the length of time of exposure and the UV intensity needed to fully kill contaminants, a UV air purifier isn’t the most efficient option for air cleaning on its own in a house. It can be more effective in controlled medical settings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, UV air purifiers are fine being utilized as one element of air purification. It isn’t considered reliable if it’s the only device being used.

High-efficiency air purification with dense filtration material, HEPA filters for example, that can capture the smallest airborne contaminants as well as pathogens, such as viruses, infections, and bacteria, is much more reliable and complete than UV air purifiers.

UV light can help give an additional layer of protection versus viruses, microorganisms, and germs on surfaces or airborne.
UV light can help give an additional layer of protection against viruses, microorganisms, and germs on surfaces or airborne.

What’s a UV Air Purifier?

An ultraviolent air purifier shines multiple electromagnetic light frequencies designed to kill organisms in UV light. In some UV purifiers, the light emitted is ultraviolet C, UVC, light.

UVC lights are natural. Its wavelengths can’t pass through the Earth’s ozone layer. We are naturally protected from radiation from UVC light.

Without going through the ozone layer, though, UVC light damages human cells. It can kill small, microscopic organisms. It serves as a disinfectant to air. UVC air purifiers can remove some moisture from the air.

One significant drawback of a UV air purifier is you need cautious and follow instructions to use it safely. You shouldn’t disassemble a UV air purifier. You shouldn’t use it for any other purposes, or take apart components of a device and use them for other purposes. For instance, if a human eye is exposed directly to UV light, it is a major hazard. The skin should not be exposed to direct UV light either.

How it Works

Exactly how does UV light “cleanse” the air?

UV light from an air purifier is made to disinfect bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from the air as it passes through the UV light. The ultraviolet wavelengths damage the organism’s DNA. UV rays naturally from the sun do the same thing. It’s why UV radiation can give humans skin cancer. UV light, without going through the ozone layer, is more potent.

When bacterial DNA is harmed, microorganisms can’t reproduce and replicate. This stops bacteria from growing and causing more infection and illness within the body.

In contrast, viruses aren’t really living. A virus is composed of DNA and RNA material that the virus has in order to enter the DNA of living cells. A virus can infect living cells with the viral DNA, reproduce very fast and create new, infected DNA throughout the host body. This process is why viral diseases such as flu and cold spread fast and efficiently.

With the right amount of time in contact between the UV light and the virus, it’s possible to deactivate the DNA and RNA of the virus. This stops the virus from infecting living cells.

What are the Advantages?

UV air purifiers have pros and cons. It’s most effective to use a UV air purifier with other aspects and filtration devices within a home HVAC system or environment. If you’ve made up your mind about getting a UV air purifier, it is worth it to investigate and find a unit that is efficient, meets what you’re looking for, and fits within your budget.

For the best, cleanest result in a living space, it’s smart to consider also adding a HEPA filter to your HVAC. A HEPA filter removes about 97 percent of contaminants and pollutants from the air. Neither HEPA filters nor UV air purifiers remove 100 percent of viruses or bacteria. HEPA filters are extremely efficient and reliable. Hospitals, schools, and other facilities which need very sterile and consistent environments with very clean air quality use HEPA filters.

Make Sure it Works for Your Space

While you’re still looking into buying the right UV air purifier, make sure you get one that will function for the space you have. The device should be rated well enough and have enough filtration capability to cover the space you intend. You should get a purifier rated for more area than the space you’re going to use it in.

It’s better to go with a high-caliber model. Oftentimes, you get what you pay for. You want the best tech out there and a device that is reliable and will last longer. Many people who have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems look into UV air purifiers, and getting the benefit they expect and need is important.

At South End Heating and Air, we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.

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