Air quality has come sharply into focus over the years, especially for indoor spaces. The increase in asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses makes the effort for better air quality worth it.
There are many products on the market that promise an improvement, but there is always the question of their effectiveness. UV light products are a technology growing in popularity and availability. Take a few minutes to understand how these products work and how they compare to other purification options.
Understanding UV Light Products
Ultraviolet light occurs naturally from the sun and ranges in frequency from 100-400 nanometers. Within this range are three subtypes, A, B, and C.
UV-A has a wavelength of 315-400 nanometers and is used in tanning beds. It can cause premature aging and wrinkles. This is what accounts for about 95% of the solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.
UV-B has a wavelength of 280-315 nanometers. It is this form of ultraviolet light that causes sunburns, damages DNA, damages human skin, and has been linked to skin cancer.
UV-C has a wavelength of 100-280 nanometers. This is the most powerful form of ultraviolet light, and it can damage cells. It is completely blocked by the atmosphere but can be generated.
Quality light products use contained UV-C light to destroy contaminant cells as they pass through the system. This renders them inert and unable to continue with normal cellular function.
How Do They Work With Filters?
UV light purifiers work hand in hand with various types of filters. Most air filters that are part of your HVAC system pull larger particles from the air that could clog your system. However, they let through the smaller particles that cause odors, are allergens, and cause illness.
Some systems use HEPA filters, which remove smaller particles than most common air filters. However, in the wrong system, these can restrict airflow and cause system inefficiency.
UV light purifiers work to help with the particles that manage to get through the filters. The UV-C light destroys the ability for the cell function, including replication or respiration.
In some UV light systems, there is an additional filter after the air flows through the light to capture more of the particle. This prevents the light from flowing out into your home, even if it are inert at that point.
UV Light Purification vs Electrostatic Air Purifiers
Electrostatic purifiers use static electricity to pull more particles out of the air. The static charge attracts the particles and captures them in a filter.
Unlike UV light purifiers, electrostatic purifiers do not kill the cells. In some cases, people like to use ultraviolet purifiers to render the cells inert and then use electrostatic purifiers to help pull those inactivated cells from the air.
Portable Purifier or Whole-House System?
Ultraviolet systems are available in both portable and whole-house models. If you have a particular area of concern, like a nursery, you may find portable models of value.
However, in many cases, people are most happy with whole-system purifiers. When you install the purifier in your HVAC system, it treats all the air circulating through the house. This purifies the largest volume of air in your home, providing the benefit in every area of the house.
There is no way to circulate all the air in your home effectively. This means whole-house models are perfect for most people. However, if you have someone with a sensitive respiratory system, a portable device may be more suitable.
If you want to reap the biggest benefit while also meeting a more specific need, consider doubling up. The whole-house system will treat all the air circulating through your home. You can then install a portable device where needed, and it will provide an extra layer of protection.
Portable options often have a special HEPA filter as part of the unit, so they filter out even more particles. This makes them perfect for people with asthma, severe allergies, or other respiratory challenges.
People around Aurora have turned to Coffman & Company for air quality improvement for over 35 years. Our team also provides heating, air conditioning, and water heater installation, maintenance, and repair services. Call and schedule a consultation with one of our air quality specialists today to find out how we can provide you with home solutions.