2If you’re shopping for a new air purifier you may have come across UV air purifiers, but do UV air purifiers work to eliminate pollutants in your environment? When you think of an air purifier, you probably think of models that are equipped with a HEPA filter. How to keep home clean with an air purifier can be tricky if you’re dealing with a wide range of pollutants ranging from pet dander to mold, but UV air purifiers can handle a wide range of pollutants that can help to effectively kill bacteria, germs, mold, and more.
Do UV air purifiers work? UV air purifiers can effectively work to trap and kill mildew, mold, viruses, and bacteria. However, if you need an air purifier to trap pet dander, pet fur, dust, and dust mites, then you’ll need to look for a standard air purifier with a HEPA filter and the addition of UV-C light. In most cases, UV-C air purifiers will work well to efficiently eliminate certain air pollutants, but in order to eliminate up to ninety-nine percent of pollutants in the home, they need the help of a traditional filter.
Of course, most top of the line air purifiers these days come equipped with HEPA filters and a UV-C feature. If you’re interested in learning more about air purifier technology, click here to read our extensive buyer’s guide.
Continue reading to learn how UV light air purifiers work and how to use them correctly.
Most people are familiar with UV light, what it does, and how it works. But not many people know how UV light can help to purify the air.
Like radio waves, UV light is an invisible form of electromagnetic radiation. UV light can also cause a sunburn by destroying cells in the body and it’s this ability that makes it a perfect choice for eliminating impurities in the air including mildew, viruses, and bacteria.
Compared to visible light, the wavelength of UV light is significantly shorter. This form of light is slightly outside the visible spectrum and it makes up about ten percent of the sun’s output.
But did you know that there are three different types of ultraviolet light? UV-A light is the type you’ll commonly find in tanning beds and it makes up around ninety-five percent of the sun’s radiation. It can cause premature aging and wrinkles.
UV-B is what’s responsible for sunburns, damaging DNA and affecting the top layer of the skin. It’s the type of UV light that’s said to be responsible for skin cancer.
By far, UV-C is considered the most harmful to living cells and organisms. However, the earth’s atmosphere is able to block one hundred percent of the radiation from UV-C light that’s emitted from the sun. This type of UV light can also be artificially made and when used correctly, a UV-C clean air purifier can eliminate mildew, bacteria, mold, viruses, and germs.
Air Purification Power
Because UV-C light has the ability to destroy cells, it’s often used for indoor air purification. This ultraviolet light is able to disrupt the cell’s DNA and destroy nucleic acids. This process can leave the cells incapacitated or will kill them.
When used in an air purifier, the air that’s pulled into the purifier will pass through the machine’s filtration system into an internal chamber where it will be exposed to UV-C light. Because the light is only released inside the machine, users will not be exposed to it.
UV-C light is effective in eliminating airborne organisms because it’s effective in killing cells.
Just like pollen from a flower, mold can reproduce via spores that are released in the air ultimately worsening the air quality. These spores will travel through the air and will eventually land and begin growing in new places. The use of this ultraviolet light in a clean air purifier will trap and instantly kill mold. However, if you have a severe mold infestation, an air purifier will not be able to help because it can only kill mold spores that are floating in the air.
The Elimination of Bacteria or Viruses
Many people purchase UV air purifiers because they’re tough enough to kill bacteria or viruses. However, more research is needed to determine how effectively UV-C light works to eliminate certain bacteria or viruses and to what extent. Viruses are very small and can usually slip through the gaps in most filters, however, bacteria can easily be trapped in filters. But with the addition of UV-C light, the light can instantly kill any viruses that land in its path before it has time to escape.
Can UV Air Purifiers Trap Pet Dander?
No. A basic UV air purifier will only kill microscopic contaminants, such as bacteria and mold. If you want the best of both worlds, choose a model that features both UV light and a traditional filter.
How Is a UV Air Purifier Different from a HEPA Air Purifier?
Top-selling air purifiers like the Atmosphere Air Purifier use HEPA filters which are designed to trap larger particles including pet dander, dust, and fur, while standard UV air purifiers specialize in killing microscopic contaminants.
Can a UV Air Purifier Kill Odors?
Yes and no. It ultimately depends on the source of the odor. While it can kill mold spores which can cause odor, it cannot trap pet dander, a common source of odor in multi-pet homes.
So, do UV air purifiers work? Yes, but they only work to trap certain types of contaminants. Your best bet will be a model that features both a HEPA filter and UV-C functionality.
These days, you may be hard-pressed to find a top-rated UV air purifier, since these devices can only kill mold, and other types of microscopic contaminants. As we mentioned, an air quality purifier with a HEPA filtration system and the addition of UV-C light is a more popular and effective option, but these types of air purifiers will often come with a higher price tag.