Air purifiers come with various technologies. One of them is ultraviolet-based, which is pretty popular in the market. But before you jump in the stream and buy one for your house, you need to make sure whether it is effective to clean your indoor air.
About Ultra Violet C
There are several kinds of ultraviolet. The one used in air purifiers is UV-C, the type of UV with a shorter wavelength. The UV-C light can damage cells by altering the DNA and destroying the nucleic acid. For microorganisms, this process makes them unable to perform vital cellular functions. They become inactive and even destroyed.
With such ability, people have been using UV-C in many kinds of purification; water, surface, and air. Some air purifier devices contain a UV-C machine. They are marketed as anti-bacterial and anti-virus purifiers.
Ultraviolet Air Purification
It is important to note that killing pathogens takes time, whatever the agent is. For example, to make sure your water is free from viruses and germs, you need to let it boil for at least 20 minutes. Otherwise, you might just make them temporarily weaker.
The same rule applies to the UV-C on your air purifier as well. Pathogens should be exposed to the light for a certain period of ĺtime to make it work. If the air just passes through it, this purification effort will not work. There must be a way for the air purifier to keep these pathogens for long enough to allow the UV-C light to kill them.
Light intensity also matters on the effectiveness of this technology, because low light would need more time to kill the virus and the likes. Another key factor is the number of contaminants in the air. The more dust and inorganic pollutants you have in your air, the more difficult it is for the UV-C light to kill the microorganisms.
The Quality of UV Air Purifiers
A simple trick to get an effective UV air purifier is by buying an expensive one. Because it will likely have a strong UV light and effective technology to ensure all the pathogens are killed. On the other hand, a cheap UV air purifier might do nothing at all with all the germs floating around your room.
If you need to be more specific, you can look for one with a combination technology of UV and HEPA filter. Stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, HEPA filters can block airborne particles as small as 2.5 microns. Your indoor air would get cleaner, which also allows the UV light to do its job more easily.
However, no matter how good your air purifier can be, the general cleanliness of your room matters a lot. Because a dirty and dusty room will make your indoor air more difficult to purify. Besides that, you also need to replace the filter on your air purifier regularly. Otherwise, the purifying system will not be effective.
In conclusion, UV air purifiers can and can’t be effective. Many factors can affect the result of this process. Hence, total consideration and effort are required.