Should I Install a UV Air Purifier for HVAC?

Air purifiers with UV technology are pretty popular on the market, even though they are more expensive than other air purifiers. This is because manufacturers claim that the light is effective in killing germs and viruses in your indoor air. But is that true? Is the technology helpful and worth the price?

About Ultraviolet C

The ultraviolet used in anti-germicidal lamps is UV-C. We don’t get it from the sun because UV-C can’t pass through the ozone layer. So we only get UV-A and UV-B from direct sunlight.

UV-C can damage cells. Microorganisms like viruses and bacteria can get disrupted easily by light. Therefore, people use UV-C for many sterilization purposes. Such as filtration for drinking water, sterilization lamps for hospital chambers, and even air purifier devices.

The Effectiveness of a UV Air Purifier for HVAC

Although light can inactivate microorganisms, it can only do so effectively under specific conditions. Otherwise, your UV will not bring any benefits to your indoor air. It will depend on the light intensity, airflow, time of exposure, and room width.

Low-intensity UV can still effectively inactivate viruses; it just requires a more extended period of exposure. However, if the airflow is quick, there is a chance that those germs will fly away from the exposure before they turn inactive. And if the room is wide, it will take longer to purify your indoor air.

Most people will not feel any difference when using UV in air purifiers. But people with allergies, asthma or any breathing sensitivity might experience a significant benefit. Hence, you don’t need to buy this pricey device if you have no respiratory or allergy issues. But if you have such an issue, you could consider buying one to invest in your health.

The Risk

As mentioned above, UV-C light causes damage to cells. That includes human cells. It can be lethal to viruses and germs because they are small. Although UV-C won’t kill us, it can still harm us. It may put you at risk of skin cancer and immune system suppression in the long term.

Some UV devices also generate ozone. This gas is beneficial for humans if it stays in the stratosphere. But on a habitable ground level, the gas may damage our health. At a certain concentration, ozone inside our lungs may cause heavy breathing, chest pain, and throat irritation.

Buying an Air Purifier with UV Technology

To prevent the UV from harming your skin and eyes, you need to buy an air purifier where the UV is hidden inside the machine. This way, you will not be exposed to the light. Instead, the light will only affect the microorganisms in the air that your purifier takes in.

However, it would be best if you made sure that the air stays inside the machine long enough for the light to finish its job. If the airflow is too quick, the air might take all the germs out before the UV-C successfully kills them.

A UV air purifier is advisable if you have allergies and breathing problems. And if you need to buy one, make sure you buy a high-quality one. Not only will a poor-quality purifier fail to kill all the germs, but it also may harm your body instead of the germs.

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