For ages, ultraviolet rays have been used as a disinfectant to clean surfaces, water, and the air.
This might leave you wondering if UV light technology can help kill airborne microbes in your home and improve indoor air quality.
This article will elaborate on what UV air purifiers do to improve the air quality of your home and what the effectiveness of these air purifiers depends on.
What Is A UV Air Purifier?
A UV light air purifier is a device that uses UV-C light, a shortwave ultraviolet light, to kill airborne organisms, mold, viruses, bacteria, and other types of microorganisms present in the air.
Though they have the same mission to purify indoor air by killing pollutants, UV light air purifiers are primarily used in larger HEPA air filtration systems.
Moreover, these purifiers are not standalone products, as they require an additional system to work at total efficiency.
How Does A UV Light Air Purifier Clean The Air Inside Your House?
Just like any other air purifier, the UV light air purifier is pretty simple.
It is just that it uses UV light to alter the microorganisms’ DNA present in the air, eventually inactivating and eradicating them.
The UV light emitted by the air purifier is primarily blue, which is not visible to the naked eye.
The combination of a forced air system and an additional HEPA filter makes up a UV light air purifier to purify the air inside the house.
A chamber with UV-C emitting bulbs ventilates ambient, in-house air through the unit.
The bulbs emit UV-C light within a specific wavelength. In portable air purifiers, UV lamps are usually placed downstream of filters.
A UV lamp’s performance can be affected by many factors, including humidity and temperature.
Are UV Light Air Purifiers Dangerous?
The most dangerous adverse aspect of a UV light air purifier is that the UV-C light used by the purifier is said to convert the air’s oxygen into ozone.
The process is called photolysis, which occurs when light causes oxygen (O2) to break apart into two atoms and combine with other oxygen molecules, thus forming ozone (O3).
In particular, uncoated UV-C lamps can cause this problem.
Therefore, a special coating is applied to UV lamps to prevent this possibility.
How Effective Are UV Air Purifiers?
In fighting the spread of airborne viruses, UV-C light can be highly effective since it can potentially deactivate microbes.
However, the effectiveness depends on the type of UV air purifying device you are using and several factors, such as:
- Does the UV light come into contact with viruses and bacteria?
- What is the exposure time of the pathogens to UV light?
- A wearer’s location, a room’s location, or a wall’s location (where the device is located)
- How effective is the UV device – a lamp or LEDs?
- The time it takes for a standalone air purifier to start making a room purified instead of the time it takes for a wearable device to begin disinfecting.
Therefore, when considering purchasing a product that uses UV-C technology, it is critical to ask the safety questions mentioned above.
You should make sure that the manufacturer of your purchased device has checked all the safety measures and ensured the effectiveness of the UV light air purifier.