If you’re considering air purification methods for your home or office, two of the most popular types you should look into are air scrubbers and UV lights.
Both are effective ways to cleanse the air in your environment, but each has its unique pros and cons that you should consider.
In this blog post, we’ll help explain the differences between an air scrubber vs a UV light so that you can make an informed decision on which one may best suit your needs. Read on to learn more!
What are air scrubbers used for?
An air scrubber is essential in guaranteeing cleaner air in a closed space. These devices remove pollutants, harmful particles and potential allergens from the atmosphere, creating a healthier environment for everyone inside.
In addition to improving air quality by removing airborne contaminants, other uses for scrubbers include removing unpleasant odors such as those from pets, cooking or cigarette smoke.
Therefore, air scrubbers are not only helpful in purifying the environment, but they can also help enhance overall indoor air quality.
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How air scrubbers work
Air scrubbers work by drawing in contaminated air and then trapping, filtering, or neutralizing any pollutants that may be present. Air scrubbers utilize multiple stages of air filters to ensure that only clean air is released back into the environment.
Stage 1: Pre-filtering
The first stage of an air scrubber involves pre-filtering the incoming dirty air with a mechanical filter. This filter traps larger dust and dirt particles as they pass through it, similar to how a regular home vacuum cleaner removes large debris from carpets and floors.
Depending on the make and model of an air scrubber, this pre-filter can be composed of multiple layers for greater efficiency when catching different sizes of particles.
Stage 2: Activated Carbon Filtration
Once smaller particulates have passed through the initial filtration layer, activated carbon filters come into play to capture airborne gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Activated carbon has been infused with oxygen molecules which further increases its ability to trap toxins out of passing airflow due to its porous, spongy structure.
Using various adsorption techniques, such as absorption or binding reactions with surface molecules on activated carbon fibers, odorless airborne chemicals can be successfully removed before entering indoor spaces like homes or businesses.
Stage 3: HEPA Filter
The next stage utilizes even higher-grade filters known as High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestors (HEPA) filters. These contain tightly woven fibrous materials to capture microscopic particles like pollen or fine dust from circulation indoors.
Air scrubbers can be fitted to the ductwork already present as HVAC whole-house air scrubbers, or you can purchase portable air scrubbers to keep your home’s air clean.
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UV light air purifiers
Ultraviolet light air purifiers have a special place in air purification due to their ability to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.
The intense UV rays work to reduce the airborne pathogens that can cause sick building syndrome (SBS). By the use of UV light, these purified environments are created that are essential for protecting one’s health.
In addition to household use, UVC lights are also used in commercial properties such as hotels, restaurants and hospitals. Their placement near HVAC systems has become increasingly popular, particularly in present-day circumstances where the spread of viruses is concerning.
By radiating sterile Germicidal ultraviolet emission periodically into the air, it maintains pathogen levels below damaging concentrations.
Germicidal UV lights are also known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). They’re a form of technology used to control the spread of airborne microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
They work by emitting UV-C radiation, which can break down the DNA structure in germs, making them unable to reproduce or cause infection.
This type of light works in two ways:
1) direct exposure and
2) indirect exposure through reflection.
With direct exposure, the UV light strikes an object directly and may kill some microbes on contact. While with indirect exposure, reflected light from walls, ceilings, and other surfaces allows for more even coverage throughout a space.
This can be especially helpful when trying to disinfect larger areas like rooms or hallways.
Most effective germicidal UV lights
For germicidal UV lights to be effective, they must reach specific wavelengths between 200 to 280 nanometers. Specifically, 254 nanometers light waves are needed for killing many types of airborne bacteria and viruses effectively on contact or within seconds of exposure.
Additionally, these lights must be placed appropriately to reach all areas needed without obstacles blocking their path.
What are the benefits of using germicidal lights?
Overall germicidal UV lights are a potent tool in controlling infectious diseases due to their ability to neutralize microbes inside an enclosed area quickly and efficiently without using dangerous chemicals or extreme temperatures.
They’ve been used commercially since the 1940s but have become increasingly popular recently due to their effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2.
Combined air scrubber and UV light
You can improve the efficacy of air scrubbers by combining them with UV lights into one combo unit.
These UV lights naturally emit a particular type of light energy, which has the potency to neutralize airborne germs, viruses, and bacteria. As UV light travels through circulating air, it targets any microorganism present, quickly breaking them down into harmless atoms.
Incorporating this additional component enhances the overall functionalities that an air scrubber can produce—keeping us safe and healthy indoors.
Air Scrubber vs UV Light: What’s the best?
Both air scrubbers and UV lights are great for creating a healthier home environment. They’re both designed to reduce levels of airborne particles, may help with allergies, and can even reduce odors. But which one is the best option for you?
It really depends on your specific needs because each type has different benefits.
Benefits of air scrubbers
Air Scrubber technology uses a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to capture airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, including dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, smoke particles, and pollen – all of which can aggravate allergy symptoms.
Additionally, some models also use ActivePure® Technology to deactivate viruses and bacteria on surfaces in the room.
Benefits of UV lights
UV Lights work differently – they kill bacteria by breaking down their cell walls so they can no longer reproduce or cause harm.
It does this with an ultraviolet C (UV-C light) bulb, which transmits short UVC wavelengths into the air, destroying microorganisms such as fungi like mold and mildew.
Plus, it doesn’t rely on filters, so there are no ongoing replacement costs associated with using UV Light technology.
So when deciding between an Air Scrubber or UV Light system for your home, consider several factors:
- What do you want to protect against – airborne allergens or surface germs?
- Are there specific health concerns you have about yourself or your family members?
- And finally, what type of maintenance would be most convenient for you?
Once you answer these questions, it should become easier to determine if an air scrubber or UV light system is the best option for your home environment.
While both air scrubbers and UV lights have pros and cons, many people prefer to combine the two for the best results.
Using an air scrubber to remove particles from the air and a UV light to kill germs can create a clean and healthy environment for your family.
If you’re looking for the best way to improve indoor air quality, consider investing in an air scrubber and UV light combo unit.