Poor air quality presents a wide range of issues for businesses and residential homeowners alike. Fortunately, there are many air purifying options that can provide relief for those who suffer from allergies, asthma, sleep issues, and more due to poor indoor air quality. For many, modern UV light air purifiers are proving beneficial.
Ultraviolet (UV) light purifying technology, when combined with other air purification methods, provides optimal clean air environments for indoor spaces.
That said, every UV air filter isn’t right for any application. There are a wide variety of brands, models, and features to consider to reduce indoor air pollution—and protect your health.
The technology isn’t necessarily new, but it’s gaining popularity. As a result, the market has been flooded with various purifying devices and systems incorporating UV light, which can make it confusing for consumers to know which is best.
How a UV Air Filter Works
UV light air purifiers utilize short-wave UV light to disinfect the air of pathogens like mold, bacteria, and viruses. This method of purification/germicidal irradiation has been used successfully in hospital settings for more than 100 years.
UV light by itself won’t trap or remove particles in the air, which is why most systems are designed with forced air and extra filtration in mind.
A UV light air purifier usually uses a combination of forced-air and a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA UV air purifiers often utilize UV-C light, which destroys pathogens or renders them harmless.
The Difference Between UV Light Air Purifiers
Some differences between UV light air purifiers are:
- UV type: UV light air purifiers can be designed for different use cases. When searching for purifiers, you might find systems that use UV-A, UV-B, or UV-C light. Only UV-C light has been proven to be germicidal and effective at killing airborne viruses and bacteria.
- Exposure length: Different purifiers will expose airflow to UV light for different lengths of time. This is done by placing the UV bulb in different positions inside the system. Some units have an air filter with UV light built in. Others place the bulb downstream from airflow.
- Bulb type: While all UV air purifiers use UV light, not all purifiers use the same type of bulb. Some use mercury vapor bulbs and others use LED bulbs. LED bulbs tend to be better for energy consumption while mercury vapor bulbs have traditionally been less expensive.
- Number of bulbs: Common consumer-model UV light air purifiers often have one or two bulbs. Larger units can accommodate more bulbs and (in theory) are more effective as a result. That said, more bulbs means more energy consumption, so keep that in mind.
- Bulb lifespan: UV bulb lifespans, whether mercury or LED, can range from a few thousand hours to a few years. Some are designed to be replaceable, while others are permanently installed.
- Portability: Most consumer UV light air purifying units are portable and designed so that the user can move the unit from room to room if desired. Commercial units, by comparison, are often installed as part of a larger air filtration system built into a building.
- Coverage: Purification effectiveness is presented as a clean air delivery rate (CADR) and is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Larger, more powerful units will have a higher CADR and can improve indoor air quality in a larger area.
- Particle filter: HEPA-type air filters are different from true HEPA filters. HEPA-type filters claim to be as effective as true HEPA filters without actually being certified or by the U.S. Department of Energy. You want a true HEPA filter with UV light in your UV air purifier.
- Ozone safety: Oxygen, when exposed to high concentrations of UV-C light, can produce ozone, and a high level of ozone is harmful to the body. Some manufacturers use a special coating to reduce ozone production. Check to see if a purifier is CARB approved if you live in a state that adheres to stricter CARB standards (California, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts).
The Most Popular UV Light Air Purifiers
With the information above, you’ll be better equipped to understand if a particular unit or system suits your needs. The best UV air purifier is the one that meets all of your requirements. Here are a handful of the most popular UV light air purifiers:
AirFixture’s CleanAir Tower
CleanAir Tower from AirFixture is a mobile air purification unit that can combine bi-polar ionization, UV light, and air filtration to eliminate contaminants in the air.
CleanAir Tower is ideal for commercial spaces but can be used residentially as well. The easy-grip handle and rolling casters make it portable, meaning you can utilize your space more effectively.
Its high airflow rate and multiple filtration systems make it the perfect UV air purifier. Unlike other UV air purifiers on the market, it traps harmful particles instead of releasing them back into the air.
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SilverOnyx Air Purifier
The SilverOnx Air Purifier (model KJ100F-C02) is a drum-filter true HEPA air purifier that utilizes UV light for optimal purification.
- HEPA H13 charcoal filter
- Clean air ionizer
- 140 CFM
- Permanent UV-C light
- Compact design
The compact design of the SilverOnyx Air Purifier makes it ideal for in-home use, though its low airflow rate makes it unsuitable for large rooms or commercial spaces.
The GermGuardian model AC5250PT from Guardian Technologies is another popular portable consumer UV light air purifier.
- HEPA filter
- Single UV-C mercury bulb
- 5-speed fan
- CARB approved
- 116 CFM maximum airflow for smoke
The GermGuardian’s 3-stage filtration offers activated charcoal pre-filtration to help trap larger particles. Its sleek design is attractive, but it tends to operate a little louder than other units. It also has a very low airflow rate, which makes it suitable only for small rooms.
InvisiClean Aura II
The InvisiClean Aura II improves upon the previous iteration while still providing a 4-stage filtration system.
- Carbon pre-filter
- 4-speed operation
- 170 CFM
- HEPA filter
- Single UV-C mercury bulb
The perks of the InvisiClean Aura include its low-energy, low-power motor and double the output of similar non-commercial units. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a very good odor filter and it has a low airflow rate.
Get the Best UV Light Air Purifier for Small, Mid-Sized and Large Spaces
There are many UV light air purifiers on the market, be sure to read UV air purifier reviews to get an idea of where they’re being used and what’s best for your space.
If you are looking for the perfect UV light air purifier for office space, lobby, event venue, or other commercial space, CleanAir Tower is the obvious choice. Take advantage of a powerful air purifier with a high CADR that actually helps people breathe cleaner.
Find out about the benefits of choosing CleanAir Tower for your building. Talk to the experts at AirFixture today for some more information on the product or its capabilities.
Contact one of our air purification experts to experience the difference better air quality can make in your home or office!