Ultraviolet (UV) Air Purifiers
What is an ultraviolet (UV) air purifier?
There are a variety of ultraviolet (UV) air purifiers available ion the market today. Most commonly, UV is used to complement HEPA or other forms of filtration to enhance an air purifiers capacity to kill or remove harmful microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. UV is also used on a standalone basis within furnace ducts to kill microorganisms.
Ultraviolet (UV) lamps produce UV-C or "germicidal UV," radiation of much greater intensity than sunlight. Almost all of a UV lamp's output is concentrated in the 254 nanometers (nm) region in order to take full advantage of the germicidal properties of this wavelength. When organisms are exposed to UV light, the light enters the cell wall and alters its DNA, killing it. When UV light of a strong enough intensity is used, it can actually break down the chemical bonds in organic molecules, often removing organic gases from the air. In fact, recent testing has shown that UV can be effective at destroying certain VOC's, although we would not specifically recommend the technology for VOC reduction at this time. The science behind the effectiveness of ultraviolet light in killing bacteria and viruses as well as other microorganisms is extremely well documented and proven conclusively. In fact, the use of UV light to sterilize water, especially in residential well water applications, is extremely common.
What contaminants do ultraviolet (UV) air purifiers remove?
Ultraviolet air purifiers are designed exclusively to kill bacteria and viruses and other harmful microorganisms. UV us one of the few safe, effective technologies for this category of contaminants. UV air purifiers will not remove dust, odors and most common allergens. For this reason, they are usually combined with other air purification technologies such as HEPA and activated carbon.
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Evaluation of Ultraviolet (UV) Air Purifier Technology
What to Look for in an Ultraviolet (UV) Air Purifier
The effectiveness of a UV air purifier is dependent upon the exposure time between the contaminant and the UV light. UV is most effective when the air is free of dust and particulate (which can block some of the UV light), so HEPA pre-filtration is highly recommended. A UV sterilizer with a high air processing rate is also desirable as it will ensure multiple air passes per hour to enhance the overall exposure time.
Recommended HEPA Filter Brands / Models that use Supplemental UV Treatment:
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