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Pros, Cons & What You Need To Know About UV Air Filtration

Image of back of man's head leaning against a couch, with animated germ cells in top left corner.

If you or your family suffer from severe allergies or routine coughs, colds, and viruses, you might be battling poor indoor air quality.

The EPA estimates that, “indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times” as high as those outdoors. While there are multiple ways to combat poor indoor air, one of the first to consider is an air purification system for your Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky home.

UV, or ultraviolet, filters are the latest air filtering method. Schneller Knochelmann wants to help you better understand this latest advancement and what it can do for your home. Keep reading to learn what sets UV filters apart from the rest.

Air Filtration: A Brief History

UV filters are the latest innovation in air filtration, but people have relied on air filters since as early as the Industrial Revolution.

The initial invention, created in 1823, was used to help firefighters, allowing them to breathe easier when they rushed into smoke-filled buildings. The most significant jump in air filtration technology happened during WWII when high-efficiency particulate air filters were created.

These filters, also called HEPA filters, are still widely used today and can remove microscopic, potentially harmful particles in the air like pollen, pet dander, mold, bacteria, and other airborne pollutants. However, they can’t capture smaller viruses, and some microorganisms actually reproduce when caught in the filter, which results in more pollutants in the air.

Related Read: How Clean Is Your Air?

Though UV filters are the most recent step forward in the path to clean air, like all air filters, they have their strengths and weaknesses.

UV Filter Pros

  • Unlike other filters, UV filters eliminate microscopic elements, such as viruses, bacteria, or mold that can be toxic or harmful.
  • UV filters are silent – you won’t even know it’s running.
  • These filters are more efficient than most because they clean constantly, even when the machine isn’t actively pushing air through (unlike traditional filters).
  • Because there’s no physical filter, the filter won’t accumulate dirt and dust and become blocked.

UV Filter Cons

  • These filters will kill microorganisms that other filters can’t, but they won’t remove most allergens, dust, or other solids such as cigarette smoke, gases, or other chemical fumes.
  • As with most new technology, some companies are still figuring out the best way to produce UV filters, and systems proven to get results can be costly.
  • While you don’t have to change a filter with UV lights, these systems require some maintenance. AirCleaner.org tells us, “every year, about 15% of an ultraviolet light’s power is decreased.”

The final word on UV air filters: While they eliminate microorganisms in the air, they can’t stop every harmful particle. The best way to clean your air is a system that uses both a UV filter and another type of filter in tandem.

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