UV air purifiers: Pros, cons, and effectiveness – Medical News Today
Air purifiers can be effective in improving indoor air quality. There are different types available, and those that use UV light capture and destroy viruses and bacteria present in the air.
However, the Environmental Protection Agency states that some UV air purifiers emit ozone gas. This can cause breathing difficulties, especially in people who have asthma.
This article discusses what a UV air purifier is and whether it is effective in providing a cleaner home environment. It also explores some HEPA air purifiers that a person may consider purchasing.
UV air purifiers are devices that use UV light technology to capture air and pass it through a filter. The air then goes through a small internal chamber where it becomes exposed to UV-C light. Some air purifiers then filter the air again before releasing it back into the room.
However, UV air purifiers do not effectively remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.
A 2021 systematic review suggests that UV air purifiers that also use a HEPA filter may be effective at removing bacteria from the air. However, the researchers also point out that there is not enough evidence investigating whether UV and HEPA air purifiers can protect against respiratory illnesses.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that people should not buy air purifiers that emit ozone. These can include UV air purifiers, electrostatic precipitators, ionizers, and plasma air purifiers.
Ozone is a colorless gas that is naturally present in the Earth’s atmosphere and protects people from the Sun’s harmful UV rays. However, the air pollutants and chemical reactions can still lead to ozone formation at ground level.
Ozone pollution can cause symptoms such as:
Learn about air purifiers for asthma here.
The Environmental Working Group recommends people use purifiers with a HEPA filter, as these are ozone-free. They remove particles such as mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses from the air.
While UV air purifiers usually have a quiet operation and may be effective at removing bacteria from the air if a person uses them with HEPA filters, these devices can emit ozone.
Additionally, unlike HEPA filters, UV air purifiers cannot effectively remove VOCs or other gases from the air. The EPA recommends purchasing devices that use HEPA and carbon filters to remove VOCs, gases, and odors from the air.
Learn more about the five air purifiers to consider here.
The EPA recommends purchasing air purifiers that use HEPA filters over UV air purifiers. Therefore, below are some HEPA air purifiers that are available for purchase online.
Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
This device is suitable for extra-large rooms that are up to 465 square feet (sq. ft). The company states that the HEPA filter can remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles.
Learn more about Honeywell air purifiers here.
The Honeywell HPA300 has the following features:
- an automatic off timer option
- filter change reminders
- four cleaning levels and a turbo setting
- a control panel lights dimmer
The device weighs 17 pounds (lb) and is 20.8 inches (in) long, 10.83 in wide, and 22.38 in high.
Honeywell offers a 5-year limited warranty on this device.
At the time of publishing, the Honeywell HPA300 had a list price of $429.99.
Austin Air HealthMate
This air purifier comes with a 360-degree intake system and features wheels, so people can easily move it into different areas.
Other features that it comes with include a:
- four-stage filtration process
- three-speed centrifugal fan
- high-efficiency motor
This device weighs 47 lb and has the dimensions of 14.5 x 14.5 x 23 in.
Austin Air offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 5-year mechanical and filter warranty.
At the time of publishing, the Austin Air HealthMate cost $715.
This device is suitable for rooms that are up to 360 sq. ft, although the company also claims this product can purify the air in rooms up to 1740 sq. ft within 1 hour.
This HEPA air purifier has a washable fine mesh prefilter and a carbon filter. This reduces VOCs and household odors present in the air, which come from pets, smoke, and cooking.
Additional features of the Winix 5500-2 include:
- an air quality indicator
- dual smart sensors
- a four-stage filtration system
This device weighs 14.8 lb and has dimensions of 15 x 82 x 23.6 in.
Winnix offers a 2-year warranty on this product.
At the time of publishing, the Winix 5500-2 cost $249.99.
Coway Airmega 400
This device is suitable for rooms that are up to 1,560 sq. ft. People can choose from automatic, eco, and sleep modes when using this air purifier.
Learn more about Coway air purifiers here.
The Airmega 400 has the following additional features:
- an air filter indicator
- a prefilter for hair, fur, and dust
- a Max2 filter
- a three-stage filtration system
The device weighs 24.7 lb and has dimensions of 14.8 x 22.8 x 14.8 in.
Coway offers free shipping, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a 5-year motor and electronic parts warranty.
At the time of publishing, the Coway Airmega 400 had a list price of $649.
Oransi Max Air Purifier
This device is suitable for rooms that are up to 600 sq. ft. The company recommends people place it in bedrooms, living rooms, and basements.
This air purifier has an activated carbon filter for light odors and a three-stage filtration system.
Additional features of the Oransi Max Air Purifier include:
- V-lock and V-seal
- a replacement filter indicator
- quiet operation
- low power usage of up to 90W
This device weighs 18.5 lb and has dimensions of 17 x 22 x 8 in.
Oransi offers free shipping, a 60-day returns policy, and a 10-year warranty on this device.
At the time of publishing, the Oransi Max Air Purifier had a list price of $479.
Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier
This device is suitable for rooms of up to 815 sq. ft. People can choose a customized filter that fits their needs, such as a pet allergy or odor remover filter.
Additional features of the MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifer include:
- a light sensor
- quiet operation
- a five-speed motor
- a six-stage filtration system
This device weighs 19.4 lb and has dimensions of 20 x 21.4 x 7 in.
Rabbit Air offers free shipping and a 5-year warranty on this device.
At the time of publishing, the Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier cost $549.95.
Alen BreatheSmart Classic True HEPA Air Purifier
This device is suitable for rooms of up to 1,100 sq. ft. The company recommends using this air purifier in master bedrooms or open-plan living spaces.
Additional features of the Classic True HEPA Air Purifier include:
- LED color rings
- four speed settings
- an auto mode feature detecting harmful particles
This device weighs 21 lb and has the dimensions of 26.75 x 17.75 x 10 in.
Alen BreatheSmart offers a lifetime warranty on this device.
At the time of publishing, the Alen BreatheSmart Classic True HEPA Air Purifier cost $649.