Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
What Are UV Light Air Purifiers?
UV air purifiers are helpful for those who suffer from mold allergies caused by an excessive amount of mold and mildew indoors. As a bonus, they may also help reduce the risk of cold and flu viruses spread through droplets that form when people talk and sneeze nearby. With common household germs and bacteria destroyed, you and your family members can breathe easier and enjoy a clean-feeling home.
UV air purifiers use an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) technology to rapidly eliminate bacteria, mold, viruses and other potential problems with air quality. The UV light has no harmful effects on humans but will kill almost all pathogens that are detected by the unit’s sensors.
UV light is a proven killer of many airborne pathogens and contaminants, including mold, germs, viruses, and bacteria. A good UV air purifier can greatly improve the quality of your indoor air – but only if it’s designed to work properly and safely.
11 Things To Look For In A UV Air Purifier
A high-quality air purifier for your home or office can improve your life in many ways. Cleaner air means less dust and dander that irritates allergies and asthma, as well as improved focus and productivity. A good air purifier may help clear out airborne viruses and bacteria that make us sick.
However, not all air purifiers are created equal, and there are a number of factors to consider when searching for the best unit for your space. There are several important factors you should know about before buying a UV air purifier. Let’s examine them in detail:
1. Size of the Room
How big is the room or area that you want to clean? Larger spaces obviously require more powerful equipment. Units with higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings are generally more effective at cleaning larger areas because they move more air through the system.
A good UV air purifier can treat large rooms without losing effectiveness. Look for one that can treat the size space you need it to. Also make sure that the system you choose can be installed quickly, easily, and effectively in your heating or cooling system ductwork.
2. Type of Contaminants
Are there specific contaminants that you’re concerned about? Different UV air cleaners are best suited for different applications. For example, if your primary concern is mold remediation, you’ll want a model designed for this purpose (like an Aquafine CSL-Series model).
If your primary concern is general IAQ (indoor air quality) improvement, a model like an Airfree P1000 may be best suited for your application.
Does the unit come with a pre-filter? It’s important to remove as much dust and debris from your air before it reaches the HEPA filter, so you don’t have to clean or replace it as often. Pre-filters are usually made of washable foam or felt, so they need only be rinsed off periodically with water.
4. Odor Control
Most people don’t realize that some UV air purifiers also come with an activated carbon filter. These filters are designed to remove odors from the air, such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, and pet smells. However, they don’t do much in terms of removing contaminants from the air. Carbon filters are only meant to mask odors. They are not a replacement for HEPA filters or ionizers.
If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems, this is especially true. A carbon filter won’t protect you from allergens or irritants in your air as a HEPA filter will. It will only mask odors for a short time. This is why we recommend using a HEPA filter in conjunction with a carbon filter when using a UV air purifier.
5. UV Bulb
Some models use less expensive bulbs and they burn out quickly, while others use high-quality bulbs, and they last longer.
This will allow you to set the desired run time for the UV bulb, which ensures that the room is being properly treated.
7. Light Sensor
The unit won’t operate unless it detects light, so there’s no wasted energy if you are away for long periods of time or it is dark outside. This can save money over time.
8. Auto Shut-Off
This protects against potential damage to the unit if it overheats or there is a malfunction of some sort, so it shuts down automatically when necessary.
9. Remote Control Option
Some newer units have this feature which allows you to operate it from a distance and makes adjusting settings convenient and easy.
10. Voltage and Power Consumption
Always check power ratings to ensure the unit won’t draw too much energy and potentially cause damage to your electrical system. You don’t want your electricity bill going through the roof!
11. Low-Maintenance Design
The best UV air purifiers have a low-maintenance design. The unit should have an easy-to-replace bulb and filter, which enables you to maintain it regularly without much fuss or trouble. A high-quality design will also mean less time spent on maintenance, as there will be fewer parts that require regular replacing or cleaning.
How Do UV-C Air Purifiers Work?
A UV-C air purifier uses UV-C radiation to attack bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms. The radiation acts to change the DNA of the organisms and make it impossible to reproduce. This makes them inactive and far less harmful.
The aim is that by killing mold, bacteria, and viruses the air will be cleaner and therefore safer to breathe. This type of filter may be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, or any other type of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis or COPD.
Let’s take a look at some of the best UV Air Purifiers…
Pure Enrichment Ultra Violet Air Purifier
The Pure Enrichment UV-C air purifier has an excellent 82% of consumers rating it 5-stars. The UV-C light safely destroys micro-organisms such as germs, viruses, bacteria, and fungi and is a high-quality HEPA UV air purifier.
This air purifier combines a premium HEPA filter and a built-in UV-C light to help eliminate household odors, germs, and harmful airborne pollutants such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and other particles.
This HEPA filter captures and eliminates 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger, while UV-C light helps kill airborne germs and bacteria with no harmful chemicals. PureZone is designed for use in the largest rooms of your home including living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms
Pure Enrichment’s UV Home Air Purifier is the perfect way to purify the air in your home, large room, office, or car. It is designed to help reduce allergies, chemicals, dust, and odors due to smoke and cooking…
The PureZone Series Air Purifiers with built-in ultraviolet (UV)-C lights provide a deeper level of air sanitation by destroying illness-causing microorganisms that can’t be seen, smelled or tasted.
- You’ll breathe deeply and comfortably all day long as the UV-C light destroys volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other airborne pollutants.
- It features a built-in UV-C light that adds an extra layer of protection by destroying microorganisms that can cause illnesses like the common cold and flu.
- Also works well for smoke removal following a fire or other smoke damage event.
- The UV-C light component is an added layer of protection against airborne germs, bacteria, viruses, and mold by destroying them on contact. The UV-C light does not emit ozone or any harmful chemicals.
Germ Guardian UV-C Sanitizer Air Purifier
This brand also features as our top-rated air purifier for cat litter box dust that you can read more about here… Best Air Purifier For Cat Litter Dust
The Germ Guardian UV-C Sanitizer air purifier has an AMAZING 82% of consumers rating it 5-stars and has earned Amazon Choice status. This 3 in 1 filtration system includes an activated charcoal filter which helps to reduce unwanted odors from pets, smoke, cooking fumes, etc.
The UV purifier system is a germicidal air filtering system that is used to destroy harmful pathogens as small as 0.2 microns by means of electromagnetic radiation. The UV lamp generates ultraviolet light (UV-C) waves to sterilize the air, destroying germs, viruses, mold, fungus, and spores in the air path of the UV-C Sanitizer.
The Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier UV-C Sanitizer effectively cleans indoor or outdoor air while reducing airborne particles such as pollen and pet dander commonly found in smoke, dust, mold spores, and other airborne pollutants…
The Germ Guardian HEPA-OdorCell Filter captures over 99.97% of airborne particles as small as .3 microns from the air passing through it. The UV-C light helps kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and works with Titanium Dioxide to reduce volatile organic compounds.
- The HEPA filter is a premium-grade filter made from a unique blend of highly efficient activated carbon and natural minerals.
- It is designed to capture smoke, dirt, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and other pollutants from the air that passes through it.
- The filter’s microscopic pores have been proven to capture even the smallest particles.
- The UV-C light kills airborne germs by disabling the DNA in the germ cell making it incapable of reproducing or spreading disease.
- The Germ Guardian uses a high-frequency UV-C light to eliminate all microorganisms including bacteria, mold, mildew, and viruses from your indoor air.
- As an added feature it has a nightlight that emits a soft glow for use as a night light.
TruSens UV Light Air Purifier
The TruSens UV Light air purifier has an excellent 77% of consumers rating it 5-stars. This ultraviolet air purifier works fabulously in auto mode by actively monitoring the air quality of your room and taking action.
Clean the air with TruSens 360 HEPA filtration, and fight bacteria and germs with UV sterilization. The TruSens PureGuardian UV-C light is the newest and most effective technology for killing germs and bacteria in the air. The UV-C light sterilizes the air as it passes through the UV-C light chamber, then passes out into the room.
The UV Home Air Purifier is not only the best solution for cleaning and purifying the air in your home, it also kills germs and bacteria and safely sterilizes household surfaces.
TruSens utilizes a patented medical technology that eliminates harmful airborne pollutants while killing bacteria and germs. Together, these two technologies combine to reduce common household maladies such as asthma, allergies, colds, flues, flu, odors, smoke and so much more!
- The PureZone air purifier is the perfect addition to your home. It helps remove smoke, dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other allergy-causing particulates from the air you breathe. The UV-C light also kills microorganisms that can spread germs and diseases.
- The PureZone air purifier is designed for medium-large rooms such as bedrooms, offices, or living rooms.
- The sleek design fits well in your home decor without looking obtrusive.
- PureZone will help you breathe healthier air with its 3 stage filtration system that includes a True HEPA filter which captures 99.97% of airborne allergens as small as 0.3 microns including dust mites, pollens, tobacco smoke, and pet dander.
- You can breathe easier knowing you’re protected against germs with this built-in UV-C light that emits high levels of ultraviolet energy to destroy microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, and mold spores on contact.
SilverOnyx Air Purifier With UV Light
The SilverOnyx UV Light air purifier has an excellent 76% of consumers rating it 5-stars. This model features 5 levels of advanced filtration which provides very clean air quality. It targets airborne particles that cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems, while also neutralizing odors.
A clever combination of a mesh pre-filter, UV HEPA air purifier with H13 activated carbon filter, plus a UV-C light and ion generator work to sanitize the air even further. This air purifier is compact and powerful, with true HEPA filtration for the most complete air cleaning.
A built-in UV light destroys bacteria and viruses in the air, providing added protection from germs and pet dander. The UV Home Air Purifier is also equipped with an ionizer to help sanitize the air.
An air purifier kills germs and bacteria and keeps them from growing back. The Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier, UV Light Sanitizer is a germ killer that helps kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and works with Titanium Dioxide to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- The UV-C light fights off germs by helping to kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus. The UV light also helps kill mold spores that can cause allergies or asthma attacks.
- The Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier uses an electrostatic filter to remove 99.97% of allergens as small as 0.3 microns from the air passing through it.
- For greater protection against germs, the air purifier also has a built-in carbon filter that helps reduce odors caused by cooking or pet dander.
- The Germ Guardian Air Purifier with UV-C light is a great choice for a bedroom, living room, office, or anywhere you want germ-free air. This purifier provides true HEPA filtration to keep your indoor air clean and healthy.
- The UV-C light kills airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and works with Titanium Dioxide to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household products such as insect repellents, furniture polish, cleaning solutions, paint fumes, and paints.
- The UV-C light kills most germs in the air including bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella; viruses like rhinovirus (the common cold), influenza (the flu), measles, mumps; mold spores; dust mite allergens; pet dander; smoke; and more.
- The UV-C light has no effect on humans or animals because it does not penetrate through the skin as sunlight does.
MOOKA True HEPA+ Air Purifier
The MOOKA UV-C Sanitizer air purifier has an excellent 75% of consumers rating it 5-stars. The Mooka GL-FS32 Air Purifier has a 6-point filtration system that makes it one of the most versatile air purifiers you have ever seen.
Featuring six different filtration types that all work together, the air purifier can clean your air in six dimensions. There is a pre-filter, HEPA filter, an activated charcoal filter, VOC absorption particles, ultraviolet light, and negative ions.
This air purifier is designed to take care of all kinds of allergies and asthma. It removes dust, pollen, bacteria, and pet dander from the air. The 6D filtration system also captures VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are often found in cleaning products, paints, furnishings, etc.
It is equipped with a pre-filter, HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, VOC absorption particles, UV light sterilizer, and a negative ion generator, so this air purifier cleans the air in your room in 6 unique ways.
When Mooka GL-FS32 HEPA air purifier detects indoor odors in your home, it immediately goes into “Search” mode. It will find the odor in the air, eliminate it, and lock it in. This is unlike most other ordinary air purifiers that only work to reduce dust and improve air quality.
- The Mooka GL-FS32 Air Purifier has a pre-filter that captures the larger particles, such as pet hair, smoke, dust, and pollen.
- The HEPA filter catches pollutants about 0.1m in diameter, including bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
- The activated carbon filter absorbs odors and chemicals.
- The VOC absorption particle catches gases like formaldehyde or benzene.
- The UV light works on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are things like smoke, paint fumes, air freshener, glue solvent, etc.
- The negative ion generator works to clean the air by making positively charged ions react with negatively charged particles in the air to neutralize them.
Do UV Air Purifiers Work?
UV air purifiers work, to an extent. Yes, they can be effective in removing microorganisms and airborne pathogens in the area, but they will not eliminate all viruses or bacteria that are present in the air.
UV air purifiers should not be used as standalone devices. To make these devices actually useful, they would need to be paired with another system, like an HVAC unit.
This way, the air is forced through the unit and can effectively remove some bacteria from the air. To remove actual particles and pollutants, another type of filtering system should be installed.
What Does a UV Air Purifier Do?
A UV air purifier essentially uses UV rays to break down viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces to disinfect the area. While it doesn’t technically ‘purify’ the air, it can eliminate some airborne pathogens like mold, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.
Some of them really work, but many of them don’t. They are not very effective in removing actual particles or air pollutants. UV air purifiers are best paired with another filtering device to achieve the best working quality and are not recommended as a standalone product.
Are UV Air Purifiers Safe?
Generally speaking, UV air purifiers are quite safe to have installed in a home or building air purifying unit. While they can eliminate many things by themselves, it’s best to pair a UV air purifier with another air-filtering system, like an HVAC unit.
This way, you can ensure that the UV purifier is actually making your environment safer rather than just taking up space. However, there is speculation from experts that using a UV air purifier can generate small amounts of ozone, which has been proven to be harmful to human lungs and damages the atmosphere in large amounts.
Are UV Air Purifiers Effective?
Yes, but only if the conditions are right. In order to fully irradiate viruses, harmful bacteria, and micro-organisms and make them inactive the radiation has to be of a high enough intensity.
Lower intensities can also work but they will require longer to be effective. This means if the HVAC system is switched on high then the microbes will likely be swept through before the radiation has had sufficient time to conclude its work.
The presence of even an effective UV-C purifier does not mean you don’t need other filtration such as carbon air purifiers or HEPA filters. There are many other contaminants that radiation alone will not remove.
In summary, if you are interested in other types of air purifiers read our post about different types of air purifiers.
For the benefits of air purifiers for UV sanitizing purposes, the following article is a good read. Basically, while inconclusive for now, there is enough evidence of potential health benefits to warrant further research and it appears to reduce respiratory infections when applied in crowded spaces.
You may also be interested in… Best Activated Carbon Filter Air Purifiers (Carbon Is Better) and Best 100% Ozone Free Air Purifiers For Smoke