If you live in a big city, you know how polluted the air can be around you. The problem is, that air can make its way into your home as well. It can lead to all kinds of issues for you and your family, such as allergies and respiratory health issues. In the age of COVID, you also need to consider the pathogens that are in the air too.
What can you do to reduce the risk of illness, and clean the air in your home? You can use a UV light air purifier to help. Here's how they work, and why they're your best line of defense.
The Pathogens In The Air Around You
It's amazing just how many particles and pathogens are in the air around you. Thanks to pollution, you're seeing a huge rise in chemicals and particles like methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air. These lead to a whole range of health issues, including heart disease, cancer, asthma, and more.
As well as these, there's pathogens you need to worry about too. Things like the common cold are carried in the air, and that way you can easily breathe the pathogens in and catch that cold. The same goes for COVID-19. We now understand that the virus is airborne, so you want to be able to avoid them as much as possible.
That's why you'll want to keep the air clean in your home, to reduce the chance of these pathogens making their way in. How can you do that with UV light?
Can UV Light Help Kill Pathogens?
How does UV light work when it comes to purifying the air? There are actually several different types of UV light, and when you use the right one you'll be able to kill off pathogens in your home.
UV-A light, for example, is what makes up the most of the sun's radiation, and what's usually found in tanning beds. UV-B light is what causes most sunburns, as it damages DNA in your top layers of skin.
UV-C light, on the other hand, is great for killing pathogens. The earth's atmosphere blocks UV-C rays from the planet, because it's the best at harming living organisms and cells. It is dangerous to you, but when used correctly it can help sanitize the air around you.
For example, take bacteria particles in the air. Bacteria typically only have a single cell, and it relies on its DNA to survive. That means when its exposed to UV-C light, the DNA is damaged and the bacteria is killed.
As for viruses, they're susceptible to UV-C light too. They are a set of genes that are held together in a protective protein shell that's known as a 'capsid'. UV-C radiation will damage the shell enough to inactivate the virus within it. If you're looking to protect against COVID-19, then UV-C light can help a lot.
Using A UV Light Air Purifier
So, can a UV light air purifier help in keeping your home's air clean? If you pick the right model, you can find one that will help you get just the results that you want. They need to contain several key features to give you the results you need:
Activated carbon layer: This should be the first layer that the air moves through when your air purifier draws it in. This layer will help with any unwanted scents around the home, such as kitty litter or cigarette smoke. It can also neutralize smoke and other particles in the air.
HEPA filter: Then, the air should move through HEPA filters. When looking into air purifiers, make sure that you find that uses HEPA filters. Not all do, but they're the most effective. They use a very fine mesh to capture even the smallest particles. That allows it to grab dust, allergens, pet dander, and more. That cleans a lot of the pollutants out of the air around you.
UV light: Finally, you'll want to look for that UV light. As good as HEPA filters are, they aren't able to capture bacteria, viruses, fungi and mold in them. That's where you need the light. The air is moved into an internal chamber in the purifier after it's gone through the HEPA filter. At that point, it's exposed to the UV light which will destroy any pathogens inside.
On a lot of air purifier models, you'll see that a blue light is put on them to show the light bulb is working. However, that's not required, so don't worry if your model doesn't have one.
Taking Care Of Your UV Light Air Purifier
Like most items in your home, you'll want to take good care of your UV light air purifier, in order to get the most from it. Maintaining it will allow it to work at top capacity, day in and day out.
Firstly, you'll need to change your HEPA filter at regular intervals. You'll need to check the instructions to see how often to replace it. Over time, that filter will get clogged with all the dirt it's catching, so you want to change it before it can lose its efficiency.
The UV light in your unit will need to be changed out too. On average, you'll want to change it after around 10,000 hours of usage. That's just over a year, so you won't have to change them very often at all.
Are UV Light Air Purifiers Safe?
This is something some people worry about, especially as the UV-C light is used specifically because it damages cells. The good news is, using it in an air purifier is as safe as can be. The light is enclosed within the unit, so you won't be exposed to it.
There are so many reasons why you'll want to pick up a UV-C light air purifier for your home. They do a lot to ensure that the air is safe for you and your family, no matter how bad the pollution is outside.