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7 Best UV Air Purifier In 2021

There are ways to remove allergens in the air, none do it better than an ultraviolet air purifier. Unlike a HEPA machine, it kills bacteria and viruses permanently leaving no traces behind. In this comprehensive buying guide, we will explain how do UV-light works, the benefits of using a UVGI method works, and the drawbacks that come with it. After comparing and reviewing more than 100 models at all price points, we filtered out the bad ones and handpicked the best UV air purifier you can get right now. Read on.

Who is this for?

Everyone could do with a UV air purifier. The ultraviolet ray stops the viral infection from spreading and protect us from diseases. Newborns, children, and elderly are the biggest beneficiary of their developing/ weakened immune systems. Teachers are also the perfect candidate as they are regularly exposed to many students. If you constantly fall sick with symptoms related to breathing difficulty, a UV air purifier with HEPA filter would do wonders as well.

2021 Best UV Air Purifiers

Air PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)FiltrationCoverageScore
PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

$$

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4-stage200 sq. ft. (19 m2)4
GermGuardian AC5250PT Air Purifier

$$$

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5-stage180 sq. ft. (17 m2)4.5
Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite Air Purifier

$$$

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4-stage>190 sq. ft. (>18 m2)4
GermGuardian GG1100W/ GG1100B Air Purifier

$

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1-stage56 sq. ft. (5 m2)3.5
HoMedics AP-T30 TotalClean Air Purifier

$$$

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5-stage195 sq. ft. (18 m2)3.5
InvisiClean Aura II 4 in 1 Air Purifier

$$$

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5-stage1276 sq. ft. (119 m2)4
SilverOnyx True HEPA Air Purifier

$$$

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5-stage500 sq. ft. (46 m2)4
How Do We Measure?
UV-light A UV air purifier must come with a UV-C light bulb. That's the minimum criteria. From that, we will rate how effective is ultraviolet light in killing biological pollutants at maximum capacity. We will also compare the exposure time/ hour lifespan of the lightbulb, the number of lightbulbs, the replacement bulb cost, and the stock availability to see which model stands out.
Supporting filters Whether it is a pre-filter, HEPA filter, carbon filter, or ionizer, any extra filtration is good for a UV air cleaner. The supporting filters will assist in trapping airborne pollutants that manage to bypass the UV-light. The more filtration it has, the higher consideration will be given to the particular model.
Ozone safe All UV air purifiers listed here must not exceed the ozone emission concentration limit of 0.050 parts per million (50 ppb). Higher priority will be given to air cleaning devices that are UL listed and CARB-certified. In any case, we will never include an ozone generator in our list.

Small but truly mighty. At a price of slightly above 100 dollars, Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA air purifier comes equipped with a genuine UV-light that works as advertised. The short 12.1 inches height and 6.9 inches width work very well in most households. Adding the 8.4 pounds weight, it is highly usable where you can carry around the house via the back handle. Best of all, the compressed body does not hinder the ultraviolet intensity in any shape or form.

The modern design uses a conventional setup with sides air inlet and a big air outlet at the top. Staying at the top, the accessible and easy-to-use controls take up the entire panel in the middle. You can adjust the 3 fan speeds, activate sleep mode, and select filter reset that is only needed after you changed a new filter set. UV-C function can be disabled when not required. There is also a timer function that will shut down the machine between 2, 4, 8 hours to help save energy.

Safety wise, PureZone 3-in-1 comes with ETL Mark and CARB certification with below 0.05 ppm ozone concentration level. The manufacture 5 years warranty is a big vote of confidence on the air purifier durability and reliability.

  • Main filtration - UV-C light
  • Supporting filtration - Pre-filter, HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter
  • Purifying coverage - 200 sq. ft.
  • Fan speed - 3 with Sleep mode
  • Ozone-free - Yes

Despite the affordable price tag, PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA air purifier comes with the must-have UV-C light. A century old technology that uses short wavelength to inactivate mold, bacteria, flu viruses like H1N1, influenza, rhinoviruses3 in the air. For larger particles like dust, and hair, you have the pre-filter that traps and protect the HEPA/ carbon filter. The activated carbon filter absorbs smoke particles from pets, food, cigarette, and noxious chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene carbon dioxide. The true HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of the fine particles as small as 0.3 microns before releasing the clean air back out.

<[>PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA air purifier works great in the bedroom, kitchen, small apartment, office, and nursery home. At max speed, the air purifier can reach up to 200 square feet of room space. Setting at low speed will increase the pathogen's exposure time in the chamber but at the cost of slower clean air distribution.

The 60 watts power consumption is reasonable for an air cleaner of its caliber. On average 12 hours of runtime, it will only cost you around 0.1 dollars daily in the utility bill. The only thing missing is the Auto mode that can help manage the energy usage more efficiently.

PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA UV-C technology is virtually silent but you will need to account for other noise factors. The combined noise output is around 30 to 50 dB depending on the fan speed you're in. You can set it to whisper-quiet sleep mode during sleep with the UV-light still running in the background. The perfect night combination.

That said, there are 2 things that didn't tickle our fancy. The official CADR is slightly under par at only 80 cfm. The filter set requires replacing every 6 months despite the UV-light bulb can last up to 20,000 hours. Being a 3-in-1 air purifier, the UV-C technology cannot work on its own and you will need to replace the entire filter set to resume operation.

In short: Affordable HEPA air purifier with UV light technology. The cheap and long-lasting light bulb makes up for the hassle filter change.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 139.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 40 p
 Online price*
$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Why settle for just UV technology why you can have it all? GermGuardian AC5250PT Pet Pure 5-in-1 air purifier covers the completed set of filtration at an affordable price point (after discount). It is also well-protected with a 5 years manufacturer warranty that covers any manufacturer defects.

House in a slim tower profile with a width of 6.1 inches and a height of 9.5 inches. GermGuardian AC5250PT Pet Pure can be placed in a tight area that has very little room to spare. The 10.5 pounds weight is on the heavy side but you can move still effortlessly move it around the house. Design-wise it is rather conventional with a large front air inlet occupying most of the space.

Moving to the controls, GermGuardian AC5250PT setup is very straightforward with a digital display that helps readability. There are 5 fan speeds to choose from, 1-8 hours programmable timer, and a filter reset function. The 1-3 speeds are great at extending the trapped microorganisms' dwelling time in the chamber while outputting a subtle noise level.

Here are GermGuardian AC5250PT key features:

  • Main filtration - UV-C Technology
  • Supporting filtration - Charcoal pre-filter, True HEPA Filter, Pet Pure treatment
  • Purifying coverage - 180 sq. ft.
  • Fan speed - 5
  • Ozone-free - Yes

The air cleaner that keeps you, your partner, and your pet happy. When air is drawn into the chamber, the ultraviolet germicidal lights produce short wavelength light that damages the nucleus of cells of pathogens. The damaged mold, bacteria, and mold will either be killed off or made dormant without the ability to reproduce. For dust, hair, and other large particles, you have the carbon pre-filter that can handle it all plus mild smoke and odors that are traveling inside. The True HEPA filter with 99.97% removal efficiency capture microscopic particles like dust mite, pet dander, mold, and mildew. There is an antimicrobial coating on the filter that inhibits the growth of microbes that somehow manage to survive the UV radiation. All in all, the UV light intensity is excellent and adding sufficient exposure time, it eases out the work of the other filtration.

GermGuardian AC5250PT PetPure 5-in-1 UV air cleaner can reach up to 180 square feet of room size. The CADR is rated 123 cfm for dust, 128 cfm for pollen, and 116 cfm for smoke. The lack of an ionizer means it is 100% safe for pets, children, or people with asthma or impaired lungs.

GermGuardian AC5250PT Pet Pure might do well in most departments, but it is not without few flaws. The carbon pre-filter is not the most effective in removing smoke and odor particularly chemicals. The lack of Auto mode is a big downer given some cheaper models manage to bundled with it. Lastly, the multiple filter set will be worn out quicker and can be costly to replace in a bad air environment. Thankfully the UV-light has a longer 10-12 months life and is only 29.99 dollars to replace.

In short: A proven UV air purifier that is designed with pet owners in mind. Trap and kills microorganisms in a household without you realizing it.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 229.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 53 - 80 p
 Online price*
$$$
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Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite is our go-to UV air purifier to clean and sanitize your air. It is well-built, highly functional, and comes with a guaranteed 5-Year warranty with local customer support. Not many brands can offer all this at such a competitive price point.

The sleek modern exterior comes at a tall 25 inches height with a 9 inches diameter. Despite the slim profile, PureZone Elite is fitted with a complete 4-stage air filtration without being overly bulky. Air intake is located at the back with air outtake at the front. The 9.3 pounds weight is not too heavy where you can still move it around by holding on to the build-in easy lift handle. Available in White or graphite option, our preference is with the former, but ultimately the final decision is yours.

On to the Smart technology, PureZone Elite standard 3 fan speed shines well with the auto mode. In auto mode, the air cleaner will only use higher speed when there is a high concentration of pollutants detected to conserve energy. Sleep mode with light detection technology will keep the fan speed at the lowest with indicator lights off for bedtime use. There is also a 2, 4, 8 hour timer that can be set to turn off the machine and a filter reset indicator reminding you to replace the filter. Finally, the oddly placed color-coded smart air quality monitor will display the current room air quality level.

Let's look into the 4-stage air purification:

  • Main filtration - UV-C Light + Photocatalyst Filter
  • Supporting filtration - Activated carbon pre-filter, True HEPA filter, Ionizer
  • Purifying coverage - >190 sq. ft.
  • Fan speed - 3 with Auto mode, Sleep mode
  • Ozone-free - Yes

PureZone Elite 4-in-1 UV-C Light + photocatalyst filter can help combat seasonal allergies by eliminating common airborne viruses e.g. Varicella, Measles, Mumps, Influenza, Rhinoviruses3, Viral meningitis. The 2-in-1 activated carbon pre-filter traps dust, smoke, and household odors at one go. The True HEPA filter removes 99.97% of fine particles like pollen, pet dander, mold, and mildew. Lastly, the ionizer release ions into the air to link with other positive ions pollutants in the air. The combined and heavier pollutants will fall allowing the filter to capture the rest.

Do not be fool by the low applicable area though. PureZone Elite 4-in-1 can cover under 190 square feet of room size with decent air changes per hour. Suitable for nursery home, dorm, bedroom, living room, dining rooms, kitchen, office, basement, and garage. The under 120 cfm CADR can swiftly reduce harmful irritants in the air and alleviate your allergy symptoms. Without the post-nasal dripping down your throat, you will breathe better, sleep better, wake up completely refreshed the next morning.

On to the few drawbacks, the bundled carbon pre-filter is not washable and with weaker absorption. You'll get better filtration with a dedicated preliminary filter and activated carbon filter. Noise level can also be an issue for those that are not OK with white noise. Again, our suggestion is to leave it at low speed for whisper-quiet operation and longer germs exposure time in the chamber. The best of both world.

In short: A tall UV-C sanitizer that can protect you against pathogenic germs. The supporting 4-in-1 HEPA filtration is the perfect icing on the cake.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 149.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 60 - 90 p
 Online price*
$$$
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The only pluggable UV-C air sanitizer on the list. GermGuardian GG1100 Elite is well-loved by users for many reasons. It is cheap, silent, and most importantly it can kill airborne bacteria and viruses. Comes in either black (GG1100B) or white (GG1100W) version, let's see what this compact UV air cleaner can do.

Starting with the plug-and-play form that is travel-friendly and very easy to use. At a dimension of 6.75 inches, 3.5 inches in depth, and a weight of just 0.7 pounds, you can plug GermGuardian GG1100 Elite into any 120V/ 60Hz U.S. power wall plug without having to worry it will fall off. The clean, minimalist design help elevate the home decor without sacrificing usability. Once plugged in, the front circle LED ring will glow letting you know the UV-C sanitizer is indeed working. There's even a USB port allowing you to charge your mobile devices while GermGuardian GG1100 Elite is cleaning the air.

Moving on to the key specification:

  • Main filtration - UV-C light technology with Titanium Dioxide
  • Supporting filtration - N/A
  • Purifying coverage - 56 sq. ft.
  • Fan speed - 3 with Auto mode, Sleep mode
  • Ozone-free - Yes

GermGuardian GG1100 Elite sole UV-C technology with titanium dioxide works very well on microorganisms. The ultraviolet light ray penetrates the outer structure of the pathogen and damages its reproduction cells. Furthermore, the supporting titanium dioxide will disinfect and decomposes the pathogen. The photocatalysis cycle will continue until GermGuardian GG1100 Elite is turned off. Without the dependable of a filter, there is an abundance of UV ray exposure time to kill off the germs, bacteria, and viruses. Works best when place close to the sources e.g. litter box, toilet bowl, entrance, and diaper pail. The UV light bulb's 4,000 hours lifespan should last you between 6-12 months before an estimated 15% reduction in the UV light intensity. With the filterless setup, the only recurring fees would be the replacement bulb at around 15 to 30 dollars.

Being a pure UV air purifier without any mechanical filter, GermGuardian GG1100 Elite is completely silent that you will not hear the noise even during a close-up. Further complimenting the noiseless operation is the low power consumption at only 3.5 watts hourly. You can plug multiple units of UV-C sanitizers in every room and the energy usage is still lower than a console air purifier.

Another strong suit of GermGuardian GG1100 Elite is the children and pet-safe setup. It is UL listed and CARB verified with ozone output less than 0.05 ppm (asthma-friendly). The low power output also means there is no fire risk where you can leave it on while you're away for work or travel.

Like always, the main drawback to a pluggable unit is the filtration depth. The small body means there is no space for any filter or motor fan. Hence, GG1100 is ineffective against large particles mainly dust, hair, dust mites. The 56 square feet air-cleaning coverage is also small that you will more than 1 unit to cover a room.

In short: A germ-killing, filter-free, pluggable UV-C air sanitizer under 40 dollars. Usable as a standalone unit, HVAC addon, or to compliment an air purifier.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 39.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 15 - 30 p
 Online price*
$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

HoMedics AP-T30 is the mid-range UVGI cleaner from its TotalClean lineup that has a good balance in price, performance, and functionality. House in an 11+ inches width and 24 inches height body, it is fairly substantial for a tower air cleaner that is typically slim. The 12.2 pounds is also on the heavier side to accommodate the bigger framework and multiple filtrations.

Comes in black or white, HoMedics TotalClean AP-T30 support a top to bottom 360-degree filtration that can capture irritants at all angle. The eye-sight front control panel is very easy to use with many customizable settings. Basic controls include a power button, 3 fan speeds, and a replace filter light indicator. The Night light button can be activated to give children a sense of mind during sleep or guide them through the dark during the middle of the night. We also like that both Ion and UV-C sanitize can be activated/ deactivated separately when not needed. Best suited for asthma and allergy sufferers that have sensitive lungs yet require absolute clean air.

Another highlight is the aromatherapy feature thanks to its built-in essential oil slot. Sit back and relax while HoMedics TotalClean purifies your surrounding air with a natural aroma smell.

Moving on to the specification:

  • Main filtration - UV-C Technology
  • Supporting filtration - Pre-filter, True HEPA Filter, Carbon Odor Filter
  • Purifying coverage - 195 sq. ft.
  • Fan speed - 3
  • Ozone-free - Yes

HoMedics TotalClean comfortably beat its competitor with its superb 5-in-1 air filtration. The UV-C technology eradicates microorganisms by destroying their DNA and the replication cells. The outer pre-filter blocks dust, debris, pet hair, and lint. The inner HEPA filter traps up to 99.97% of airborne irritants as small as 0.3 microns. The carbon filter will neutralize cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, and pet odor via the chemical absorption material. The built-in ionizer generates ions to attract and pull down heavier contaminants in the air for the filter to capture. Despite the 5-stage filtration, The mid-range HoMedics AP-T30 TotalClean can cover room space up to 195 square feet with fairly low power consumption.

Let's address the common complaint with HoMedics AP-T30 which is the noise. The spinning fan is clearly audible at high speed to compensate for the average airflow delivery rate. Not a deal-breaker for us personally as it does not affect the UV-light performance. The best solution is to leave it at the lowest speed that incidentally will increase the allergens dwell time in the chamber. We're also not a big fan of the slimmer base design, but that is just nitpicking at this stage.

In short: The only 5-in-1 UV air purifier that kills airborne germs with a pleasant aroma smell.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 159.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 55 p
 Online price*
$$$
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Why go with the old one when you can have the new and improved InvisiClean Aura II air purifier with UV light. The refreshed design is given a modern flair without sacrificing its practicality. You have the usual air intake position on both sides and air outtake right at the top. Internally, the updated gutsy DC motor output more power than a standard AC motor yet uses 82% less energy. There is also an updated safety switch configuration with boosted performance for extra reliability.

Measure at 17.8 inches in height, 12.3 inches in width, and 6.3 inches in depth, it is not exactly compact as touted. You can still move it from room to room when needed though. Control-wise InvisiClean Aura II is dead easy to use. You can cycle through the 4 speeds (Low, Medium, High, Turbo), set timer auto-shutoff (2, 4, 8 hours), sleep mode (disable indicator lights), and filter change indicator. UV light/ ionizer is optional and can be disabled via the dedicated control button.

Moving into the impressive specification:

  • Main filtration - UV-C light
  • Supporting filtration - Activated charcoal pre-filter, H13 HEPA filter, Ionizer
  • Purifying coverage - 1276 sq. ft.
  • Fan speed - 4
  • Ozone-free - Yes

InvisiClean Aura II 4-in-1 UV air purifier is ideal for people with breathing trouble due to allergies. You have the germ disinfecting UV-C light that irradiates and destroy microorganisms cell from reproducing. The UV germicidal irradiation will take some time to breakdown the bacteria and viruses thus the supporting filters are vital in the purification cycle. The 2-in-1 activated carbon pre-filter comes with chemical adsorbent materials that will remove dust, smoke, and odors before it reaches the HEPA filter. The South Korea made, premium H13 True HEPA filter traps 99.985% of microscopic particles in the air as small as 0.3 microns. Lastly, the ionizer will release ions to help pull down dirty particles in the air for the filter to capture. Both ionizer and UV-light are safe and optional, you can disable the function when not needed.

A proven UV air purifier that can relieve you from allergies, clear sinuses, and swelling. At the lowest 1 air changes per hour, InvisiClean Aura II 4 in 1 can cover up to 1,276 square feet of room size. For a sensitive or asthmatic person that needs swift clean air sanitization, you can increase to 4 air changes per hour with a reduced 319 square feet of coverage. All three dust, pollen, and smoke clean air delivery rate are at a healthy 170 cfm figure. Regardless of the speed InvisiClean Aura II is running in, there are ample ultraviolet germicidal lights to eliminate common allergy triggers including dust mites, mold, pollen, and germs.

Let's focus on the few downsides that this machine inherited. InvisiClean Aura II uses a carbon pre-filter that is not the most efficient in dust removal nor smoke absorption. Turbo mode is distractingly loud that is only usable when you're away from the air cleaner. Lastly, the lack of auto mode and air quality sensors is a big missed but understandable. All the mentioned complaints are very common in a UV air purifier so keep that in mind.

In short: At a heavily discounted price, InvisiClean Aura II 4-in-1 UV air purifier can be your primary defense against the airborne germs invasion.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 399.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 50 - 85 p
 Online price*
$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

SilverOnyx True HEPA is our favorite UV air purifier that is pack with tons of value. It is inexpensive, compact (less than 10.5 inches in diameter), lightweight (5.1 pounds), and still manages to squeeze in 5-stage air purification. You can place it anywhere in the home that needs air cleaning without having to worry about the bulkiness.

Another that stands out in SilverOnyx True HEPA air purifier is the easy-to-use controls. You'll have dedicated buttons for everything from power, filters, timer, light, sleep, auto, Vita-Ion, to air flow. Auto mode will increase the fan speed when a high volume of pollutants is detected. The 24 hours programmable timer set the time to turns off the air purifier. Both functions are critical in extending the UV-light bulb life. There are also digital displays that will show the current timer setting and filter residual life so you have a heads up on when to change the filter cartridge.

On the whole, SilverOnyx True HEPA air purifier build quality is decent and we have not found any uneven gaps. Comes in 3 color options (black, silver, and white), we liked the clean design that still manages to incorporate 360 degrees of purification. The removable panel is located at the bottom for a quick filter change.

Let's look into the key specification:

  • Main filtration - UV-C light
  • Supporting filtration - Mesh preliminary filter, True HEPA H13 filter, Active carbon filter, Ionizer
  • Purifying coverage - 500 sq. ft.
  • Fan speed - 5 speeds with Auto mode, Sleeo mode
  • Ozone-free - Yes

SilverOnyx world-class purification UV technology can give you the clean, fresh air that you deserved. With the brushless DC motor pulling in the air, the main UV-C Light photocatalyst damage the nucleic acid of the pathogens and stop them from multiplying. The preliminary mesh filter will block out visible large particles like dust, pet hair, lint. True HEPA H13 filter will trap 99.97% of microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns. The active carbon filter removes mild smoke and odors coming from pets, cooking, and cigarette. Lastly, the Vita-ion diffuses millions of ions to merge and pull down airborne contaminants for the filter to seize. You can disable the anion generator if you have sensitive lungs and would prefer to leave it off.

At max speed, SilverOnyx True HEPA UV air purifier can cover up to 500 square feet of room space in an hour based on the lowest air changes. Performs best on non-humid areas like the bedroom, living room, office desk, or dormitory that has limited space.

SilverOnyx True HEPA air purifier will run silently in the background as long as you keep the fan speed below the fourth speed. Unfortunately, there is no way to disable all functions except UV-light. Power consumption is also low that you can leave it running all-day with the Auto mode selected. That way the fan speed will always be at the lowest unless a higher speed is necessary.

Let's focus on the few downsides of the air purifier that you may or may not like. The main gripe I have is the cartridge filter replacement needs changing every 6 months. It is a hassle to change and can cost you around 100 dollars annually. The UV-light replacement part is also not easy to find and can be costly to replace. Smoke and odors filtration is also not its strong suit, but so does many air cleaner listed here. This is a UV sanitizer after all, not a deodorizer.

In short: A compact 5-stage UV True HEPA air purifier that can eradicate germs before they start to spread. It is very well-priced but the high maintenance cost is not something you look forward to.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 299.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 72 - 100 p
 Online price*
$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is provided by cleanairprice.com. Accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.
BACK TO TABLE

 

What Is A UV Air Purifier?

UV air purifier is a device that emits short-wave ultraviolet light to kill airborne pathogens and microorganisms like mold, bacteria, and viruses. It is designed specifically to clean the indoor air. When airborne irritants are pulled into the internal chamber, the germicidal bulb generates electromagnetic energy to penetrates and alters the DNA of the pathogens from multiplying. With the damaged cell, the pathogens will become inactive and pose no threat to our health.

Is UV-C light In An Air Purifier Safe?

Air Purifier's UV light is safe for humans as it only emits a limited range of ultraviolet light that cannot penetrate the external layer of skin cells or eyes. The byproduct ozone produced is in a very low concentration level that will quickly dissipate or revert to oxygen molecules. UV technology has been around since 1908, you can find it in hospitals, industrial processes, medical equipment, water treatment, and many other sanitizing appliances.

Do UV Air Purifiers Kill Mold, Bacteria, And Viruses?

An air purifier with UV light will effectively kill mold, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens in the air due to the smaller cell. The short wavelength of the ultraviolet light between 100 to 280 nanometers is able to penetrate into the nuclei acid and induces damage to the DNA. The pathogens' defective cells will lose the ability to reproduce and will die off. A study led by Duke University Medical Center and University of North Carolina Health Care concluded that UV-light reduces more than 91% of pathogens in a hospital.

Note that UV air purifiers do not prevent you from contracting bacteria and viruses like coronavirus. You at still at risk of contracting viruses that are non-airborne or from contact with an infected person.

How Much Energy Does a UV Light in an air purifier used?

UV light in an air purifier consumes very little energy typically between 15 to 30 watts. This of course is highly dependant on the types of UV lamp (mercury, LED) and the UV light bulb size. The wider the electromagnetic spectrum, the more energy it requires.

When Should I Use The UV light On An Air Purifier?

You should use the UV light on an air purifier whenever possible to destroy pathogens and microorganisms that have infested your home. It is more effective than a mechanical filter and can prevent biological pollutants from growing. There is less likelihood of you falling sick from contracting airborne germs and viruses.

Does UV Light Kill Smoke And Smell?

UV light can reduce smoke and odor particles but it is not effective compared with a carbon filter that works by adsorption. It is primarily used to eliminate mold, bacteria, and viruses.

Why Does My UV Light Smell Bad?

The unpleasant smell similar to rotten eggs or burnt hair is actually ozone that breaks down chemical bonds in molecules. However, it is unlikely that the ozone is coming from ultraviolet light due to the low threshold of human detection to odor. Most people will only smell ozone with a concentration level of around 0.01 ppm, far exceeded UV air purifiers ozone concentration limit of 0.050 ppm. However, there is a possibility that your air cleaning device is actually an ozone generator that contains UV technology. An ozone generator is not recommended by EPA as it produces harmful ozone that can damage our lungs.

The Common Ultraviolet Types

The shorter the UV light band, the stronger the UV radiation. There are three main types of ultraviolet light that you should look into:

  • UV-A - Slow vibration with long wavelength between 320 to 400 nanometers. It is the safest and least dangerous UV type.
  • UV-B - Medium wavelength between 280 to 315 nanometers.
  • UV-C - Fast vibration with short-wavelength between 100 to 280 nanometers. It is the most popular and effective in killing biological pollutants including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It is also the most dangerous for living organisms. UV-C is regularly found in an air purifier and other sterilization tools.

The Pros and Cons of UV Air Purifiers

Regardless if is UVGI cleaner, Ultraviolet Germicidal, or Irradiation Cleaner, there are advantages and disadvantages of owning a UV air purifier. Understand the ups and downs so you will make a wise-choice before purchasing one.

The pros

  • Alleviate allergies by eliminating bacteria and viruses - If you often fall sick from viral infection or have respiratory problems like wheezing, cough, sneeze, postnasal drip, sore throat, or headache, a UV air purifier can do wonders for your health.
  • Cleaner, Fresher Air - That's what UV air cleaner is meant to do without producing any harmful byproducts. With just a short few hours of runtime, your indoor air quality will improve and you can enjoy breathing in fresh air free from germs. Unlike a HEPA air purifier, the irritants removed will be permanently eradicated in the chamber leaving no chance of escaping.

Cons

  • UV Bulb requires replacing - The ultraviolet radiation will deteriorate over time and become less effective in killing bacteria and viruses. Fortunately, the UV-light can be easily replaced at around $30 depending on the bulb size.
  • Less effective against large particles and smoke - Ultraviolet light will take a significantly longer time to remove dust, hair, odor, and smoke particles compared with a mechanical filter.

What To Look For In The Best UV Air Purifier

When shopping for an air purifier with UV-light, there are lots of factors to consider. Each factor will play a key role in determining which model you should go for. Depending on your needs, some of the requirements below may or may not be applicable to you. To make sure you're getting the best out of the air purifier, carefully go through the list 1 by 1.

  • UV light intensity - The stronger the UV-light, the more germs and microorganisms will be killed in the chamber. The light intensity can be determined by the power wattage, the technology (UV-A, UV-B, UV-C), type of UV-light (mercury/ LED), and the number of bulbs.
  • UV exposure time - The longer the biological pollutants dwell in the chamber, the more bacteria and viruses will be killed. A critical Exposure time correlates with the UV light intensity and airflow speed.
  • Airflow speed - Pick a model with variable fan speed adjustment. Unlike a conventional air purifier, the slower the airflow speed, the longer exposure time the germs would be in the chamber.
  • HEPA filter - When choosing a HEPA air purifier with UV light, go with the more efficient True HEPA filter over a HEPA-type filter.
  • Pricing - Always go with a model that you could afford to own and maintain. The more filters an air purifier has, the costlier the long-term ownership it will be.
  • Maintenance cost - Not just the UV-light, the overall filtration cost including the HEPA filter. Some air purifiers require filter change every 6 months rather than annually thus you will need to account for that. For models that come with a reusable filter, regularly vacuum or wash the filter to extend the usage lifespan.
  • No ozonator - There are so-called UVGI air purifiers that are actually an ozone generator with UV light as an addon. Ozonator produces harmful ozone that can irritant the lungs and damages its cell. Never purchase an ozone generator as it will do more harm than good.
  • Design and size - UV air purifiers come in all shapes and forms. Consider your room size, home decor, daily routine, and pick an air purifier that will fit the bill. Stay clear of a model that is poorly ventilated or has dodgy build quality. The most important thing is to choose a model you're comfortable with it day in, day out.
  • Room size - Depending on room space that needs fresh air, always go with a higher capacity model with stronger airflow. That way you can place the air purifier further while running at a much lower speed.
  • Noise level - The lower the dB rating the better. A quiet air purifier allows you to run the machine all-day without disturbing your daily activities. Ideally, the noise output should be between 30-60 dB.
  • Energy consumption - The higher the wattage, the more powerful the UV-light will be but at the cost of higher power usage. Luckily, most modern air purifiers are energy-efficient (+- 50 watts) for all-day operations.
  • Warranty - The longer the warranty period, the better assurance you will have with the machine. Look into the warranty terms, replacement policy, and after-sale service location. Never pick a model that does not come with an official warranty.

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.

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