How Do UV-Light Air Purifiers Work

How Do UV-Light Air Purifiers Work

UV light has been used to disinfect water, surfaces, and air in high-risk environments. With exposure to germs and diseases being the biggest concern of everyone, especially post-pandemic, UV light air purification has become a popular choice among the regular masses. Many UV air sterilization advertisements claim to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria. From high-risk environments like hospitals and laboratories to offices and public places,  these are becoming increasingly popular each day. So, if you are someone who is considering purchasing these purifiers, read the whole article to know how they work and how effective they are-

What is the UV mode on air purifier?

This air purifier mode uses short-wave ultraviolet light to disarm harmful airborne pathogens and microorganisms like molds, bacteria, and viruses to purify the air and reduce indoor air pollutants. It is usually installed in the HAVC units of a home or an office, so the air is forced to pass through it, and it can use UV light to disinfect the air. It is an effective method to eliminate unwanted organisms in the air as even water cooler reverse osmosis also added UV purification as an added layer of safety.

How do UV light air purifiers use UV-C light?

Ultraviolet light carries much more energy than a visible form of light. All that extra energy can change the molecules if anything absorbs it, and DNA is most prone to the changes. A bacteria, virus, or any airborne pathogen’s DNA gets altered or damaged by a blast of UV light. Much like our skin getting red when we get sunburns, these organisms also suffer a radiation burn. Since bacterias are single-cell organisms, if their DNA is altered, it triggers self-destruction that makes them harmless. This method is very effective against the cold, flu, tuberculosis, and many more. 

UV light also targets harmful chemicals that contain oxygen, such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, etc. Ultra-violate light either destroys them or converts them into much less toxic substances like carbon dioxide and purifies the water. Many manufacturers use special quartz tubes and layer them with phosphorus to reduce the creation of harmful byproducts. 

How effective are UV air purifiers?

Though UV light has been proven to destroy microbes, the nature of its power is still debatable in a portable purifier form. These are mainly used now to reduce harmful dust mites and allergens. The disinfecting process and its effectiveness depend on many factors, such as-

  1. The material of the bulb that is emitting the light
  2. Whether an adequate amount of light is present in the purifier
  3. The length of time the pollutant has been exposed to the light
  4. Whether the pollutant came in contact with the light.

Is a UV Light Purifier Better Than an Air Purifier With a HEPA Filter?

Air purifiers with HEPA filters also help purify the air efficiently. It is also great since you don’t have to deal with creating the byproduct ozone. If your concern is not that deep and you want to deal with the odor and harmful chemicals, you should opt for UV Light purifiers rather than purifiers with HEPA filters. UV lights are also more effective in destroying harmful microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and pathogens than any other purifier and help purify the air of your immediate surrounding effectively. 

Does UV Light Kill COVID-19?

While it is still undergoing research, it has been seen that ultraviolet disinfection can kill Covid-19 germ particles. It is a vast thing, given the full-blown effect of the pandemic. Besides covid-19, it also helps with respiratory problems like severe acute respiratory syndrome, which immensely relieves many. 

Airborne germs like Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which are methicillin-resistant, can also be killed with UV Light purification. It is a popular air purification method in schools, offices, and hospitals.

Pros and cons of UV air purifiers

UV Light air purifiers are pretty strong and can help kill bacteria and organisms while filtering out harmful substances much more effectively than most. 

However, its con might be that, unlike HEPA filters, it cannot remove VOCs and other gasses from the air, making it fall slightly behind. The EPA recommends getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter to help with these issues. 


With new technology comes new horizons to conquer. Whether UV light purification stands the test of time is a matter that rests in the hands of the future. However, right now, it is one of the most efficient ways to clean the air of your surroundings. Get yourself a UV Light purifier today to see the changes for yourself. Let us know in the comments how it goes for you.

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