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UV Air Purifier Ratings: A review of top ultraviolet air purifiers

UV or ultraviolet air purifiers are relatively new and most often combine UV light with another technology such as a HEPA air filter.  There are three main classifications of ultraviolet light:  UV-A light is commonly found in tanning booths, UV-B light is found in sun light and UV-C is found in air purifiers.  UV-C light is also referred to as germicidal since it has the ability to kill cells by damaging their DNA.  In reviewing a variety of independent test results we have concluded that UV lights can be effective against both vegetative bacteria and viruses and UV-C lights are being used more often in HVAC handling units where moisture collects to prevent mold growth.

What you need to know

Based on a review of many UV air purifier test reports, in order for a UV air purifier to be effective in killing bacteria or viruses the UV-C light must have sufficient contact time.  This means that if the particles are quickly passing through the air purifier or the UV light is small it will likely not be as effective.  Since most bacteria can be trapped in a HEPA filter, the addition of a UV lamp should be beneficial in preventing bacterial growth within the filter.  This can greatly improve your indoor air quality and we see a trend of more air purifier manufacturers including UV lights in their air purifiers.  As part of an overall indoor air quality strategy we suggest you consider the use of UV lights near the cooling coils of your HVAC system to prevent mold growth.

Popular UV Air Purifiers:
AllerAir 5000 UV Air Purifier
Germ Guardian UV Air Purifier
Oransi Finn HEPA UV Air Purifier

See how the UV air purifiers compare to the listing of top rated air purifiers.

History of Ultraviolet Light: Unlike the other technologies that we review, UV light was not invented but discovered in 1801 by a German scientist.  It is called ultraviolet since its spectrum is just beyond what we see as violet.  Remember the mnemonic Roy G Biv from school for the colors of the rainbow?  Well, ultraviolet is the wavelength that is just after the V.