UV Air Purifier

A Comparison of Top Ultraviolet Air Purifiers

In this article we present information on UV air purifiers.  This includes the history of ultraviolet light.  And what you need to know as it relates to air purifiers.

uv light



UV-C light is 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.  UV-C lights are being used more often in HVAC handling units where moisture collects to prevent mold growth.


air purifier history


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.

uv light spectrum
light spectrum



What you need to know

  • To be effective in killing bacteria or viruses the UV-C light must have sufficient contact time.
  • If the particles are quickly passing through the air purifier with a high air flow or the UV light is small it will likely not be as effective.
  • Consider the use of UV lights near the cooling coils of your HVAC system to prevent mold growth.

Watch out for UV air purifiers that do not also include a HEPA filter.  The HEPA filter is the primary technology to remove dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, pet dander, etc.

Think of the UV lamp as an accessory to the HEPA air purifier.  But by no means the primary feature to clean your air.


How UV Improves Air Quality

In testing, we find most air purifiers do not have UV lights.

For those that do, it can provide a germicidal benefit.  It can also prevent mold growth.

The most common place we see UV-C lights used is in ducting.  The idea is to prevent mold from growing where there is water.  The UV light is a sterilizer.  The more contact time the better it will do.

So, a UV lamp that illuminates an area where there may be water is getting constant disinfection.

Conversely, a UV lamp in an air purifier is disinfecting as particles pas through the air purifier.  In this situation it is not as effective.  However, can provide a disinfection ability that non-UV air purifiers cannot.


Popular UV Air Purifiers:

  • AllerAir 5000 UV Air Purifier ($1,498)
  • Oransi Finn HEPA UV Air Purifier ($329)