Graphic of UV Light Purifier

When you begin looking for an air purifier for your home, you may come across a unit that promotes itself as a UV light air purifier.

A UV light air purification system has a special function, which may be something you’ll want to consider when buying an air purifier for your home.

What makes a UV light cleaner so unique is the fact that it performs a function that no other air purifying technology can match—killing harmful particles and pathogens that are present in your home.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about UV air purifier technology.

You’ll find out what it does, how it operates, and discover if this feature is important to you or not.

If so, you may want to check out our guide on the best germ air purifiers that use ultra violet lights.

What is a UV Light Air Purification?

First of all, it’s important for you to know that the letters “UV” actually stands for “Ultra Violet.”

So, a UV light air purifier is actually shorthand for an “Ultra Violet light air purifier.”

UV light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which makes up all wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, including light, radio waves and x-rays which are arranged according to frequency and wavelength.

UV lighting is a special type of radiation that can’t be seen by the naked eye because it’s part of the invisible section that makes up the electromagnetic spectrum.

To be precise, its wavelength is from 400 nm (750 THz) to 10 nm (30 PHz), shorter than that of visible light but longer than X-rays (source Wikipedia.)

What also makes UV light unique is that it’s divided into three sub-bands, UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.

You’ve probably heard of UV-A and UV-B light before because they’re heavily marketed on sunscreen lotions.

These types of UV lights are the ones that come from the sun and cause sunburn and skin cancers.

UV-C light, on the other hand, is a powerful form of radiation that’s harmless to people, but excellent at killing microorganisms, such as germs and viruses.

In fact, a recent lab test was performed where non-critical patient care items were exposed to two 30 sec. UV-C light cycles and the number of bacteria on 40 out of 51 target sites were reduced to below detectable levels (source Infection Control Today.)

Now, you can see how effective a UV light can be for your health.

But, how does this technology relate to air purifiers?

We’ll explain that in the next section.

How Does a UV Light Help on an Air Purifier?

Photo of a UV Light Air Filter Cleaner

When you’re looking to buy an air purifier, you’re undoubtedly going to find two major competing types of technologies:

  • HEPA filtration
  • and Ionic generation

Both types of products have their pros and cons, which we discuss in another article here, but the truth remains the same for each device—they can’t destroy bacteria, viruses or other pathogens.

A UV light air purifier picks up where all other types of air purification systems fail.

UV lights are a great feature to look for on an air cleaner because they’re the only type of technology that strips the air of contaminants that are hazardous to your health.

There are many options available for getting an air purifier like this for your home.

We suggest the best affordable air purifiers here as well as higher-end models on our top 10 air purifier reviews page.

As air passes through the air purifier, it eventually goes through a small internal chamber that exposes the particles to UV light.

The light is not emitted into the room, nor can you see it.

A UV light purifier works by disrupting the core DNA of these pathogens.

This prevents them from multiplying and causing you to become sick.

As you can see, UV lights are the king of killing all unwanted bacteria, germs, and viruses.

When combining this type of technology with a HEPA filter or Ionic generator, you can rest assured that wherever you decide to place the air purifying device, you’ll have the cleanest, most sterile air possible due to the use of a UV light cleaner.

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About David Morrison

David is an Air Quality & Comfort Technician. He has expert knowledge on the technology and design of air purification, air conditioning, and heating systems. His main role is to write content that helps people get the most value out of their air purifiers, air conditioners, and heating units. (See Full Bio)