Choosing the best UV air purifiers to clean your indoor air and kill germs might not seem difficult. However, finding an effective air purifier that works as advertised is a little trickier. This is true, especially when you take into account the increase in brands that use inferior materials. These brands also claim their products are effective while they are not.
In this article, we discuss the UVGI air cleaning method, the 7 best UV air purifiers with their pros, cons, and included a buying guide for UV air purifiers.
How UV-C Light Works in terms of Air Cleaning
Airborne transmission of diseases depends on the concentration of pathogens in the air. Such infectious pathogens include viruses, airborne bacteria, and fungi.
They are usually dispersed in the air in drops of moisture after sneezing or coughing from an infected person. These droplets of moisture- droplet nuclei – are about 1 to 5 nm in diameter. Due to their small size, the droplets can remain suspended in the air for hours.
UV air purifier has UV lamps to kill micro-organisms like bacteria or viruses. This technology is also called Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation or UVGI. The UV light penetrates the micro-organism’s outer structure. It then alters the DNA of the micro-organism. This causes cell death.
So, how effective are UV air purifiers?
UV-C light air purifiers are effective in killing or inactivating airborne micro-organisms and contaminants. They can do so by using UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C lights. Conventional UV air purifiers use low-pressure mercury vapor lamps to emit UV-C radiation. Researchers have found that UV with HEPA filter air purifiers work more effectively when the UV lights are on.
This has shown to have germicidal effects.
In a 2018 study, researchers sought to find out if cleaning indoor air with UVGI lessens contact infections. The study took 12 months, where researchers reviewed data from UV-C devices. What they discovered after the study was a reduction of airborne bacteria in the patient rooms by 42%.
Other contact transmissible infections lessened noticeably.
There are a couple of factors that determine the effectiveness of UV air purifiers. They include:
- UV-C Light intensity – must be high, mercury lamps are better than LEDs
- Exposure time – should not be the less, proper placement of the light
- Location of the air purifier – central location in the room, better air circulation
7 Best UV Air Purifiers List:
1. Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite Air Purifier
If you are in search of a UVGI air purifier with a 4 in 1 filtration stage, then this is for you. What we liked about the filtration system is its capability to sanitize and clean your air. The filtration system removes 99.97% of contaminants such as smoke, odors, and pet dander.
The first stage of the filtration system is the activated carbon pre-filter. A majority of air purifiers have a pre-filter made of cloth. While this is effective, it’s not as effective as an activated carbon pre-filter.
The second stage is the True HEPA filter. It helps in removing 99.97% of microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns.
The third stage is the UV-C light plus the photocatalyst filter. These filters kill any remaining airborne pathogens. It (UV-C light) acts as a mini death ray. The last stage is the ionizer, which releases negative ions that cleans your air.
Other features you will love include the smart air quality monitor, and lift handle.
Pros & Cons:
2. GermGuardian AC5250PT Air Purifier
Guardian Technologies is one of the most popular brands when it comes to making quality UV-C light air purifiers. As such, many people live healthier and happier lives thanks to their solutions. One of their best air purifiers is the Germ Guardian AC5250PT, which is an upgrade of the popular AC5000 model.
It has a 3-stage filtration system that includes a pre-filter with a charcoal filter, a true HEPA filter, and UV-C light. The pre-filter and charcoal filter traps large particles such as dust and pet hair. They also absorb odor.
The True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants while the UV-C light kills airborne bacteria, mold spores, and viruses. It’s able to do so by working with Titanium dioxide. This air purifier is both AHAM Verified and Energy Star Certified.
Not only is it energy efficient, but it can clean rooms of up to 180 square feet four times every hour.
Pros & Cons:
3. TruSens Air Purifier
With smart sensing technology, this purifier can determine room air quality and react. Using SensorPod, the air purifier actively monitors air quality in the room. If the air purifier detects a concentration of dust or micro-organisms, it takes action.
How, you may ask. The SensorPod communicates to the air purifier, which begins to clean the air. With a 4 in 1 filtration system, the HEPA-UVGI air purifier sucks air via the 360-degree air intake. The air goes through the washable filter, followed by the carbon filter and HEPA filter.
The last stage is the UV-C light. As air flows through the filtration system, airborne pollutants get captured. Such pollutants include VOC gases, allergens, and micro-organisms. In the last stage, UV sterilization destroys bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
What we liked about the air purifier is the dual flow technology. It splits clean air into two streams delivering purified air faster into the room. It has detailed digital control giving you the ability to control the air purifier. You can select fan speed, UV mode, and auto timer functions.
Pros & Cons:
Read the complete review >>> TruSens Air Purifier Review
4. InvisiClean Aura II Air Purifier (IC-5018)
The InvisiClean Aura II Air Purifier is a 4 in 1 gadget. It has a carbon pre-filter, True HEPA filter, ionizer, and germ-fighting UV light. These filters work together to trap, remove, and kill micro-organisms and contaminants. They include smoke, dust, mold, allergens, bacteria, viruses, and odor.
As an energy-saving air purifier, it utilizes a low EMP radiation motor. As such, it delivers double the air output compared to other air purifiers. Also, it uses up to 82% less electricity to do so. What you need to know is that the air purifier has a CADR rating of 170 CFM.
Not only can it trap and kill 99.97% of airborne micro-organisms and contaminants. But it can easily cover medium to large rooms of up to 319 square feet.
The air purifier comes in a compact design, but don’t let the size fool you. This is a powerhouse that runs at four speeds, namely low, medium, high, and turbo. At low fan speed, it generates a noise of up to 31 dB while at high and turbo mode, it produces noise of up to 53 dB and 60 dB.
Pros & Cons:
5. Airthereal APH260 Air Purifier
Do you live in a location where wildfires are common? Every year, wildfires release smoke and dust into the air. Not only does this cause air pollution, but it will affect your health, that of your family and pets.
To protect your family, this air purifier has a 3-filtration stage. The filtration system includes a True HEPA filter, pre-filter, and activated carbon filter. This system can trap, remove, and kill 99.97% of micro-organisms and pollutants.
Besides mechanical filtration, it equipped with UV-C light and ionizer as electronic filtration. The UV-C LED light has a lifespan of 50000 hours, which is approximately 5 years. So, you can use it without the hassle of replacement.
The air purifier has a CADR rating of 152 CFM. Not only is it perfect for use in your living room, bedrooms, and offices. But it can purify rooms of up to 230 square feet 5 times per hour, effectively capturing all air pollutants.
This air purifier has a particle (PM 2.5) sensor. It detects air quality in real-time and informs you if the air quality is good, moderate, or poor.
UV-C Light: Permanent and non-replaceable UV-C LED, lifespan >50000 hrs
Particle filter: ~ $29 for the 3-in-1 HEPA filter, lifespan is 6 months (check price)
Pros & Cons:
Read the complete review >>> Airthereal APH260 Review
6. SilverOnyx Air Purifier
With five filtration levels, the purifier provides the cleanest air in your home. The filtration system traps large particles such as dust and pet dander. It also filters ultra-fine particles and neutralizes odors. The reason it works so efficiently is that it has a medical-grade HEPA filter.
Besides the HEPA filter, it has a built-in ionizer and UV sanitizer. Both help to remove mold spores, airborne bacteria, and germs. The air purifier comes in a lightweight and compact design. As such, it’s ideal for pet owners and smokers.
Despite its compact design, the air purifier can clean rooms of up to 500 square feet.
It has PM 2.5 sensors, which means it can detect air quality and inform you if the air quality is good, moderate or poor. What you need to know is that it comes with an easy to use touch interface. As such, you can select settings like sleep mode, on/off timer, and fan speed.
UV-C Light: Permanent and non-replaceable UV-C LED
Particle filter: ~ $36 for the 4-in-1 HEPA filter, lifespan is 6 months (check price)
Pros & Cons:
7. EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Air Purifier
The EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Air Purifier has advanced EnviroKlenz technology. This technology combines the HEPA filter and UVGI. As such, the air purifier can kill airborne micro-organisms, allergens, and particulates. It can also remove harmful and toxic chemicals and odors.
The UV-C lamps are on the collection side of the HEPA filter. They radiate continuously on the micro-organisms, killing them efficiently.
As one of the best UV air purifier, it has four fan speeds – whisper, low, medium, and high. It can suck in dirty air and distribute purified air faster. What you need to know is that it cleans rooms of up to 1,000 square feet.
Pros & Cons:
Buying Guide of UV Air Purifiers:
When deciding to buy the best UV air purifiers for your home or office, there are factors to consider. By taking the time to consider these factors, you will get a product that meets your needs.
Here are the top 3 factors to consider before buying UV air purifiers.
Longer exposure to UV light: One of the factors that make a UV air purifier effective in deactivating airborne micro-organisms is the exposure time or dwell time. The UV lamps kill pathogens as air moves through the chamber. To be effective, a majority of air purifiers force all contaminants to be close to the UV lamps.
For inactivation to occur efficiently, the dwell time should be longer. Also, the UV lamps need to be parallel to the air stream.
Also, by running the air purifier at low speed, you can make a more considerable exposure time to the contaminated air.
UV Light Intensity: UVGI purifiers use both UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C wavelengths. Experts noted that the exposure of UV-C at a wavelength of 254 nm had germicidal effects. As such, the purifier can kill airborne contaminants such as mold spores, and viruses.
To kill micro-organisms, the purifier must provide sufficient exposure to UV light. By doing so, the light penetrates the outer structure of micro-organism’s cells. It alters their DNA causing cell death and prevents the replication of cells.
So, for the air purifier to be effective, the light intensity must be high. Mercury-based UV lamps generate a more intense ultraviolet wavelength than the UV LED lights. Some air purifier manufacturers use more UV lamps to increase the light intensity.
Ozone Safety: One of the disadvantages of the UVGI air purifiers is they produce ozone as byproducts. Ozone is a lung irritant and can be harmful to people with asthma.
Make sure CARB certifies the air purifier for ozone safety.
UV-C Lamps for HVAC
Also, you can install UV-C lamps in your HVAC in addition to disinfecting the indoor air.
UVGI and HEPA are the air filtration technologies that use in airplane cabins to disinfecting and cleaning. With these household HEPA-UVGI air purifiers, you can create almost the same clean environment in your home or office. We hope this guide will help you to find the best UV air purifier.