Best UV Air Purifiers (2021 Review)

If you’ve been shopping for a UV air purifier, and you’re trying to figure out which is best for you, then you’re in the right spot!

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are UV air purifiers? (and why they’re so popular)
  • What are the different types of UV air purifiers? (not all UV purifiers are created equal!)
  • How do UV air purifiers work?
  • What do you look for in the best UV air purifiers? (don’t forget these must-haves!)
  • And much more!

Short on time? Below is a quick list of our top 5 UV Air Purifiers!

ImageProduct
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Pure Enrichment 4-in-1 Air Purifier
  • 4-Stage Filtration
  • True HEPA Technology
  • Timer and energy-efficient settings
  • 4-Stage Filtration
  • True HEPA Technology
  • Timer and energy-efficient settings
View on Amazon
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AZEUS 7-in-1 Air Purifier
  • 7-in-1 Purification
  • Air Quality Sensor
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support
  • 7-in-1 Purification
  • Air Quality Sensor
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support
View on Amazon
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Germ Guardian Pluggable Air Purifier And Sanitizer
  • Cost Effective
  • Long Bulb Life
  • Compact Design
  • Cost Effective
  • Long Bulb Life
  • Compact Design
View on Amazon
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Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier
  • 3-Stage Filter
  • Energy Efficient
  • Ozone Free
  • 3-Stage Filter
  • Energy Efficient
  • Ozone Free
View on Amazon
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VAVA Air Purifier
  • Large Cleaning Footprint
  • Auto Timer
  • Memory Function
  • Large Cleaning Footprint
  • Auto Timer
  • Memory Function
View on Amazon

What Are UV Air Purifiers?

With COVID-19 drawing the world’s attention to indoor air quality, ultraviolet light (“UV” light) has become all the rage recently.

 UV air purifiers are an alternative to traditional filter-only type devices that are used in homes, offices, and anywhere else indoors.

UV light refers to a specific series of wavelengths on the electromagnetic (“EM”) spectrum.

The aim of a UV air purifier is not only to filter out particles and neutralize odors, but also to destroy harmful pathogens that can cause respiratory discomfort and even illnesses.

Said another way, UV light is used to interfere with the development and reproduction of DNA in airborne viruses!

This technology is most often used in conjunction with other types of air purifying technology to amplify the air cleaning power.

These air purifiers are available in both portable and large sizes, and with that size variation, there is also a range of cleaning footprints from small to large spaces.

Want to learn more? Check out our comprehensive guide on UV lights!

What Are The Different Types Of UV Air Purifier?

Because UV purifiers are a very specific type of air cleaner, there isn’t much variation among them.

The subtle difference, however, is important. Let’s take a look!

The distinction in the different types of UV light available are based on the specific wavelength on the EM spectrum.

The different types include UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C light.

We’ll spare you the details in this article, just know that the gold standard for UV light sanitation comes from the shortest wavelength, which is found in UV-C lights.

UV-C Light

UV-C is the most commonly found UV light used in domestic air purifiers.

It is the shortest of all the UV wavelengths, and like all UV light, it is invisible to the naked eye.

Because of the short wavelength, UV-C has a huge amount of energy which is absorbed into the DNA and RNA of microorganisms such as bacteria.

The absorption of all of this UV-C energy alters the cell structure of the microorganism, which prevents any reproduction of cells, and therefore prevents the possibility of any infection caused by that particular pathogen.

UV-A and UV-B Light

You’re probably most familiar with UV-A and UV-B, though you’ve likely heard of them in a different context.

These are the same wavelengths produced by the sun, and are the reason why you wear sunglasses and sunblock on a bright summer day.

By now you’re probably thinking “Wait a minute – I know too much exposure to the sun is bad for me. Why would I want these fancy UV lights in my house at all? Are these things even safe?”

Great question! Let’s take look.

Are UV Air Purifiers Safe?

The good news is that the short answer is “yes”. However there are caveats to pay attention to.

As we saw above the important distinction when it comes to UV air purifiers is whether it falls into the “UV-A / UV-B” category or the “UV-C” category.

The reason that this distinction is so important has to do with how UV-C lights interacts with your skin.

UV-C light (the shortest wavelength) is absorbed by the outermost layer of your skin (dead skin), which makes it harmless.

UV-A and UV-B light, however, is able to penetrate more deeply into your skin, which is why you get a sunburn after a long day at the beach.

The takeaway here is that UV air purifiers are safe and effective to use as long as they produce exclusively UV-C light.

And remember, your eyes have no outer layer to protect them (like your skin), so never look directly at a UV light bulb regardless of what type of light you use.

What Do You Look For In The Best UV Air Purifiers?

Keep an eye out for these features when shopping for a UV air purifier.

UV Protection

As we’ve discussed above, if you’re planning to purchase a UV air purifier, be sure it’s one that only uses UV-C light.

Furthermore, be sure that the light is properly shielded and that there is no way to look directly at the bulb (this is where the casings on air purifiers become important).

Energy Efficiency

Because a lamp is operating simultaneously with a fan motor, it’s important to be conscious of power draw.

The more energy the purifier requires, the greater your electricity bill will be.

Specifically look out for devices that come with Energy Star certification.

Noise Levels

You should really want to leave your air purifier running at all times, and if your air purifier is noisy, this may deter you from wanting to do so.

A UV air purifier that has quiet fan motors, or better yet, a dedicated sleep mode, will keep cleaning the air 24/7 with minimum disturbance

Ongoing Costs

Not only do UV air purifiers have filters to replace, but they also have UV lamps.

Like any lightbulb, these UV lights don’t last forever, and in some cases can really add to the ongoing costs.

Take this fact into consideration when shopping around for your new UV air purifier, and research the price of replacement filters and bulbs for the model you’re interested in.

Our Top 5 UV Air Purifiers (Reviewed)

Final Thoughts On The Best UV Air Purifiers

There are many reasons to consider a UV air purifier for your home.

We live in an age where more so than ever, families are concerned about the transmission of respiratory diseases, and having a purifier that not only tackles dirt and allergens, but also destroys bacteria and viruses is a big draw for many.

As with any other air purifier type, it’s definitely important to take some time to look at exactly what you’re getting, and the aim of this proHVACinfo guide was to do a bit of the heavy lifting for you.

We’ve reviewed five excellent purifiers, all of which we are happy to recommend to our readers.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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