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!
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
March 30, 2021
Pure Enrichment 4 in 1 Air PurifierCheck on Amazon
After taking a long hard look at all of these excellent purifiers, we came to the conclusion that the best overall award should be given to the Elite 4-in-1 Air Purifier by Pure Enrichment!--break--Why?--break--Put simply: it has the best combination of performance and features at a great price!--break--Not only does it have effective ultraviolet sanitation (a “must-have” for any product on this list), it also offers True HEPA filtration.--break--That means you can rest assured that you’re getting the best technology when it comes to particle filtration in addition to that UV-C light.--break--It also has some extra features we think you’ll love, including an air quality monitor with a fan that adjusts in real-time.--break--What’s more, it’s lightweight (a little under 10 pounds) and has a modern design that you won’t have sitting around the bedroom, living room, or anywhere else!
Short on time? Below is a quick list of our top 5 UV Air Purifiers!
Pure Enrichment 4-in-1 Air Purifier
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AZEUS 7-in-1 Air Purifier
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Germ Guardian Pluggable Air Purifier And Sanitizer
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Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier
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VAVA Air Purifier
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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 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.
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).
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.
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
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)
Pure Enrichment Elite 4-in-1 Air Purifier (Our Top Pick)Check on Amazon
Our top pick when it comes to the Best UV Air Purifiers was this 4-in-1 model by Pure Enrichment!--break--There’s a lot to like about this air purifier, and it’s delivered at a price point that ensures you’re getting good value.--break--As the name suggests, it has 4-stages of air filtration (UV-C filter, True HEPA filter, and an ionizer) to keep your air clean.--break--It has an easy-to-use user interface and a number of automatic timers and adjustable fan speeds so you can set it and forget it!
- 4-Stage Filter--break--5-Year Warranty--break--Energy Efficient
- Some users had an issue with noise--break--The 4-stage filter can be a hassle to disassemble for cleaning
Azeus GL-FS32 (High End Pick)Check on Amazon
The Azeus GL-FS32 Air Purifier impressed us with its wide array of features including its cleaning footprint of 540 square feet, and also the fact that it can cycle the air in that space 2.5 times every hour!--break--Its 7 in 1 filtration system includes a pre filter, a true HEPA filter, activated carbon screen, specialist adsorption particles for formaldehyde, an optional negative ion generator, and an antibacterial treatment, as well as a powerful UV-C lamp.--break--Even on high speed, power consumption is just 60 watts, perfect for keeping electricity costs down.--break--It boasts a 360 degree air intake, and it features 3 fan speeds for variable cleaning power.
- Simple controls--break--Sleep mode function--break--California Certified
- Price--break--Filters can be difficult to find--break--Components prone to rattling
Germ Guardian Pluggable Air Purifier (Best Budget Pick)Check on Amazon
Don’t be fooled by its size, this pluggable UV air purifier and sanitizer from Germ Guardian is no novelty item.--break--It cleans without the need for a filter, drawing air in through the bottom and over the UV-C light where airborne mold and germs including influenza, staph, and rhinovirus are killed.--break--Considering just how small and affordable this unit is, you could realistically put one in every room, for clean air throughout your home.--break--The UV-C bulbs last around 12 months, making maintenance and upkeep a breeze.
- Price--break--Great design--break--No cords
- Bulbs are fragile--break--Cleaning footprint is small
Pure Enrichment PureZoneCheck on Amazon
This PureZone model from Pure Enrichment has popped up in a couple of top 5 purifier lists, and for good reason.--break--It offers exceptional value for money with its 3 in 1 filtration, and of course the powerful UV-C lamp for deep cleaning.--break--It features a generous 5 year warranty and Pure Enrichment are renowned for their superb customer service.--break--The filters are easy to come by, and are pretty inexpensive, too!--break--This purifier is tough on allergens like pet dander and pollen, too – bringing welcome relief to sufferers as we head towards allergy season.
- Built in handle--break--Filter reset indicator--break--Low energy consumption
- Filters are short lived--break--Fan is louder than other units
VAVA Air PurifierCheck on Amazon
VAVA built a great air purifier here.--break--This 3 in 1 purifier features a strong, germicidal UV-C lamp to sanitize the air that passes through the filter media, as well as true HEPA and activated carbon filtration.--break--It is approved for sale in California, too, something that not all purifiers can claim.--break--It has a good cleaning footprint, covering up to 323 square feet, making it a good option for medium to large rooms.--break--The UV-C lamp itself is well covered to prevent unintentional exposure, and it is rated to last up to 20,000 hours, which adds up to around 2 years and 3 months of continuous use.
- Filters are easy to find--break--Tested for Ozone safety--break--UV-C bulb hidden for projection
- Air flow could be stronger
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.