What Is UV Purification? & How Do They Work In Air Purifier?

If you aren’t completely new to air purifiers, you may have heard about UV air purification.

Human eye cannot spot pathogens and ultra violet rays present in the air, but that does not mean it does not exist.

UV rays and pathogens present in the air can cause damage to skin and other skin related allergies.

But thanks to UV purification air purifiers! According to Ncbi.nih.gov, UV purification techonolgy can kill more than 99% bacteria and viruses in the air.

So in this article, we’ll talk about how effective this air purification system is and who is it suitable for.

What Is UV Purification? & How Do They Work In Air Purifier?

Key Takeaways

  • UV purification doesn’t remove particles from the air, but it kills or deactivates them.
  • Standalone purification isn’t used much, it works best when combined with another filter.
  • UV air purifiers have some kind of alert system that tells you when it’s time to replace the UV lights.

The Mechanism Behind UV purification

The mechanism behind air purifiers is always the same: they suck air in, purify it through filters or other systems, and blow it back into the environment.

UV purification is just one of the several air purification systems that you can find in an air purifier.

How does it work? 1

How UV Purification Works?


UV purificators use a short-wave ultraviolet (UV) light to inactive airborne pathogens and microorganisms like bacteria, mold, or viruses. 

When we speak about air purifiers with UV filters, the air is forced through the device and passes in front of UV lamps which directly disinfects the air.

As you can see, UV purification doesn’t work like a filter: it doesn’t remove particles from the air, but it kills or deactivates them, putting them back into the environment once they are unharmful.

For this reason, UV air purifiers rarely are sold as stand-alone: they’d be only efficient in removing pathogens but not, for example, removing polluting particles or smells.

While stand-alone UV purifiers can be used in a laboratory or for buildings or rooms close to a laboratory, more frequently, we find UV purifiers included in larger HEPA air filtration systems. 2

Read: What Makes A Good Air Purifier?

Also Read: How Does An Air Purifier Work?

What Happens When UV Purification & HEPA Are Combined?

UV Purification

HEPA filters are known as the best filters you can have on an air purifier (even though they are also used for other types of devices).

They are filters that retain harmful particles up to 99% of those present in the air. When a HEPA filter is combined with a UV purifier, you have the absolute best result.

While the HEPA filter removes particles from the air, the UV purifier ensures that any small particle that it’s blown back into the environment can’t harm anyone because it’s dead.

Here’s What Reddit Users Think

Ultraviolet air purifier or/and electronic air cleaner
by in homeowners

Do UV Purifiers Require Maintenance?

Just like any type of filter, UV purifiers too require a little maintenance. It’s easier than other devices because all you need to do is replace the UV lamps when needed.

UV air purifiers have some kind of alert system that tells you when it’s time to replace the UV lights (if it doesn’t have one, just opt for another model!).

Replacing UV lights can be a little more expensive than other types of maintenance.

It’s true, however, that even with other types of filters, you need, sooner or later, to replace them, and not all of them are cheap! 3

Also Read 6 Benefits Of Using An Air Purifier


Now that you know what UV purifiers are and how they work, you can have a better understanding of the use you can make of them and whether or not they are suitable for your needs.

Also Read: How To Tell If An Air Purifier Is Working?


Is UV air purifier safe?

The light that comes out of the UV air purifier is safe because you are not directly exposed to it, but it is not very good for the atmosphere as it creates ozone.

Which purifier is better UV or HEPA?

UV air purifiers are much effective and better than HEPA because it only collects viruses, whereas, UV purifiers kills them. 4

Do all the UV lights produce ozone?

No, UV-C light does not produce ozone.

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The National Planning Cycles is committed to producing high-quality content that follows industry standards. We do this by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data alongside original reporting from reputable publishers that were appropriate for the accuracy of information while still being unbiased. We have an editorial policy that includes verifiable facts with due credit given where applicable.

  1. https://www.espwaterproducts.com/understanding-uv-water-filtration-sterilization/[]
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/uv-air-purifier#:~:text=UV%20air%20purifiers%20are%20devices,it%20back%20into%20the%20room.[]
  3. https://www.fieldcontrols.com/tech-support/uv-air-purifier-maintenance-qa/[]
  4. https://www.gadgetreview.com/air-purifier-hepa-vs-uv[]
  5. https://www.gadgetreview.com/air-purifier-hepa-vs-uv[]

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