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What’s Better for Cold & Flu Season: A HEPA Filter or UV Light System?

With colder weather creeping in, that means cold and flu season is back! Getting sick is awful, and nobody wants to spend the holidays with a fever and chills. Fortunately, you have some options when it comes to germ protection for your indoor air, including HEPA filters and germicidal UV lights.

But which of these two solutions offers the best indoor air quality solution for your home? Let’s find out!

HEPA Filters

As with any air filter in your home, HEPA filters come with a specific efficiency (or MERV) rating that indicates the filter's effectiveness in blocking particular particle sizes. The remarkable thing about HEPA filters is that they effectively block particles the size of 0.3 microns, which can include most bacteria and allergens.

So what does this mean for you? After installing a HEPA filter in your HVAC system, you will notice that your home's indoor air quality will significantly improve, provided you regularly replace your filter. A HEPA filter’s impressive particle-capturing capabilities can be especially beneficial for members of the household who suffer from allergies or asthma.

What about viruses: will HEPA filters stop those? It depends, but if a virus is smaller than 0.3 microns, your HEPA filter will not catch the virus particle. HEPA filters can also be costly due to their frequent need for replacements.

UV Light

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have UV light systems that work by exposing viruses, bacteria, and other germs to UV light. Rather than capturing microorganisms, like a filter, a UV light system breaks down germs’ DNA or RNA structure. This renders the germs unable to reproduce and infect people. Additionally, if you have had mold problems in the past, UV light can help kill mold spores quickly before they spread, especially in ducts that tend to get a lot of moisture.

The biggest downside to UV light systems is that while they can break down germs and other harmful bio-contaminants, it is highly dependent on how long these particles are exposed to UV light. That’s why germicidal UV lights are frequently paired with a filter that will trap the germs and keep them in place long enough to be destroyed by the light. UV lights will require the occasional light bulb change, making them ideal for busy households.

The Winner

It may seem like a cop-out, but the winner depends on your budget and needs. Both HEPA filters and UV lights have their drawbacks and strengths, so it can come down to what is best for those that live in your home and what will work best with your existing HVAC system.For some systems, a HEPA filter may create an airflow issue, making UV lights a better option.

At Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC we know that choosing the ideal indoor air quality solution for your home can be confusing, so let us help. Call us today at (770) 749-7667, and we'll assist you in determining whether a UV light or HEPA filter is right for you!

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