Is UV Light in Humidifiers Safe? A Comprehensive Guide

The air purifier's own light is safe, as you're not normally exposed to it. However, UV air purifiers come with other risks. Air exposed to UV light can create ozone, an unstable oxygen molecule that can have serious effects on human health. The names sound similar and share many of the same characteristics.

Both systems use UV lights to reduce indoor air contaminants and eliminate up to 99.99% of mold, bacteria, allergens and viruses. However, UV air purifiers use a slightly different technology, known as shortwave ultraviolet light, to remove pathogens from the air. IndoorDoctor recommends using safe and effective filtration to detect viruses and other contaminants that can transmit diseases. HEPA filter devices have been around for a long time and are still recommended by the CDC, EPA and other agencies over the use of UV rays inside HEPA filtration devices.

UV light has not proven to be a safe method for doing so. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you avoid using UV or UV-C light purification systems. UV (ultraviolet) air purifiers use ultraviolet light to reduce mold and mildew, VOCs, airborne pathogens, flu, germs, bacteria, viruses, and other harmful air contaminants. Some models also reduce household odors caused by garbage, hobbies, cooking, etc. UV air purifiers are an effective option for people with respiratory problems, as they reduce triggers for allergies and asthma.

In fact, studies have shown that UV lights reduce fungal contamination in air handling units. Photocatalytic oxidation is achieved by combining UV rays (from the UV lamp) with a surface coated with TiO2 (titanium dioxide). Most UV bulbs have an expiration date at which the light produced becomes too weak to produce the desired impact. UV light can be harmful when a person is exposed for too long. Microbes must be directly exposed to UV light to be able to kill them and something as dense as a HEPA filter makes it impossible to guarantee full visibility. The germicidal unit with UV C light is the most powerful type of air purifier and works inside the vent to expose microbes in the air to low-intensity UV light before it circulates back to the home. A UV air humidifier takes that process one step further by using ultraviolet (UV) light to first disinfect the water before it is released.

The humidifier with disinfecting UV light is made with a specially designed bulb that is safe for use near people, making whole-house humidifiers with UV light a very popular product today. This means you'll keep coughing and sneezing if you have an air purifier that uses UV light. Having UV light inside a HEPA-filtered air purifier can have more disadvantages than benefits and, in fact, be dangerous. In contrast, HEPA filtration systems work very well on their own without introducing UV light into the mixture. Most of the time, the humidifier is impregnated with a bulb that emits UV rays when turned on which interact with water to kill microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria that are too small to be retained by a filter but are very harmful if they reach the body. Ultraviolet light not only removes pollution from the water but also from anyone in the air around them. Fortunately, when the UV light system is installed in your air conditioning system (inside the duct walls), there is no direct or harmful exposure for you or your family.