HEPA vs UV Air Purifier: What’s the Difference?

Homeowners spend a lot of time in your home eating, sleeping and even working, so indoor comfort is important. There are many ways to keep your indoor climate comfortable. When most people think about maintaining their indoor climate, they consider their HVAC system. A proper HVAC system will maintain the desired temperature in your house.

However, besides the temperature, air quality is also important to consider – that’s where an air purifier comes in.

There are several types of air purifiers on the market that can help you improve the quality of your indoor air. In this post, we’ll only focus on two common options – HEPA vs UV air purifiers. This article will analyze the differences between the two types and help you choose the best option for your home. 

So, if you are looking for an air purification system but are unsure about which type to choose – HEPA or UV air purifier – read below for more.

What is a HEPA air filter?

Air filters are an integral part of every HVAC system, and the HEPA filter is one of the best types available on the market today. 

A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is one of the most effective air filters due to its ability to filter out tiny particles from the air. HEPA filters eliminate 99.9% of particles from the air in your home. These include even some of the smallest particles, as small as 0.03 microns.

You may not think about it, but many tiny particles find their way into your home every day. These particles include dust, dirt, bacteria, pollen, chemical compounds, fungi, and viruses. Once these particles circulate as part of your indoor air, they can potentially pose a risk to your health. 

Most of these particles are tiny and undetectable without a microscope, which is where the HEPA filter comes in handy. It filters the air blowing into your home and removes a high percentage of unwanted particles, providing you with much better indoor air quality as a result. 

What is a UV air purifier?

A UV air purifier is a device that uses ultraviolet light to eliminate pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other biological organisms from the air. UV light radiation damages the DNA of these pathogens and ultimately prevents the microorganisms from reproducing and growing. 

With time, the populations of harmful microorganisms die off, leaving your home comfortable and safe.

HEPA vs UV air purifier: What are the differences?

Now that we’ve given a brief overview of HEPA vs UV air purifier functions let’s see how they compare on things like overall air quality, efficiency, and cost. 

1. Air quality

A HEPA air filter is one of the top devices in the air filtration market. Many HVAC professionals often recommend HEPA filters to homeowners as they work well to improve indoor air quality and overall health.

The HEPA filter traps all particles in the air, including dust, dirt, and pathogens. This prevents the particles from mixing in with your indoor air, thus, improving the smell and quality of your air. It’s crucial to replace the air filter regularly to prevent blockages and keep your filter functioning at optimal condition.

The UV air purifier eliminates pathogens from the air altogether, so your home will be free of bacteria, viruses, and mold. The downside, however, is that with a UV purifier, other particles like dust and dirt will remain in the air if you don’t have a separate air filter.

2. Price

Price can be a determining factor when comparing a HEPA filter vs an air purifier. Most HEPA filters range from $16 to $95. The exact amount will vary within this range based on the brand and any additional features included to enhance the filter. 

While there are some cheaper air filters on the market, investing in a HEPA filter is a great way to ensure the best air quality for you and your family. 

UV air purifiers are more expensive, so consider your budget before purchasing one. Most UV air purifiers range from $800 to $1500. Similar to the HEPA filter, the exact price depends on the brand and the device’s overall quality.

3. Noise levels

When considering a HEPA air purifier vs a UV light purifier, consider what noise levels you are okay with. HEPA filters aren’t noisy. If you do hear anything, it will likely just be the fan of your HVAC system, which holds the HEPA filter. The best way to ensure low noise levels at home is to choose the right HVAC system.

UV air purifiers, on the other hand, produce a bit more noise. In fact, a UV air purifier can often double as a white noise machine. While the unit does make some noise, it’s not often disruptive. Modern UV air purifiers create even less noise and work well in home offices or bedrooms where quiet is needed. 

4. Efficiency

A HEPA filter will trap particles of varying sizes and types from the air. However, they are not 100% efficient. There are still some particles that can still end up in the air you breathe. The efficiency is much worse if you don’t replace your HEPA filter regularly. 

When comparing a HEPA filter vs an air purifier that uses UV light, the UV air purifier has a high success rate in removing pathogens from the air. However, it isn’t the best unit for eliminating dirt and dust.

5. Dust and dirt accumulation

Accumulation of dirt and dust is another crucial factor when comparing a HEPA filter vs an air purifier. A HEPA filter removes particles from the air before the HVAC blows them into your home. After some time, dirt and dust will accumulate on the air filter.

A dirty HEPA filter can cause all sorts of problems in your home. For instance, a blockage will hinder filtration, which can affect indoor air quality and potentially cause health issues for your household.  

A UV air purifier doesn’t have an air filter in the unit, so you won’t have to worry about replacing a dirty air filter. A UV air purifier eliminates pathogens like bacteria and fungi from the air with ultraviolet light. If you have this device, you may still notice the accumulation of dust and dirt in your home, as the UV filter cannot filter them out. 


When comparing a UV air purifier vs a HEPA filter, the above factors should help you see which option may be best for your living space. If you live in an area where dust and dirt are the main issues, HEPA air cleaners are your best choice. But if pathogens are your primary concern, a UV air purifier is your best bet.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Need help deciding which type of filter is best for you? Book an appointment with one of our professionals and we’ll help you get the best solution for your home.  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top