When you think of ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also something you can use for increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light found in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or want to reduce the dispersal of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been hoping for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been understood for over a century. UVC rays were even employed to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC system helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in cleaners and repellents alongside airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University illustrated that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study measured “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of operating a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to make the most of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology sanitizes the air 24 hours a day without introducing chemicals into the environment. Compared to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is very hazardous to those with asthma, allergies or chronic lung diseases.
- Lower likelihood of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can reduce the likelihood of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system working reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair costs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy lower maintenance requirements and minimal need for emergency repairs. These savings can help counter the cost of running a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician will position it in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it spreads across your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun constantly emits invisible UV radiation. As you know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s crucial to apply a high SPF sunscreen when enjoying time outdoors. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most harming variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere eliminates these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is confined to the inside of the ductwork where you can't come in contact with it, so it presents no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or replace the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are on around the clock and generally last nine to 14 months. Routine HVAC maintenance (once in the spring for your air conditioner and again in the fall for your furnace) is the perfect time to have these bulbs checked and swapped out as required.
Request UV Light Installation
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning provides a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that are best for you. Enjoy the peace of mind that that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.