When you look at ultraviolet light, you probably think of getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also something you can use for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or would like to limit the dispersal of illnesses across your home, a UV light within the HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Function?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than 100 years. UVC rays were initially used to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only needs 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t literally 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are remarkably effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University found that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis noted “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology sanitizes the air nonstop without dispersing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is very toxic to individuals with asthma, allergies or frequent lung illnesses.
- Lower chance of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can lower the chance of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can negatively impact your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system operating reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy simpler maintenance requirements and fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help recoup the cost of utilizing a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it flows across your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that collect on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continually emits invisible UV radiation. As you know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s important to wear an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also gives off UVC rays, the most damaging form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere blocks out these rays altogether, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is restricted 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 maintain the lamp or change the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut off the system temporarily to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are on around the clock and typically last nine to 14 months. Annual 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 when necessary.
Request UV Light Installation
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning offers a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to assess your home and your family’s needs to suggest the products that will work best for you. Enjoy the peace of mind that that all work we complete 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.