When you think of ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. However, UV light is also a strategy for enhancing 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 hope to minimize the dispersal of illnesses around your home, a UV light within the HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Work?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been known for more than a century. UVC rays were even used to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification equipment.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC unit helps the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents alongside airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed properly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at enhancing 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 study measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial building’s HVAC equipment after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to enjoy these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology sanitizes the air around the clock without adding chemicals into the environment. Compared to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is harmful to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung illnesses.
- Lower chance of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can minimize the likelihood of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- A layer of 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 more manageable maintenance requirements and minimal need for 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 select an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer will position it in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp affects the air before it circulates across your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it affects mold and bacteria that collect on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continuously emits invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s important to wear an effective sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most harming variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere eliminates these rays entirely, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is confined to the ductwork where you never come in contact with it, so it poses no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or change the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system for a short time to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run 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 ideal time to have these bulbs examined and changed out as needed.
Request UV Light Installation
Stevenson Service Experts features a range 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 equipment that will perform 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 Stevenson Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.