When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also a strategy for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light used in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or want to limit the distribution of illnesses around your home, a UV light within the HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Function?
The germicidal impacts of ultraviolet light have been recognized for over a century. UVC rays were initially used to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC unit helps the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually takes 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed properly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are remarkably effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University found that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis measured “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial building’s HVAC unit after four months of using a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Install 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. As opposed to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, a known lung irritant that can be hazardous to individuals with asthma, allergies or chronic lung illnesses.
- Lower risk of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can lower the likelihood of getting viral and bacterial infections.
- Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system running smoothly and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair needs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and minimal need for emergency repairs. These savings can help offset the cost of using a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you select an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it flows through your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets 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 already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s essential to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when spending time outdoors. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most harming variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere filters out these rays altogether, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to the ductwork where you can't come in contact with it, so it creates no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to maintain the lamp or replace the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to prevent being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used around the clock and usually last nine to 14 months. Yearly 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 changed out when necessary.
Request UV Light Installation
Comfortech Service Experts features a suite of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to assess your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that will perform best for you. Enjoy the peace of mind that that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Comfortech Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.