When you think of ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also a tool 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 hope to reduce the dispersal of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light within the HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been hoping for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal impacts of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than 100 years. UVC rays were originally used to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification equipment.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system boosts the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only requires 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at improving 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 measured “significantly lower” fungal levels inside a commercial property's HVAC equipment after four months of using a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Place an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology helps clean the air 24 hours a day without adding chemicals into the environment. Unlike some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t create ozone, a known lung irritant that is very hazardous to individuals with asthma, allergies or frequent lung conditions.
- Decreased chance of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can reduce the likelihood of contracting viral and bacterial infections.
- Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system operating reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair costs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help recoup the cost of using a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer will position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it flows throughout your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will 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 releases invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s important to wear an effective sunscreen when spending time outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most destructive form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere eliminates these rays entirely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is limited 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 swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to avoid being exposed 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 best possible time to have these bulbs examined and changed out when necessary.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Teays Valley Service Experts offers a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be delighted to analyze your home and your family’s needs to suggest the products that will perform best for you. Rest assured that all work we complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Teays Valley Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.