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 increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light used in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or would like to reduce the spread 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 effects of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than a century. UVC rays were even applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are common in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system improves the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only 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) present in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed correctly and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are remarkably effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University found that UV light deactivated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another report revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels inside a commercial property's HVAC unit after four months of using 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 helps clean the air around the clock without dispersing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a known lung irritant that is toxic to those with asthma, allergies or chronic lung diseases.
- Lower risk of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can minimize the chance of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- Stronger protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can gunk up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system working reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair bills: 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 choose an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer will position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates through your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets mold and bacteria that accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continually releases invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s crucial to use a high SPF sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most damaging form 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.
Knowing 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 inside of 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 maintain the lamp or change the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system temporarily to prevent exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are on around the clock and usually 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 looked at and swapped out as needed.
Request UV Light Installation
Strogen's Service Experts provides a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be delighted to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to suggest the products that are best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Strogen's Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.