When you think of ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after spending a day 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 kind of light used in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or hope to minimize the distribution of illnesses throughout 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 Work?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than a century. UVC rays were originally employed to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification equipment.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC system improves the air quality in your home by eliminating 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 address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents alongside airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t literally 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed like they're supposed to and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at improving indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University illustrated 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 within a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Place an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to enjoy these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology helps clean the air nonstop without introducing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t create ozone, an infamous lung irritant that can be harmful to individuals with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung diseases.
- Lower likelihood of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can reduce 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 running reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy lower maintenance requirements and fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help counter 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 should position it in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it spreads through your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continually produces invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s crucial to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when enjoying time outside. 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 blocks out these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is restricted to the inside of the ductwork where you can't come in contact with it, so it poses no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system temporarily to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used constantly 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 checked and replaced as required.
Request UV Light Installation
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning provides a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be delighted to analyze your home and your family’s needs to recommend the products that will work best for you. Rest assured that all work we complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.