When you look at ultraviolet light, you probably think of 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 kind of light found in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or would like to limit the distribution of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!
How Does a UV Light Work?
The germicidal impacts of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than a century. UVC rays were even applied to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are implemented 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 including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It generally takes 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t literally 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed correctly and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at improving indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University found that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial building’s HVAC equipment 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 24 hours a day without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Unlike certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is very hazardous to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung illnesses.
- Decreased risk of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower the risk of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- Stronger protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system working smoothly and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy simpler 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 choose an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician will position it in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates across 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 grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continuously emits invisible UV radiation. As you know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s essential to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most damaging type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere filters out these rays entirely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel alright with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to your ductwork where you won't come in contact with it, so it creates no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time 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 ideal time to have these bulbs examined and replaced as needed.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning offers a suite of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be delighted to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that are best for you. Rest assured that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.