When you look at ultraviolet light, you probably think of getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a strategy for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or would like to minimize the distribution of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light within the HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Work?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been known for more than a century. UVC rays were even used to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC system improves the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only 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 like 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 your home's air supply.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed properly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at improving indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University found that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis noted “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial building’s HVAC unit after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to enjoy these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology sanitizes the air nonstop without adding chemicals into the environment. Compared to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t create ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is harmful to individuals with asthma, allergies or chronic lung illnesses.
- Decreased chance of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower the chance of contracting viral and bacterial infections.
- A layer of protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can gunk up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system operating smoothly and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy simpler maintenance requirements and fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help counter the cost of utilizing 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 within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it spreads throughout your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that collect on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun constantly releases invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s crucial to wear an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outdoors. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most damaging type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere blocks out these rays altogether, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is limited to your ductwork where you never come in contact with it, so it presents no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or replace the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system briefly to avoid exposure 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 best possible time to have these bulbs checked and changed out when necessary.
Request UV Light Installation
A1 Chesney Service Experts features 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 will perform best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local A1 Chesney Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.