When you look at ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. However, UV light is also something you can use for increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light found in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or want to minimize the distribution of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light in the HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been recognized for over a century. UVC rays were initially used to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are common in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC unit boosts the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually needs 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed correctly and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University illustrated that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study noted “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial building’s HVAC equipment after four months of operating 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 nonstop without adding chemicals into the environment. Unlike other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t create ozone, a known lung irritant that can be toxic to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung illnesses.
- Lower chance of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower the likelihood of getting viral and bacterial infections.
- Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system running reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and minimal need for 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 select 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 spreads across 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 accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continuously releases invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s important to use an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most damaging type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere blocks out these rays altogether, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to the inside of the ductwork where you won'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 change the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system briefly to avoid being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used constantly and usually 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 looked at and replaced as needed.
Request UV Light Installation
R & M Climate Control Service Experts provides a suite 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 solutions that will work best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local R & M Climate Control Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.