How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?
When you look at ultraviolet light, you may imagine getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also something you can use for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards 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 dispersal of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light within the HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!
How Does a UV Light Work?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been known for more than a century. UVC rays were originally applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC system helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only requires 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t actually '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 like they're supposed to and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study from 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 inside a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of using a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Install an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to make the most of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology disinfects the air around the clock without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Compared to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, an infamous lung irritant that can be toxic to people with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung diseases.
- Lower likelihood of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can lower the likelihood 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 operating reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair costs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy lower maintenance requirements and fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help recoup the cost of utilizing a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you choose an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp affects the air before it circulates through your home.
If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit around the AC evaporator coil. There, it affects mold and bacteria that collect on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continually emits 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 hanging out outdoors. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most damaging form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere filters out these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to the inside of the ductwork where you can't come in contact with it, so it presents no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean 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 run continuously 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 swapped out as needed.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Roland J. Down Service Experts features a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to analyze your home and your family’s needs to recommend the products that will work best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Roland J. Down Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.