How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?
When you look at ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. However, UV light is also something you can use for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light applied in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or want to reduce the spread of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light in the HVAC system could 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 100 years. UVC rays were originally used to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC system boosts the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually takes 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed properly and utilize 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 revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Install 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 generate ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is toxic to people with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung conditions.
- Decreased chance of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can minimize the likelihood of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- 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 minimal need for emergency repairs. These savings can help offset 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 installer should position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp affects the air before it circulates across your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit around 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 constantly releases invisible UV radiation. As you 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 harming form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere filters 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 alright with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is confined 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 maintain the lamp or replace the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system briefly to prevent 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. 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 examined and changed out when necessary.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Wesley Wood Service Experts features a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to assess your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that will work 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 Wesley Wood Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.