When you think of ultraviolet light, you probably imagine getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also a tool for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or would like to reduce the dispersal of illnesses across 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 Function?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than 100 years. UVC rays were originally used to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC system boosts the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only needs 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University revealed that UV light deactivated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another report noted “significantly lower” fungal levels inside a commercial building’s HVAC equipment after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to make the most of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology helps clean the air around the clock without introducing chemicals into the environment. Compared to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, an infamous lung irritant that can be hazardous to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung diseases.
- Decreased likelihood of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can reduce the likelihood of contracting viral and bacterial infections.
- Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can negatively impact your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system operating 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 fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help counter 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 installation technician will position it in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it flows through your home.
If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it affects mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun constantly emits invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when hanging out outside. 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.
Luckily, the atmosphere eliminates these rays altogether, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is restricted to the ductwork where you never come in contact with it, so it creates 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 temporarily to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run constantly and generally 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 perfect time to have these bulbs checked and swapped out as needed.
Request UV Light Installation
Climate Control Service Experts features a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that are best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Climate Control Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.