When you think of ultraviolet light, you may picture getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a strategy for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light used in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or would like to limit the distribution of illnesses around your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than a century. UVC rays were initially applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification equipment.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC unit helps the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed correctly and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University illustrated that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial business' HVAC system after four months of using 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 disinfects the air 24 hours a day without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Compared to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a recognized lung irritant that can be toxic to people with asthma, allergies or frequent lung diseases.
- Decreased risk of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can lower 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 working smoothly and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair costs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy simpler maintenance requirements and fewer 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 installation technician will position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it circulates throughout your home.
If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continually emits invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s crucial to wear a high SPF sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also gives off UVC rays, the most harming form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere filters out these rays altogether, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel alright with installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is confined to the 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 swap out 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 run continuously and generally 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 ideal time to have these bulbs examined and swapped out when necessary.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Peachtree Service Experts provides 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 advise the solutions that are best for you. Rest assured that all work we complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Peachtree Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.