When you look at ultraviolet light, you may picture getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a tool for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light found in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or hope to reduce the distribution of illnesses across your home, a UV light within the HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal impacts of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than a century. UVC rays were even used to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification equipment.
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 takes 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
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 found 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 property's HVAC unit after four months of applying 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 helps clean the air 24 hours a day without adding chemicals into the environment. Compared to certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a known lung irritant that can be toxic to people with asthma, allergies or frequent lung conditions.
- Lower chance of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can reduce the likelihood of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- A layer of protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can gunk up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system operating reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and fewer 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 decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates throughout your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should 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 constantly emits invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also gives off UVC rays, the most destructive variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere filters out these rays entirely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge 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 your 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 off the system briefly to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are on around the clock and typically 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 ideal time to have these bulbs checked and changed out as required.
Request UV Light Installation
Rolf Griffin Service Experts offers a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to analyze your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that will work best for you. Rest assured that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Rolf Griffin Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.