When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you may think of getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also a strategy for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light found in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or want to minimize the distribution of illnesses across your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been hoping for!
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been known for more than 100 years. UVC rays were originally used to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are found 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 generally requires 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t literally ‘trap’ contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from your home’s air supply.
As long as they are installed correctly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at improving indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University found that UV light deactivated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis noted “significantly lower” fungal levels inside a commercial property’s HVAC equipment after four months of operating a UV light.
Install an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:
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 close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it affects mold and bacteria that accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
The sun continuously emits invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s essential to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when spending time outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most destructive type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere filters out these rays entirely, so they don’t make it to the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to the ductwork where you can’t come in contact with it, so it poses 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.
UV lights run constantly and usually 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 examined and swapped out when necessary.
Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers a range 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 are best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.
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