How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?
When you look at ultraviolet light, you may think of getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. However, UV light is also a strategy for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light used in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or hope to minimize the distribution of illnesses across your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Function?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been known for more than a century. UVC rays were originally applied to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC unit helps the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only takes 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed like they're supposed to and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at improving indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University revealed that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study measured “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 sanitizes the air 24 hours a day without introducing chemicals into the environment. Compared to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is very toxic to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung conditions.
- Lower risk of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can reduce the risk of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system operating 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 minimal need for emergency repairs. These savings can help recoup the cost of utilizing a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you choose 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 spreads through your home.
If you would rather have 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 know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen when hanging out outdoors. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most harming variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere filters out these rays entirely, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is restricted to the inside of the ductwork where you never come in contact with it, so it poses no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to maintain the lamp or replace the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system for a short time to prevent exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used around the clock 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 ideal time to have these bulbs examined and replaced as required.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning offers a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be delighted to assess your home and your family’s needs to suggest the solutions that are best for you. Rest assured that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.