When you think of ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also something you can use for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light applied in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or want to reduce the spread of illnesses throughout 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 Work?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than a century. UVC rays were initially employed to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing facilities, 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 usually requires 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed correctly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University found that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another report revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial building’s HVAC equipment after four months of using 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 disinfects the air nonstop without introducing chemicals into the environment. Compared to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is hazardous to those with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung illnesses.
- 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.
- A layer of protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can gunk up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system working smoothly and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy simpler maintenance requirements and minimal need for emergency repairs. These savings can help counter the cost of running a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician will position it inside 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 should sit around the AC evaporator coil. There, it affects mold and bacteria that collect 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 crucial to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen when hanging out outdoors. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most harming type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere eliminates these rays entirely, so they don’t make it to the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel alright with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is restricted to the ductwork where you won't come in contact with it, so it creates no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system temporarily to prevent exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used constantly and typically last nine to 14 months. Routine 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 looked at and changed out when necessary.
Request UV Light Installation
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning offers a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be delighted to analyze your home and your family’s needs to advise the solutions that will perform best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.