When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. And yet, UV light is also something you can use for increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or want to minimize the spread of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system just might 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 100 years. UVC rays were initially employed to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system helps the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It generally takes 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed properly and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University found that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial property's HVAC equipment after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Place an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology sanitizes the air around the clock without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Compared to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, a recognized lung irritant that can be hazardous to individuals with asthma, allergies or chronic lung conditions.
- Decreased risk of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can reduce the risk of contracting 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 smoothly and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair needs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable 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 choose an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates across your home.
If you prefer 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 continuously produces invisible UV radiation. As you know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s crucial to wear a high SPF sunscreen when spending time outdoors. The sun also gives off UVC rays, the most damaging type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere eliminates these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? 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 change the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to prevent being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used around the clock and usually 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 best possible time to have these bulbs examined and replaced as required.
Request UV Light Installation
Comfort Masters Service Experts features a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to assess your home and your family’s needs to suggest the products that will work best for you. Rest assured that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Comfort Masters Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.