When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. Having said that, 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 applied in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or want to reduce the spread of illnesses around your home, a UV light within the HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
The germicidal impacts of ultraviolet light have been known for more than a century. UVC rays were initially employed to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC unit helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t literally ‘trap’ contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
As long as they are installed correctly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University revealed that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another report measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial business’ HVAC unit after four months of operating a UV light.
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to enjoy these benefits:
If you select an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it spreads throughout your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit around the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
The sun constantly emits invisible UV radiation. As you know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s important to wear an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most damaging type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere blocks out these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? 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 swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system for a short time to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
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 checked and changed out as needed.
Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing provides a suite 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 products that will work best for you. Rest assured that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact 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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