When you think of ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a strategy for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or would like to minimize the dispersal of illnesses across your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than a century. UVC rays were even applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC unit improves the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present 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 require an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University illustrated that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial business' HVAC system 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 helps clean the air around the clock without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Unlike some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, an infamous lung irritant that can be toxic to people with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung conditions.
- Decreased risk of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can minimize the chance 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.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair needs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy simpler maintenance requirements and fewer 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 select an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it circulates throughout your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit around the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets 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 already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s essential to apply an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most harming form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere blocks out these rays completely, so they don’t get through to 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 never come in contact with it, so it creates 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 off the system temporarily to avoid being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run continuously and typically last nine to 14 months. Yearly 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 as required.
Request UV Light Installation
Jack Nelson Service Experts offers a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to suggest the products that will perform best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Jack Nelson Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.