When you look at ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also something you can use for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light used in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or want to minimize the spread of illnesses around your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!
How Does a UV Light Work?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been known for more than a century. UVC rays were initially used to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification equipment.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system improves the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It generally requires 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents alongside airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed like they're supposed to and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at increasing 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 inside a commercial property's HVAC unit after four months of operating a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Install an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to enjoy these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology helps clean the air nonstop without introducing chemicals into the environment. Unlike certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, an infamous lung irritant that can be toxic to those with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung conditions.
- Decreased chance of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can reduce the chance of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- A layer of protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can negatively impact your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system running smoothly and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair needs: 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 running a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer will position it in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it circulates across your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continuously emits invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most damaging variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere filters out these rays completely, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is confined to the ductwork where you can't come in contact with it, so it creates 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 temporarily to prevent exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run continuously and generally 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 perfect time to have these bulbs looked at and replaced when necessary.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Pardee Service Experts offers 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 are best for you. Rest assured that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Pardee Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.