How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?
When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you might picture getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. However, UV light is also something you can use for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or want to minimize the distribution of illnesses across 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 Operate?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been known for over a century. UVC rays were originally used to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC system helps the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University illustrated that UV light deactivated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study noted “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial business' HVAC system 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 helps clean the air nonstop without introducing chemicals into the environment. Unlike some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is harmful to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung conditions.
- Lower likelihood of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower the chance of getting 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.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair needs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy lower maintenance requirements and fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help counter the cost of utilizing a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you choose an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer will 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 near 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 continuously releases invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s essential to wear an effective sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most destructive variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere blocks out these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge 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 won't come in contact with it, so it poses 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 briefly to prevent exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used continuously and usually 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 perfect time to have these bulbs examined and swapped out as required.
Request UV Light Installation
Coastal Service Experts features a range 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 equipment that are best for you. Enjoy the peace of mind that that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Coastal Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.