When you think of ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also a tool for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light found in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or want to limit the distribution of illnesses around 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 Function?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than 100 years. UVC rays were originally employed to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC system improves the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only takes 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t literally 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed properly and use 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 measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial business' HVAC system after four months of using a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to enjoy these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology disinfects the air nonstop without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Compared to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is very toxic to those with asthma, allergies or chronic lung diseases.
- Lower chance of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can minimize the risk of getting 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 reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Smaller 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 recoup the cost of using 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 in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates across your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit around the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that collect on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continuously emits invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s important to use a high SPF sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most damaging type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere eliminates these rays altogether, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel alright with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is confined to your ductwork where you never come in contact with it, so it poses no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or change 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 are used around the clock and typically 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 best possible time to have these bulbs examined and swapped out when necessary.
Request UV Light Installation
Donelson Air Service Experts provides 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 advise the solutions that will work best for you. Enjoy the peace of mind that that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Donelson Air Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.