When you think of ultraviolet light, you might picture getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a tool for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or would like to limit the distribution of illnesses around your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system just might 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 initially used 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 system improves the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing 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. However, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed like they're supposed to and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University revealed that UV light deactivated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis noted “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology disinfects the air around the clock without introducing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is harmful to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung diseases.
- Lower likelihood of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower the likelihood 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 operating reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Lower 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 utilizing a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates through 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 accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continually releases invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s essential to wear a high SPF sunscreen when spending time outside. The sun also gives off UVC rays, the most destructive form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere filters out these rays entirely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is limited to your 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 turn off the system briefly to prevent being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used 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 when necessary.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Komfort Air Service Experts offers a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to analyze your home and your family’s needs to recommend the products that are best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Komfort Air Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.