How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?
When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you may think of getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. However, UV light is also a tool for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light applied in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or want to limit the dispersal of illnesses around your home, a UV light in the HVAC system could be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!
How Does a UV Light Function?
The germicidal impacts of ultraviolet light have been known 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 boosts the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It generally requires 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Effective Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed properly and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are remarkably effective at improving indoor air quality. One study from Duke University found 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 inside a commercial property's HVAC system after four months of using 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 around the clock without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Compared to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, an infamous lung irritant that can be toxic to those with asthma, allergies or chronic lung diseases.
- Decreased chance of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower the chance of contracting viral and bacterial infections.
- Stronger protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system running reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair costs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and minimal need for emergency repairs. These savings can help offset 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 installer should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates through 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 accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continuously produces invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s essential to apply an effective sunscreen when spending time outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most harming type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Luckily, the atmosphere filters out these rays altogether, so they don’t make it to the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is limited to the inside of the ductwork where you never come in contact with it, so it presents no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to clean the lamp or swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run around the clock and usually 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 examined and replaced as required.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Robinson Service Experts offers 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 products 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. Reach out to your local Robinson Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.