When you look at ultraviolet light, you probably picture getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also something you can use for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or want to minimize the dispersal of illnesses across your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been understood for over a century. UVC rays were originally applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC system boosts the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually takes 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Successful 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 enhancing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University revealed that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial building’s HVAC equipment after four months of operating 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 sanitizes the air nonstop without introducing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is very hazardous to individuals with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung illnesses.
- Lower chance of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower the chance of contracting 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 reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Smaller 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 offset the cost of utilizing a UV light and replacing the bulb.
Where Do UV Lights Get Installed?
If you select an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician will position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it flows throughout your home.
If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should 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 continually produces invisible UV radiation. As you know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s essential to wear an effective sunscreen when spending time outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most destructive type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere blocks out these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is limited to the ductwork where you can't 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 off the system for a short time to avoid 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 best possible time to have these bulbs checked and swapped out as needed.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Matz-Rightway features a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to advise the equipment that will perform best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Matz-Rightway office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.