How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?
When you look at ultraviolet light, you might picture getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also something you can use for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light used in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or would like to limit the distribution of illnesses across your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been hoping for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than a century. UVC rays were even applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system improves the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only needs 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t literally 'trap' contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed properly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University found that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial property's HVAC unit after four months of operating 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 certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is very toxic to individuals with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung illnesses.
- Decreased risk of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can reduce the chance of getting 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 running reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
- Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and fewer 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 select an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it flows across your home.
If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun constantly releases invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s important to wear an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outdoors. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most destructive form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere filters out these rays completely, so they don’t make it to the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel okay 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 swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to prevent being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run constantly 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 perfect time to have these bulbs examined and changed out as needed.
Request UV Light Installation
Peitz Service Experts offers a suite 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 will work best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Peitz Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.