When you look at ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also something you can use for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light used in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or want to limit the dispersal of illnesses around your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been recognized for over a century. UVC rays were initially applied to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC unit boosts the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually takes 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t physically 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from the 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 highly effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University found that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another report revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial property's HVAC system after four months of operating a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Place an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology sanitizes the air 24 hours a day without dispersing chemicals into the environment. Compared to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a recognized lung irritant that can be toxic to those with asthma, allergies or chronic lung conditions.
- Lower chance of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can minimize the chance of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- A layer of 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 quality UV light.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair costs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy lower maintenance requirements and minimal need for 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 decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer will position it in 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 should sit around 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 know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s crucial to wear an effective sunscreen when spending time outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most harming variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Fortunately, the atmosphere filters out these rays altogether, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to the inside of the ductwork where you can't come in contact with it, so it presents no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to maintain 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 on around the clock and usually last nine to 14 months. Routine 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 looked at and changed out as needed.
Request UV Light Installation
Parker Pearce Service Experts offers a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to evaluate 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 complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Parker Pearce Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.