When you think of ultraviolet light, you may 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 kind of light found in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or would like to minimize the spread of illnesses throughout your home, a UV light within the HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been hoping for!
How Does a UV Light Operate?
The germicidal impacts of ultraviolet light have been known for over a century. UVC rays were even applied to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification systems.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC unit helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It generally needs 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed like they're supposed to and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University illustrated 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 within a commercial business' HVAC equipment after four months of operating a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Install 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 adding chemicals into the environment. Unlike certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, an infamous lung irritant that can be hazardous to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung diseases.
- Decreased risk of getting sick: When used in tandem with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can lower 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 operating reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Lower HVAC maintenance and repair costs: 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 choose an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician will position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp affects 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 affects mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun constantly produces invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s essential to apply an effective sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also gives off UVC rays, the most harming form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere eliminates these rays completely, so they don’t make it to the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is restricted 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 maintain the lamp or replace the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut off the system briefly to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run constantly 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 swapped out as needed.
Request UV Light Installation
Broad Ripple Service Experts offers a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be delighted to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that will work best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Broad Ripple Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.