When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you probably think of getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a strategy for increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light found in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or want to reduce the distribution of illnesses across 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 effects of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than 100 years. UVC rays were even used 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 unit helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually takes 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 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 capture dust, fibers and other particles from the air.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
As long as they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University revealed 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 within a commercial property's HVAC unit after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Install an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to make the most of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology disinfects the air nonstop without introducing chemicals into the environment. Unlike certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a recognized lung irritant that can be toxic to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung illnesses.
- Lower risk of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can reduce the chance of catching 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 working reliably and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair bills: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and minimal need for 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 choose an air-sanitizing UV light, your installer will position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp helps clean the air before it circulates 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 grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continuously emits 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 enjoying time outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most destructive type of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere blocks out these rays entirely, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel alright with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to 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 clean the lamp or change the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut off the system briefly to avoid being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run constantly and typically last nine to 14 months. Annual 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 checked and changed out as needed.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Falso Service Experts provides a suite of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to suggest the solutions that are best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Falso Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.