When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you might think of getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. However, UV light is also something you can use for improving indoor air quality. Sunscreen defends against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light applied in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or hope to minimize 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 Work?
The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been understood for more than a century. UVC rays were initially applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC unit helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It generally takes 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents as well as 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 indoor air.
How Successful Are UV Lights?
Provided they are installed properly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at improving indoor air quality. One study out of Duke University revealed that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study noted “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of applying 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 helps clean the air 24 hours a day without adding chemicals into the environment. As opposed to certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is toxic to people with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung diseases.
- Decreased likelihood of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can reduce the chance of catching viral and bacterial infections.
- 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 quality 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 recoup the cost of using 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 sanitizes the air before it circulates through your home.
If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets mold and bacteria that accumulate 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 burn your skin, so it’s essential to wear a high SPF sunscreen when hanging out outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most destructive variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere blocks out these rays entirely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.
Knowing that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel comfortable 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 maintain the lamp or change the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut down the system temporarily to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used 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 perfect time to have these bulbs examined and changed out when necessary.
Request UV Light Installation
Eveready Service Experts provides 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 suggest the products that will perform best for you. Rest assured that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Eveready Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.