When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you may 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 safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light applied in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or would like to reduce the spread of illnesses across your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been hoping for!
How Does a UV Light Function?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been known for more than a century. UVC rays were even used to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing plants, water treatment plants and air purification equipment.
A UV lamp installed into your HVAC system helps the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only takes 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.
UV lights also combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in cleaners and repellents alongside airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. Still, UV lights don’t actually 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor 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 improving 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 report noted “significantly lower” fungal levels inside a commercial building’s HVAC unit after four months of operating a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Place an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to make the most of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology disinfects the air 24 hours a day without dispersing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, a known lung irritant that can be toxic to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung diseases.
- Decreased risk of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can lower the risk of getting 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 quality UV light.
- Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair needs: 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 choose 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 will sit close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun continually emits invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s essential to use an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also emits UVC rays, the most harming variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.
Thankfully, the atmosphere filters out these rays completely, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are hazardous, why should you feel okay with 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 presents 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 briefly to avoid being exposed to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights run continuously and typically 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 best possible time to have these bulbs looked at and replaced when necessary.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts offers a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to assess your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that are best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we perform is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.