How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?

When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you may imagine getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also something you can use for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light used in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or hope to reduce the spread of illnesses across your home, a UV light within the HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been searching for!

How Does a UV Light Work?

The germicidal effects of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than a century. UVC rays were even applied to treat tuberculosis. Today, germicidal lamps are common in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification systems.

A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system boosts the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only needs 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or stopping them from replicating.

UV lights also address 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 literally ‘trap’ contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to capture dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.

How Powerful Are UV Lights?

Assuming they are installed like they’re supposed to and feature the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University found that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels inside a commercial business’ HVAC system after four months of using 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 around the clock without adding chemicals into the environment. As opposed to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t create ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is very hazardous to individuals with asthma, allergies or frequent lung illnesses.
    • Lower chance of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can minimize the chance of catching viral and bacterial infections.
    • Stronger protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can clog up your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system working smoothly and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
    • Lower HVAC maintenance and repair costs: 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 inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it circulates through your home.

If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit close to 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 continuously produces invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s essential to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when enjoying time outside. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most harming variant of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, particularly the skin and eyes.

Luckily, the atmosphere filters out these rays altogether, so they don’t make it to the earth’s surface.

Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel okay with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is restricted to the ductwork where you won’t come in contact with it, so it creates no risk to you and your family. When the time comes to maintain the lamp or swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system briefly to avoid exposure to the damaging light.

How Long Do UV Lights Last?

UV lights are used 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 ideal time to have these bulbs looked at and swapped out when necessary.

Schedule UV Light Installation

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers a suite of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to assess your home and your family’s needs to suggest the products that will perform best for you. Enjoy the peace of mind that that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.

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