How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?
When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you probably think of getting sunburned after spending a day 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 type of light found in air purification. If you struggle with allergies or asthma or hope to limit 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 Function?
The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than a century. UVC rays were originally used to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system boosts the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually needs 10 seconds of contact to disrupt these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents alongside airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. That being said, UV lights don’t literally 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from your indoor air.
How Effective 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 very effective at improving indoor air quality. One study from Duke University revealed that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another report revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels within a commercial building’s HVAC system after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Place an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology sanitizes the air nonstop without adding chemicals into the environment. Compared to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t create ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is harmful to individuals with asthma, allergies or frequent lung conditions.
- Decreased chance of getting sick: Alongside good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV products can reduce the risk of contracting viral and bacterial infections.
- 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.
- Reduced HVAC maintenance and repair needs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy lower maintenance requirements and fewer emergency repairs. These savings can help counter the cost of running 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 helps clean the air before it flows through your home.
If you would rather have a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit near the AC evaporator coil. There, it targets mold and bacteria that grow on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.
Are UV Lights Safe?
The sun constantly releases invisible UV radiation. As you probably know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s crucial to wear a high SPF sunscreen when hanging out outdoors. The sun also gives off 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 filters out these rays altogether, so they don’t get through to the earth’s surface.
Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, 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 shut off the system temporarily to avoid exposure to the damaging light.
How Long Do UV Lights Last?
UV lights are used continuously and generally 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 examined and swapped out as required.
Schedule UV Light Installation
Midway Services provides a suite of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to assess your home and your family’s needs to recommend the products that will perform best for you. Enjoy the peace of mind that that all work we complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Midway Services office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.