When you think of ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after a long day at the pool. Having said that, UV light is also something you can use for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the form of light applied in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or hope to limit the dispersal of illnesses around your home, a UV light within the 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 understood for over a century. UVC rays were initially employed to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are used in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification products.
A UV lamp added to your HVAC system improves the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It generally needs 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking them from replicating.
UV lights also address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents on top of airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t literally 'trap' contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from your home's air supply.
How Powerful Are UV Lights?
Assuming they are installed correctly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study from Duke University found that UV light deactivated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another report revealed “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial business' HVAC equipment after four months of applying a UV light.
Benefits of UV Lights
Install an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to enjoy these benefits:
- Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology disinfects the air around the clock without dispersing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, a known lung irritant that can be hazardous to people with asthma, allergies or prolonged lung conditions.
- Lower chance of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can reduce the likelihood of catching 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 smoothly and efficiently with a hard-working UV light.
- Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair needs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy lower 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 select an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician will position it within your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp affects the air before it spreads through your home.
If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit near 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 constantly emits invisible UV radiation. As you already know, UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin, so it’s crucial to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when enjoying time outdoors. The sun also gives off UVC rays, the most harming form 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 reach the earth’s surface.
With the knowledge that UVC rays are dangerous, why should you feel comfortable installing a UVC light in your HVAC system? It’s simple—the light is restricted to the inside of the ductwork where you can'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 change the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to avoid being exposed 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 ideal time to have these bulbs checked and changed out when necessary.
Request UV Light Installation
Stark Services offers a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be happy to analyze your home and your family’s needs to recommend the products that will work best for you. Rest easy knowing that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Stark Services office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.