How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?

When you look at ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after spending a day at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a tool for increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen safeguards against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light found in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or want to reduce the dispersal of illnesses around your home, a UV light installed in your HVAC system just might be the air quality solution you’ve been hoping for!

How Does a UV Light Function?

The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been recognized for more than 100 years. UVC rays were originally applied to treat tuberculosis. These days, germicidal lamps are common in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification products.

A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC system helps the air quality in your home by deactivating microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It only 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) present in cleaners and repellents alongside airborne bioaerosols like pollen and pet dander. However, 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?

As long as they are installed properly and use the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are highly effective at enhancing indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University found that UV light removed more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis noted “significantly lower” fungal levels inside a commercial business' HVAC equipment after four months of operating a UV light.

Benefits of UV Lights

Add an ultraviolet lamp in your HVAC system to take advantage of these benefits:

  • Cleaner indoor air: UV light technology helps clean the air nonstop without introducing chemicals into the environment. Unlike other air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t create ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is toxic to individuals with asthma, allergies or chronic lung diseases.
  • Lower risk of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lights can lower the likelihood of getting 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.
  • Lower HVAC maintenance and repair needs: With an inherently cleaner central HVAC system, you enjoy more manageable maintenance requirements and minimal need for emergency repairs. These savings can help offset 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 installer should position it inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp sanitizes the air before it flows throughout your home.

If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit around the AC evaporator coil. There, it affects 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 harm your skin, so it’s crucial to use an effective sunscreen when enjoying time outdoors. The sun also produces UVC rays, the most harming form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, such as the skin and eyes.

Fortunately, the atmosphere eliminates these rays entirely, 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 confined to the ductwork where you won't come in contact with it, so it presents 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 temporarily to avoid exposure to the damaging light.

How Long Do UV Lights Last?

UV lights are used constantly 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 perfect time to have these bulbs examined and replaced when necessary.

Schedule UV Light Installation

Golden Seal 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 recommend the products that will work best for you. Rest assured that all work we complete is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with your local Golden Seal Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.

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