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How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?

When you hear the phrase ultraviolet light, you might imagine getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. And yet, UV light is also something you can use for enhancing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the type of light applied in air purification. If you deal with allergies or asthma or would like to minimize the distribution of illnesses across your home, a UV light in the HVAC system can be the air quality solution you’ve been looking for!

How Does a UV Light Work?

The germicidal influences of ultraviolet light have been understood for over a century. UVC rays were initially used to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are found in hospitals, food processing centers, water treatment plants and air purification products.

A UV lamp installed into your HVAC system boosts the air quality in your home by eliminating microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually requires 10 seconds of contact to affect these germs’ DNA, killing them or blocking 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 literally ‘trap’ contaminants, so you still require an air filtration system to extract dust, fibers and other particles from the air.

How Effective Are UV Lights?

As long as they are installed correctly and feature 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 deactivated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another analysis measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial property’s HVAC system 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 helps clean the air 24 hours a day without adding chemicals into the environment. Unlike certain air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t produce ozone, a recognized lung irritant that is toxic to those with asthma, allergies or frequent lung conditions.
    • Decreased risk of getting sick: When combined with good personal hygiene, germ-killing UV lamps can minimize the chance of catching viral and bacterial infections.
    • Protection for your HVAC system: Mold, fungi and bacteria can negatively impact your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system working reliably and efficiently with a quality UV light.
    • Smaller HVAC maintenance and repair bills: 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 decide on an air-sanitizing UV light, your installation technician should position it in your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp affects the air before it flows throughout your home.

If you choose a coil-sanitizing UV light, it should sit near 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 probably know, UVA and UVB rays can burn your skin, so it’s essential to wear a high SPF sunscreen when spending 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 eliminates these rays completely, so they don’t reach the earth’s surface.

Understanding that UVC rays are harmful, why should you feel alright with installing a UVC light in your home? It’s simple—the light is limited to 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 swap out the bulb, your HVAC technician will shut off the system briefly to prevent being exposed to the damaging light.

How Long Do UV Lights Last?

UV lights are used constantly and usually last nine to 14 months. Annual 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 swapped out when necessary.

Request UV Light Installation

Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers a range of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to advise the products that will work 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.

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