How Do UV Lights for HVAC Systems Work?

When you look at ultraviolet light, you may picture getting sunburned after a few hours spent relaxing at the pool. And yet, UV light is also a tool for increasing indoor air quality. Sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, but UVC is the kind of light found in air purification. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or would like to limit the dispersal of illnesses around your home, a UV light in the 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 a century. UVC rays were originally applied to treat tuberculosis. Nowadays, germicidal lamps are implemented in hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment plants and air purification products.

A UV lamp placed inside your HVAC unit improves the air quality in your home by wiping out microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold and more. It usually needs 10 seconds of contact to deactivate these germs’ DNA, killing them or preventing them from replicating.

UV lights also target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaners and repellents as well as airborne bioaerosols such as pollen and pet dander. However, UV lights don’t literally ‘trap’ contaminants, so you still need an air filtration system to remove dust, fibers and other particles from your home’s air supply.

How Powerful Are UV Lights?

Provided they are installed correctly and utilize the right wavelength of UV light, germicidal lamps are very effective at increasing indoor air quality. One study completed by Duke University illustrated that UV light eliminated more than 97 percent of drug-resistant bacteria from the air in hospital rooms. Another study measured “significantly lower” fungal levels in a commercial property’s HVAC system after four months of using 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 introducing chemicals into the environment. As opposed to some air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps don’t generate ozone, an infamous lung irritant that is hazardous to individuals with asthma, allergies or frequent lung illnesses.
    • Decreased risk of getting sick: When used in tandem 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 negatively impact your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the system running reliably 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 using 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 inside your ductwork near the HVAC system. There, the lamp affects the air before it circulates across your home.

If you prefer a coil-sanitizing UV light, it will sit close to the AC evaporator coil. There, it deactivates mold and bacteria that accumulate on the damp coil, keeping your system clean and operating smoothly.

Are UV Lights Safe?

The sun continuously 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 damaging form of solar radiation capable of killing microorganisms and irritating other living tissue, like the skin and eyes.

Luckily, the atmosphere filters out these rays altogether, so they don’t get through to 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 limited to the 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 change the bulb, your HVAC technician will turn off the system for a short time to prevent exposure to the damaging light.

How Long Do UV Lights Last?

UV lights are used continuously and usually 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 checked and swapped out as required.

Request UV Light Installation

Winnipeg Supply Service Experts features a number of air quality solutions, including UV lights for HVAC systems. We would be glad to evaluate your home and your family’s needs to recommend the products that will work best for you. Rest assured that all work we produce is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Reach out to your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office to schedule UV light installation or request a free home health consultation today.

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