The thought of eliminating the bacteria in your home by shining light into the air ducts may sound like it’s too promising to be real however, HVAC UV lights actually can enhance the quality of your air in your home. In reality they have been in use for years in hospitals as well as other establishments in which sanitation is a major concern.
However the process of purifying your home’s air using UV light isn’t as easy as some companies claim and not every house require one of these systems.
How UV Lights Purify the air
Ultraviolet (UV) lighting for HVAC systems are often described as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) devices. They target a specific type of airborne contaminant specifically microorganisms like viruses, bacteria or mold spores. You may be familiar with how hanging laundry in the sun helps kill any mold or germs that are clinging to it. UV lights function in similar fashion.
UVGI systems emit the same type of ultraviolet light that is present in sunshine, however with a higher intensity than that of sunlight that hits the earth. The light damages the nucleic acids of microorganisms that damage DNA and eventually killing them or rendering them in a state of not being able to reproduce.
The light only affects living microorganisms. Therefore, the systems aren’t able keep track of pollen, dust pet dander, dust or other particles that aren’t living. The gaseous pollutants, like cooking fumes as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) aren’t affected.
UV light’s capability to destroy pathogens in the air and in water was established in the early 20th century. These systems were in use in hospitals as early in the 1930s to stop the spread of illnesses like measles and tuberculosis.
They’re now recognized as effective against various types of viruses like rhinoviruses (common cold) and flu viruses (flu) as well as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and against bacteria , such that of Staphylococcus aureus (Staph infection) and Streptococcus variants.
The benefits are widely acknowledged and hundreds of water treatment facilities as well as hospitals and food processing facilities across the nation utilize UVGI systems in their efforts to reduce contamination.
There aren’t all UVGI Systems Work the Same
However, the process of purifying your home’s air won’t be easy as simply putting every UVGI air purifier you come across in the HVAC ducts. To kill or neutralize microorganisms have to expose themselves to correct type of light for appropriate duration of time. The effectiveness of a UV system’s efficiency in a particular situation is contingent on many factors, including:
- Lamp wavelength and intensity and the wavelength
- Lamps in the number
- Lamp place
- Reflectivity of Duct
Furthermore, prior to you look to purchase an HVAC UV light system, you’ll have decide which of the two options that are suitable for you.
Coli Sterilization – It’s the most commonly used kind. It is installed close to the indoor evaporator coil. It shines continuously to keep the growth of bacteria and mold over and around it. A lower amount of microbes and mold on your coil equals less pollution in your air.
air sterilization This system was specifically created to kill microbes that are within your home’s air. It’s typically installed inside the return air duct. It will only turn on when the cooling or heating system is operating. Since it cleanses all the air entering it and reduces the possibility of microbial accumulation on HVAC components including your air ducts, evaporator coils as well as your air filter and drain pan.
What if you need a UV Air Purifier is Worth the Cost
While these systems provide advantages, they’re not inexpensive, and require periodic maintenance, including changing the expensive lamps. They lose power over the time of a few years, and then cease to be effective in killing bacteria although they continue to emit visible light.
Before investing in an UVGI system, think about whether your home has needs for air quality that this method of purifying air will meet efficiently.
If someone in your house suffers from a respiratory illness like allergies, asthma, or chronic obstructive lung illness (COPD) or suffers from a weak immune system or has a compromised immune system, air purification could benefit them. This is particularly true for UV air purifiers that are able to target microbes that cause disease and not just irritating substances such as pollen and dust.
In humid environments your evaporator coil will be at greater risk than average of becoming soaked and developing mold. A UVGI system can reduce the number of moldy spores active that are present on the coil and in air.
UVGI systems are known to offer higher benefits in more crowding conditions. The installation of the system could be an ideal option when you have a big family and a smaller home, or in the event that you like entertaining guests throughout the winter and fall holidays, which happen to be the peak of the flu and cold season.
Since it can only control a narrow variety of contaminants It’s true that the UVGI system on its own isn’t enough to keep the air in your home free of contaminants. It’s still essential to use a high-efficiency air filter to snuff out the dust particles that are smaller in size pollen, spores, and other contaminants that cause asthma and allergies to worsen.
If you’re thinking of installing the HVAC UV light installed, speak to an HVAC technician first. A qualified technician can advise you on what device will do the most effective job in purifying the air inside your home.