March 7, 2024
The Role of UV Lights in Improving Indoor Air Quality

As we spend more time indoors, the quality of air present inside our Las Vegas, NV, homes is becoming a concern. Since air quality has a direct impact on your family’s health and well-being, you want to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to keep it at an optimal level. UV lighting is an innovative option for enhancing the quality of the air inside your home.

What is UV Light?

UV stands for ultra-violet. This is a specialized light source that kills unwanted microorganisms. This includes things like bacteria, mold, viruses, and fungi. UV lighting was first used in water treatment facilities to remove harmful biological contaminants. Then, it was introduced to the commercial HVAC market to prevent the spread of disease in hospitals. Finally, this great technology has reached the residential HVAC marketplace.

How Do These Specialized Lights Work?

UV lighting comes in various forms, such as UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-C is particularly great at neutralizing bacteria and other unwanted contaminants in your indoor air. As the UV light comes into contact with these unwanted particles, it produces electromagnetic energy. This energy works to cause mutation and even death in the cells of the unwanted particles. It also destroys the particle’s ability to reproduce.

Where are UV Lights Installed?

There are two places where a UV light is most commonly installed. The first and most popular is over your system’s evaporator coil. This works to prevent unwanted mold and mildew growth. The light stick is chosen to go in this area most of the time simply because this part of your cooling system houses water. This water creates an easy breeding ground for harmful mold and mildew.

The second location where a UV light stick can be installed is in your ducting. It’s typically best to install this light in the return ducting close to the indoor air handler unit. It should be installed at the top of the ducting and shine down into the rest of the opening.

The Benefits of Having a UV Light Installed

UV lighting is becoming a popular upgrade for many homeowners due to its many benefits. First and foremost, it boosts the quality of air inside your home. The healthier your indoor air is, the better your family is going to feel. Even better, this method works to remove those unwanted particles instead of just trapping them like an air filter.

This eco-friendly air enhancer is very affordable and doesn’t have any harmful chemicals that you have to worry about. It works rapidly and has been proven effective at killing viruses, bacteria, mold, and even fungi. Unwanted microbial cells are unable to develop any resistance to UV lighting technology.

UV lighting can be great for eliminating nasty odors that can hide in those unwanted airborne particles. As it naturally works to remove the harmful contaminants in your home’s air, your family will experience fewer respiratory problems. These include fewer allergy and asthma symptoms.

While most of the benefits of UV lighting are focused on the health of your family, this lighting system can also make your HVAC system run more efficiently. As UV lighting cleanses the evaporator coil regularly, you can ensure that all surfaces of the coil are being utilized to cool your air. There’s no blockage of mold or mildew to deal with. Studies have shown HVAC efficiency can be increased by up to 35 percent when UV lighting is installed on the evaporator coil.

Are UV Lights Safe for Your Home?

One of the biggest questions that homeowners tend to have for their HVAC technicians is whether or not UV lighting is safe. The reality is that UV lighting is safe when installed and used properly. You need a light that is within the proper UV-C spectrum to be effective.

The light should always be installed based on its manufacturer’s specific instructions. This is going to place the UV light in a position where it will never be exposed, as UV light can be damaging to the eyes. Your HVAC technician will take care by using eye protection and gloves when installing your new UV lighting system.

Prepping Your Ductwork

One of the best actions you can take prior to installing a UV light in your ductwork is to have your ductwork thoroughly cleaned. This will help to remove any buildup of debris within your system. It will also help to keep your UV light cleaner for a longer period of time. Duct cleaning services can provide many other benefits, like increasing system airflow and boosting the overall efficiency of your heating or cooling system.

Maintenance Requirements

Just like every other component of your household HVAC system, your UV light strip will need to undergo regular maintenance. This will include completely wiping down any debris that is stuck to the light housing. If left unaddressed, this debris could end up blocking some of the UV-C rays, making your system less effective. This means decreased indoor air quality for your family.

Since UV lights are sensitive to fingerprint oil and can be harmful when the light comes into contact with the human eye, it’s not recommended that the average homeowner perform this maintenance service. Most homeowners opt for having their HVAC technician service their UV lighting when their cooling system is serviced in the early spring months.

Expected Lifespan

When you’re considering investing in a new UV lighting system for your home’s HVAC system, one factor that you’ll want to take into account is the system’s lifespan. You need to know how often you’ll have to invest in a new light to keep your indoor air quality high.

In general, HVAC UV lighting systems have a lifespan of anywhere between one and five years. Each light will have a specific replacement recommendation from its manufacturer. This is typically given based on the number of runtime hours. While a UV light may still be physically active after it’s reached the end of its recommended lifespan, you shouldn’t keep using it.

Just because the light is on doesn’t mean the light is as effective as it should be. The UV light will start to work less effectively over time. You should plan on having your HVAC technician replace your UV lighting setup as needed during routine maintenance.

Other Indoor Air Quality Essentials

While UV lighting can be a great addition to any indoor air quality enhancement program, it’s important to implement other methods as well. You need to choose a good-quality MERV air filter and make sure that it gets replaced when necessary. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your ductwork is routinely inspected and cleaned when necessary.

Call for Professional Help

Polar Air & Heating, Inc. offers top-quality UV light installation for customers throughout the entire Las Vegas region. We can also assist with all of your heating, cooling, indoor air quality, new construction, and commercial needs. Simply call our office today, and our friendly staff will get you on the schedule.

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