UV lights can kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful airborne contaminants. These lights are used frequently in hospitals, laboratories, or other areas where sterilization is essential.
But do you know that UV lights can be used in your HVAC system to improve indoor air quality?
In today’s article, Orzech Heating & Cooling will explain what UV lights are and how they work in your HVAC system. We’ll also explain the pros and cons of installing them for your home.
What are UV Lights?
UV stands for Ultraviolet, with the wavelength form of electromagnetic radiation with a shorter wavelength than visible light, but longer than X Rays. There are three types of UV radiation: UVA (UVB) and UVC (UVC).
The UVA and UVB rays cause skin cancer and sunburn. The strongest and most germicidal UVC rays, however, are blocked by the ozone layer. They can kill microorganisms on the surface of an object by penetrating their cellular walls and destroying both nucleic acid and DNA, which effectively deactivates bacteria.
Now that you know they have a strong effect on microorganisms, we’ll dig into how this is leveraged in HVAC.
How do they work in HVAC?
You can use UVC lights from your HVAC system to clean the ductwork system. These high-energy rays can damage the DNA of microorganisms, and prevent them from infecting or reproducing.
There are 2 types of UV light for HVAC: Air sanitizing and coil sanitizing. The coil sanitizing light is installed next to the heat pump’s evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is the place where the refrigerant absorbs heat and creates condensation. This humid environment can promote mold growth and reduce efficiency.
Your return vents and ducts can be fitted with air-sanitizing lamps. The UV rays from the sun expose your air stream to any allergens and germs it may contain, while they pass through your system.
UV Lights for HVAC: The Pros
The installation of UV lights in your HVAC system could have many benefits for your health and home. These are just a few:
1. Improved indoor air quality
Indoor air quality can be improved by using UV lights. These lamps can kill up to 99% of bacteria, mold, viruses, and pollen.
2. Low odours
UV light can also reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which cause unpleasant odours in cooking, smoking, pets, and chemicals.
3. Increased energy-efficiency
UV lights can prevent mold growth from your evaporator coil. This will increase heat transfer and airflow, which in turn reduces your energy consumption.
4. Extended life expectancy
You can extend the life expectancy of your system by keeping your coils and ducts clean with UV lights. This prevents corrosion, clogging, or damage to your system components. It also saves you money on repairs and replacements.
5. Easy installation and low maintenance
UV lamps are very easy to maintain. They can be replaced every 12-24 months, or as directed by the manufacturer.
UV Lights in HVAC: Cons
Although UV lights have many benefits for HVAC systems, there are also some disadvantages to consider before purchasing them. Some of these are:
1. High upfront costs
UV lights can be costly to buy and install. A single unit may cost you anywhere from $100 up to $1,000. To install them correctly and safely, you may need to hire someone.
2. Potential safety hazards
Exposure to UV rays directly or indirectly can cause damage to your eyes and skin. When a UV lamp is on, you should not touch or look at it.
You must wear protective equipment when cleaning or replacing or cleaning UV lights. Ozone can be a byproduct of some UV lights, which can cause irritation to your lungs and worsen existing respiratory problems.
3. Limitation of effectiveness
UV light can only kill germs that pass through its rays. These UV lights cannot remove any dust particles or other debris from your filters or ducts. However, you should still clean your filters and have them changed every so often.
Should you install UV Lights for your HVAC Systems?
Your personal preferences, budget, needs, and other factors will all influence your decision to have UV lights installed in your HVAC system.
UV lights may be beneficial if you have allergies, asthma, smoke in your home, or live somewhere where mold can grow. However, if you are on a budget or have sensitive skin or eyes, they may not be necessary or worth the expense.
You should research the different UV lights available and compare their prices before you purchase one. A reputable HVAC contractor can help you choose the right option for your home, and help you from installation to maintenance. You can learn how to choose a good partner if you want things to go smoothly without headaches.
UV lights can be used to clean your HVAC system. They also improve the indoor air quality of your home. The reason is that UV lights can kill bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants which can cause odours or health problems.
Additionally, by preventing mold growth from your evaporator coil, they can increase your system’s energy efficiency and longevity.
The downsides of UV lights include high upfront costs, safety hazards, and limited effectiveness. They also can’t remove dirt or dust from your filters or ducts, and may also produce ozone.
Before you decide to install UV lights in your HVAC system, it is important that you weigh the pros and disadvantages of these lights.