Per the EPA, on average, people spend 90% of their time indoors or in their cars. Furthermore, mold, pollen and other airborne contaminant levels are typically two to five times higher indoors than outside.
Given these numbers, it is no wonder that more and more people seem to be suffering from seasonal allergies, asthma and other breathing conditions. As a result, many people are more focused on better ways to improve the indoor air quality in their homes.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, tabletop air purifiers and HEPA filters on vacuums were seen as the best ways to remove allergens and mold from the air. While these filtration systems are still helpful, there are more advanced technologies that can eliminate even more particulates.
One such technology leverages ultraviolet, or UV, lights to kill mold, viruses, bacteria and other air pollutants in your home or business. We have provided a few FAQs about UV lights and their potential impact on indoor air quality below. If you have any more questions about this innovative technology, then our experienced air quality professionals at Sun City Mechanical can help.
We have been providing quality HVAC services for residential and commercial customers in the Buckeye, AZ, and the greater West Valley area since 2003. Our team includes highly trained employees who have experience with indoor air quality issues.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have more questions. We would love the opportunity to discuss your specific concerns and your current air quality situation.
What is UV Light?
UV light is a non-visible form of energy that is emitted from the Earth’s sun. UV light is broken down into four main categories: UV-A, UV-B, UV-C and UV-vacuum, or UV-V. Total wavelength is the main difference between these types of UV light.
UV-A has the longest wavelength at between 340 and 400 nanometers (NM), or between 340 and 400 billionths of a meter. This UV light can go deep into your skin and is one contributor to wrinkles and aging skin.
In contrast, UV-B, also referred to as medium UV light, has a wavelength of 315-340 NM. UV-B light is the primary cause of the redness and sunburn that you may experience after prolonged time outside.
UV-C’s wavelength is only between 200 and 280 nm. The Earth’s ozone layer blocks most, if not all, of the sun’s naturally generated UV-C rays. However, UV-C rays are actually the strongest and most potent of the UV spectrum.
Recent research shows that these shorter but stronger UV-C rays are effective at sanitizing surfaces and food. They are also effective at killing bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in the air.
UV-V has the shortest wavelength at less than 200 NM. This type of ultraviolet light is the one that produces ozone. While the Earth’s ozone layer helps to absorb the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and protects life on Earth, ozone can be harmful to humans.
In confined spaces, such as your home or office, ozone particles can make it more difficult for you to breathe. They can cause shortness of breath, damage your airways and negatively impact asthma, emphysema or other lung conditions that you may have.
Can UV Light Effectively Remove Air Pollutants?
Yes, UV-C light bulbs can effectively eliminate bacteria, viruses and other microbes from the air. These UV rays effectively damage the bacteria’s and viruses’ DNA to prevent them from multiplying in the air and making you or your loved ones sick.
However, UV light bulbs or lamps cannot remove smoke, dust or other contaminants from your home’s or business’s indoor air. You would need a high-quality air filter installed on your HVAC to help eliminate these particles.
Do UV-C Lights Generate Ozone?
No. The UV-C lights that we would use as a part of your HVAC system to sanitize the air in your home do not generate ozone. Lamps, bulbs or other air purification systems that also generate UV-V rays can potentially release ozone into the air.
Can UV Bulbs be Added to my Existing HVAC System?
Yes, it is possible that UV-C bulbs could be added to the coil and drain or to the return ducts on your existing HVAC system. However, factors such as the age of your system, the average humidity and temperature in your home, and the condition of your ducts may impact your ability to have ultraviolet-based air quality solutions installed.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss your concerns. Our experienced team at Sun City Mechanical would be happy to assess your current HVAC system and determine what potential solutions might work best to improve your indoor air quality.
Where Would You Recommend Installing UV Lights in My Home?
There are generally two places where we would recommend installing UV lights as a part of your HVAC system. First, you can install these lights on your condenser coil and drain pan. These components are two of the most common areas where we see mold and other microbes.
If your drain pan becomes disconnected or clogged, then moisture can accumulate and cause mold to form. This mold can then spread to your coils, your furnace or air handler and other key areas of your HVAC system.
By that point, these contaminants will travel through your ducts and be released into the air. UV-C lamps can help to kill the bacteria and may prevent them from infecting you and your loved ones.
Next, you can also install UV-C lights in your ductwork. If placed correctly, then these bulbs will utilize the ductwork’s existing metal surfaces to reflect light in all directions. That way, microbes will be killed as the air returns to your HVAC system and will not spread throughout your home.
Can I Install UV Lights Myself?
While it is possible to install UV bulbs yourself, we highly recommend that you contact an HVAC professional to have them integrated into your system. UV-C light can damage your eyes and your skin.
Furthermore, improper placement can make the system less effective at eliminating the bacteria, viruses and other microbes from your property’s indoor air supply. Call us today for a consultation.
Ultimately, UV lights can have a significant impact on your home’s or your business’s indoor air quality. In fact, they can remove up to 97% of bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from the air that you breathe.
Yet they are only one tool in the fight against airborne pollutants. Next-generation air filters or other technologies may help further reduce your exposure to pollen, dust and other irritants.
If you feel like your indoor air quality is not where it needs to be, then call Sun City Mechanical. Our reliable and knowledgeable team would be happy to assess your current HVAC system and provide customized recommendations for your situation.
Are you experiencing other heating, cooling or plumbing issues? We also offer a complete package of HVAC installation, repair and plumbing solutions to meet your needs. Call Sun City Mechanical today!