Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Unfortunately, tighter building construction in recent years has resulted in a decline in indoor air quality, and an increase of contaminants such as bacteria, mold, and viruses. Such contaminants not only affect your family’s health, they reduce the efficiency of your home’s heating and air conditioning system.
For over a century, science has recognized the health benefits of ultraviolet (UV) light as a method of disinfection in hospitals, water treatment plants, and the food industry. Today this technology is readily available and recommended for use inside the home. In fact, the government requires this technology in all government buildings.
How Do UV Air Purification Systems Work?
Using UV lights inside your HVAC system is one best ways to limit airborne pathogens in the home. The ultraviolet rays permanently disable bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants by breaking down their DNA and destroying their reproductive capabilities. Once these pathogens are unable to reproduce, their numbers decrease until they are rendered virtually non-existent. So the benefit of UV light is two-fold. First, surface sterilization prevents the build-up of contaminants such as mold and mildew, and second, air is disinfected as it passes through the UV light in your HVAC system.
UV lights provide a method of chemical-free disinfection, which not only results in better air quality in the home, but a cleaner HVAC system. A cleaner system is more energy efficient and calls for less maintenance, saving you money long-term. In addition, your family will benefit from up to a 99 percent reduction of indoor contaminants that can cause or contribute to some 50 percent of illnesses in the home, resulting in healthier, happier lives.
The lights are placed within the ductwork or air handler of HVAC systems where nearly all the air in your home passes over it. UV light is hazardous to eyesight and they’re out of sight inside the HVAC equipment.
How UV Systems Compare
Compared to other kinds of air purification equipment, UV lighting offers:
- High energy efficiency. The new generation of UV lights use LED technology and require annual replacement. Air purifiers rely on filters that need replacement as often as semiannually that can cost much more than the UV light bulbs.
- Low maintenance. Since they’re out of sight, UV lights require little maintenance, especially if you keep the air filter for your HVAC system clean.
- Protection against VOCs. These gases are among the most common airborne pollutants in the typical home. They come from products made from hydrocarbons and have varying degrees of toxicity. The lights are the only way to reduce the VOC load in the air without relying on year-round fresh air ventilation, which isn’t realistic during the summer or winter.
- Odor-free. UV rays eliminate much of the need for disinfecting air sprays that have overpowering scents that may even include VOCs. Air sprays only offer spot protection from the spread of infectious germs, while UV lighting systems protect the whole home.
- A cleaner HVAC system. The lights will eliminate mold growth inside the air handler and the ductwork. When mold grows inside the air handler on the evaporator coil, cooling efficiency drops and air quality declines.
Damp climates in areas such as Oregon are the perfect breeding grounds for molds and other contaminants which can be dangerous not only to the health of your family, but to the structure of your home as well. Your best defense against such contaminants is a sterile living environment, and UV lights can provide you with just that. Contact the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical to learn more about how UV lights can improve your quality of living.