How to Improve Air Quality with UVC Lights
Published on Dec 8, 2020 in Indoor Air Quality
Is your A/C unit making you sick?
You might be surprised to learn that it can. Bacteria, fungi, and viruses are found everywhere. That means they are also found in your home, but they don’t necessarily start there.
They move through the air, are carried on clothing and skin, and even tracked in on your shoes. Once inside your home, your A/C unit does a great job circulating air, and all the little baddies floating in the air.
So how do you fix that?
Well, you can start by shining some lights on the situation. UVC lights to be exact.
What is UVC Light?
This is a good question that most people without a Ph.D. probably can’t answer correctly. I won’t bore you with the technical numbers, but UVC light represents a range of wavelengths within the ultraviolet spectrum. There are two others: UVA and UVB.
UVA is the range in which black lights operate. UVB is the range that gives you cancer or a sunburn. UVC is the range that kills or incapacitates bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.
Are UVC Lights Safe in My Home?
The answer to this question is yes, but with some restrictions. Yes, UVC light is safe if we don’t look at it, or have it shining on us from our light fixtures at home.
UVC lights have been used in the medical and dental fields for years. They use them to sanitize and disinfect surfaces and instruments.
They are now popping up in homes as modifications to our A/C systems to control mold and bacteria. Generally, they are installed within the ductwork, inside your air handler, or in your condenser unit.
Are UVC Lights Effective?
Killing microorganisms with UVC lights is effective when properly used, but it also depends on what you’re trying to kill. Fungal spores are the least susceptible to UVC. Viruses are very susceptible to UVC, and bacteria are somewhere in the middle.
The UVC light provides enough energy to damage the DNA and RNA of microorganisms, either killing them outright or making them unable to replicate.
Placement of your UVC lights is important. Most A/C professionals agree that they should be installed inside the air handler between the filter rack and cooling coil. These two areas are where moisture collects and are perfect spots for microbes to thrive.
Putting them inside the ductwork is another option, but the effectiveness is debatable. Some scientists believe the air carrying the baddies moves too fast, not giving the UVC light enough time to do its job.
But many argue that the ductwork is often made of reflective material that helps amplify and broaden the area covered. All parties agree that it couldn’t hurt, and placing them throughout the ductwork would be more beneficial than in a single location.
How Do I Get UVC Lights?
If you’re interested in learning more about how UVC lights improve indoor air quality you can contact us today for a free consultation. Our trained technicians will review your home’s system and answer any questions you may have.