Does My Home Need Ultraviolet Lights?

Posted: 2020-05-14

A clean home is a healthy home. That’s a no-brainer. No homeowner wants their home to be a breeding ground for germs and airborne contaminants. These microorganisms cause all kinds of health problems such as coughs, colds, headaches, and in some cases, even pneumonia, allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.

Sure, your HVAC system somehow helps eliminate visible pollutants such as dirt and dust, but it is not designed to combat microscopic particles. Bacteria, viruses, and mold require a more potent way of disinfecting your home. Using ultraviolet lights is a great line of defense against these unseen, biological enemies.

Four Seasons Air Specialists is a trusted HVAC company in North Oaks MN. We are your one-stop-shop for all your home comfort needs, including air purification systems and ultraviolet germicidal lights.

Ultraviolet Lights 101

Ultraviolet light is part of the light spectrum, ranging from 10 nanometers to 400 nanometers. The germicidal range of UV is within the 100-280 nanometer wavelengths, also known as UV-C. The DNA and RNA of microorganisms can take in this range of UV light. This causes changes in the DNA and RNA structure, making these biological pollutants incapable of reproducing.

A Quick History of UV Lights

UV has been used for disinfection as early as the 1950s. It is used to treat drinking water, disinfect the air, and sanitize fruit and vegetable juices. Also, UV lights are used in many applications in the home, particularly in fighting household contaminants.

How Does a UV Light Disinfect a Home?

It produces short-wavelength light (or radiation) that can break the genetic material in the nucleus of cells of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and mold. With prolonged exposure, UV germicidal irradiation can also break down the particles that have deposited on an irradiated surface.

UV light has been proven highly effective when used in conjunction with your HVAC system to purify the air in your home. This increases your overall indoor air quality and keeps your family safe from airborne disease-causing germs. It is effective in reducing cold and flu viruses and allergens. It also helps minimize smells and odors and eliminates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from your indoor air.

According to research, UV germicidal lights can achieve up to 99% reduction of mold and bacteria on sanitized surfaces. The effectiveness of UV systems that irradiate microorganisms in circulating air can also be significant but is less dramatic and depends highly on the microorganism type, air velocity, humidity, the size of the particles carrying the microorganisms, as well as the UV system engineering.

Types of UV Lights for HVAC Systems

Coil Sterilization

This type of UV light contains a stick of light inside the return air duct that sterilizes the coil. It is the most commonly used UV light. The “dirty sock smell” is a common problem with homes using air conditioning systems with dirty coils, which causes a musty smell in the home. This can easily be fixed with the use of a UV light.

Air Sterilization

This is a more comprehensive UV light system that sterilizes the air that circulates throughout the home. It is installed in the return air duct but works alongside the air-handling blower.

Why Consider Having UV Germicidal Lights

In addition to disinfecting your home and ensuring good indoor air quality, using UV germicidal lights offers several benefits, including improved sleep. When our respiratory tracts are irritated by airborne allergens, our sleep is compromised and can cause sleep apnea and grumpiness. UV germicidal lights fight off these allergens and help you have a good night’s sleep.

Also, UV lights are virtually effortless to use. Since they can be easily installed inside your ductwork, they can work with almost any heating and cooling system to enhance the air throughout your home. Even when your HVAC system isn’t running, UV germicidal lights can still work uninterruptedly.

Low operational cost is another benefit of using a UV light. Because of their uncomplicated design, UV lights require low maintenance and a long lifespan. Typical UV bulbs last thousands of hours at their peak output, minimizing the need for regular replacement and maintenance.

Need Help? Call Four Seasons Air Specialists

For more information about how you can benefit from UV germicidal lights, give us a call. We are your friendly White Bear heating and air conditioning company.