How UV Germicidal Irradiation Improves Indoor Air Quality
If you’ve been sniffling and sneezing a lot lately, you’re not alone. While there isn’t much we can do to help with your outdoor allergies, there are many ways to fight indoor allergies and improve your breathing and comfort at home.
In fact, indoor air is said to be 2-5 times (and occasionally up to 100 times) as polluted as the air outdoors (EPA). There are many indoor air quality products on the market, but perhaps the most effective of all are UV germicidal air cleaners. These systems are installed directly into your duct system to kill any microorganisms that made it past your HVAC’s air filter.
What Is Ultraviolet Germicidal Air Irradiation (UVGI)?
UVGI air cleaners use ultraviolet-c (UV-C) light to disrupt the DNA in microorganisms floating around your home. These airborne particulates come from plants, animals, and microbes and can cause and aggravate respiratory problems. In addition to the respiratory repercussions of these bioaerosols, they also carry viruses and dangerous bacteria that could cause an illness. Indoor air quality is a major concern not only for our health and wellbeing but also for our nation’s economy and prosperity.
UV light is produced naturally by the sun, which is one of the reasons why outdoor air is often less polluted than indoor air. There are positive and negative effects of UV light on humans. On the one hand, it helps kill bacteria and provides us with vitamin D that helps build strong bones. On the other hand, it can also cause skin cancer, freckles, sunburns, and other negative effects.
Although there is legitimate concern about UV light exposure, UV air cleaners are built into your existing ductwork system, far away from any human contact. They are completely safe to have in your home. You can also use UV light to purify your water.
How Do UV Air Cleaners Work?
As air circulates in your home, airborne particles pass through your HVAC system and ductwork. While some larger particles will get trapped in your air filter, other particulates will continue on into your ductwork. It is here where your UV germicidal air cleaners are located to stop the microscopic organisms from going any further. The strong UV light damages the microorganisms’ DNA, rendering them unable to perform vital cellular functions, eventually killing them.
The light effectively sterilizes the organisms, killing them at their source. UV air cleaners are especially effective in killing mold and bacterial growth in your HVAC system, including the indoor evaporator coil and the condensate pan and drain line of your heat pump or AC system.
The UV light shines on the core components of your HVAC system to keep them clean and efficient all year long. UV air cleaners are great not only for your comfort and health, but also for the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC system.
You can choose to have UV lights installed in three configurations: standalone lamps in the ductwork, whole-house UV filter units, and UV evaporator coil lights.
UV Air Cleaner Benefits
According to the EPA, “nearly 1 in 13 children of school-age has asthma, the leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness. There is substantial evidence that indoor environmental exposure to allergens, such as dust mites, pests and molds, plays a role in triggering asthma symptoms.”
Improving the air filtration in your home (remember to check your air filter every 30 days) and going the extra step to install a UV air cleaner in your home will help:
- Reduce bioaerosols, including mold, fungus, mildew, viruses, and bacteria
- Prevent sickness and disease
- Control surface mold
- Reduce headaches, fatigue, sinuses, coughs, allergies, and respiratory issues
- Extend the longevity of your HVAC system
- Lower operating costs and minimize maintenance
For more information on UV lights and how ultraviolet light systems can keep your indoor air cleaner, contact Sobieski Services.