UV Lights: You Have Them in Your Home–Maybe Your Commercial Building Should Have Them Too
The deterioration of the performance of your commercial air conditioning system is an unavoidable side effect of equipment wear and age. There are, however, techniques you can use to slow this loss of effectiveness and efficiency. One of the most effective involves regular maintenance of cooling coils and the use of UV lights to help prevent the build-up of organic matter on the coils.
The coils in your air conditioner are responsible for the heat transfer that produces cooling. When these coils are dirty and covered with built-up contaminants, the heat transfer is less effective. Coil pressure drop increases and airflow is reduced, which affects the unit’s energy efficiency and ability to properly cool your indoor spaces. The system is less able to remove humidity from the air, which results in more indoor moisture and the problems that elevated moisture can cause. Coil cleaning and the use of UV lights can partially reverse these performance problems and improve the function of your cooling system.
Coil Cleaning and Maintenance
Regular preventive maintenance should be performed on your HVAC system. A pre-season tune-up from a maintenance professional can keep your air conditioner running at its best while extending system life and providing the highest possible indoor air quality. Part of that maintenance should include coil cleaning and the removal of dirt, mold and biological matter from the coils. When coils are clean, they will be able to effectively transfer heat and produce the cooling you need to keep your commercial space comfortable. Building owners should take preventive maintenance and coil cleaning seriously; if the coils are neglected long enough, the only option to restore A/C performance may be complete replacement of this vital system component.
UV, or ultraviolet, lights are an effective preventative measure that keeps biological contaminants from accumulating on the coils and other components of your air conditioning system. UV light cannot be seen by human eyes, but it’s an extremely powerful disinfectant that kills germs, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.
These and other types of biological material can form on your air conditioner’s coils, and over time can accumulate to such an extent that A/C performance is compromised. UV lights work to kill and eliminate these organisms before they can establish themselves and grow on your A/C coils. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light systems are often used to combat the biological contaminants that can grow on air conditioner components. These types of UV lights reduce the accumulation of mold and other biofilms without the use of chemical cleaners or other potentially hazardous agents.
In short, UV light removes biological material by destroying the organisms’ DNA, killing many of them outright and rendering others unable to reproduce. The biological contaminants stop growing, which leaves your A/C system coils free of material that can reduce performance. UV lights are also useful in other HVAC applications. When UV lights are applied to the airflow moving through your heating or cooling equipment, they can effectively remove microorganisms that can cause disease and discomfort.
Germs, microbes, viruses and other biological hazards can be reduced or eliminated by treating indoor air with UV light. This leads to a more comfortable indoor environment, improved indoor air quality, and less likelihood of transfer of disease among visitors and employees in your commercial facility. In general, it takes only a few seconds of exposure to UV light to kill microorganisms. To be effective, the light must make direct contact with its targets. Even relatively low-power UV-C systems producing about 0.16 watt per cubic foot per minute can be effective at removing biological contaminants in the air and on surfaces within your air conditioner.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about UV lights and how they can keep your air conditioning system cleaner and more efficient, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!