Ultra violet (UV) lights have many uses that you may not be aware of. These include sterilizing medical equipment, treating a Vitamin D deficiency in people, setting nail polish quickly, and sterilizing components involved in food production.
But can they help improve your indoor air quality? Are they worth the extra money to have them on your HVAC air handler?
When HVAC Lights Can Help
Whether HVAC lights are the answer to your indoor air quality issues depends on what the root cause of those issues are and how sensitive your family is to them. UV lights are perfect for killing organic causes of air quality issues like mold and bacteria. But there is little they can do against pet dander, dust, pollen or other allergens.
However, while the lights do little for non-living allergens, many people with allergies have a strong sensitivity to a variety of allergens and the lights are very good at killing mold.
Science supports the claim as well. The Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology published a study in 2001, entitled “Effectiveness of Germicidal UV Radiation for Reducing Fungal Contamination within Air-Handling Units.” In it they cited that after only four months of operation, the fungal levels in a commercial building were reduced significantly.
In Florida, we struggle with high humidity and high temps. This is a breeding ground for mold and other microbes so UV lights are often a good solution for air quality issues in homes in Tampa.
How HVAC UV Lights Help Improve Air Quality
The light is installed in the air handler of the HVAC system. All mold within “view” of the light will be killed. This is important because it guarantees that the coil will remain mold free, not always an easy thing here in Florida. Plus, since air passes through the coils, mold spores and fungal particles will be killed as well, thus purifying the air of those live contaminants. (Remember, there’s no claim that UV lights do anything for pet dander.)
To Install or Not to Install?
There are two main ways to employ UV lights on your HVAC system. You can purchase a stick light which attaches near the return air duct via a powerful magnet. These run anywhere from just under $100 to several hundred dollars. This option is probably the most common system.
The other option is a whole system option of air sterilization. The UV light in this choice cycles on with the air handler blower making it more effective than the stick light. These systems are also more costly. They average about $1500.
If you’re just looking to keep the coils mold free, the first option does a good job. If someone in your household has issues with air quality, the latter option offers a much more encompassing purification system.
Do you want to know more about how a new HVAC system can help you address your air quality issues in your home? Contact Easy A/C today. We serve Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk counties.