Some newer air conditioners offer the benefits of Ultra Violet (UV) filter technology to improve the quality of the air circulating throughout your home. This technology includes a UV light and high-end filter to combat bacteria, allergens, and mold spores.
What does a UV light do for an HVAC system?
The UV light kills the airborne irritants, and the filter serves as a physical barrier to keep them from entering the air in your home.
People with respiratory allergies and other types of breathing problems can have real difficulties if bacteria, allergens, and mold spores are present in the home. UV filters can provide some relief.
Another option for helping combat allergens and airborne irritants is installing a HEPA filter. However, not every HVAC system supports HEPA filters. If installing one on your system is not possible without restricting airflow, a UV light for your ac system is a good alternative to improve the air quality in your home.
Do I Need a UV Light for My Air Conditioner?
While many newer homes already contain upgraded HVAC systems with a UV purification component, it could very well be worth installing one in your older home. If you’ve been thinking “Do I need a UV light for my air conditioner?” consider installing one if you:
- Or someone in your household has allergies, asthma, or other difficulties breathing
- Live in a climate where mold is abundant (such as warm climates with high humidity)
- Use a humidifier and keep your house temps warm
- Worry about the air quality of your home
- Live in an older home
- Have a well-insulated home (this means air can become stagnant over time, especially if you have an older AC)
- Have problems with odors in your home (particularly when it’s shut, as in a vacation home)
Unlike a room purifier, which cleans only where it’s placed, a UV purifying system cleans the air in every part of your house through the air conditioning system. If you just have one or two selected rooms in your home with an air purifier, this could leave other problematic areas without treatment. Since your air conditioning vents and ducts are all connected, circulating the air throughout the entire home, the room purifiers may not be enough.
The Difference Between a UV System and an Advanced Filter
UV lights kill mold spores, some airborne bacteria, and other pathogens. Filters merely trap them. UV purification systems contain air filters and UV lights because while the light kills the pollutants by attacking the cells and targeting their DNA, a filter is still needed to trap them physically. If you don’t have a filter, dead allergens are circulating in the air and interfering with air quality. Did you know that hospitals frequently use UV light to kill bacteria and other harmful organisms? This is a true testament to their power.
A UV system has the ability to attack:
- Chemicals & Airborne Allergens
- Germs & Viruses
- Mold Spores
- Cooking Smells
- Tobacco Smoke
- Pet Odors
A UV filter also acts as a whole house ionizer — helping with the odors listed above, including those caused by mold and humidity. This ionization makes rooms smell fresh and clean. This is a significant benefit with the type of climate that Floridians deal with every day.
Will it Make My System Less Energy Efficient?
A UV purification system takes less energy to run than a 40-watt bulb. It does not compromise your airflow, overexert your air conditioning system, or require additional AC maintenance. By killing existing mold spores and preventing their spread, (in essence, “cleaning up your system”) your HVAC may even run more efficiently than ever before.
When an HVAC system runs more efficiently, it not only typically extends the life of this very valuable system in your home, but it also helps homeowners save money on monthly utility bills.
Installation of a UV System
A UV system needs to be installed by a professional HVAC company. There are UV bulbs for all sizes of systems, and your HVAC expert can advise you on what will work best for the size of your house and system. The UV lights are readily available and can be installed in a quick time frame upon request.
If it has been a long time since your ducts have been cleaned, it would be a great idea to take care of that prior to the installation of the UV system. Dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold, and other organisms can really accumulate in your ducts over time. Once the ducts are cleaned, the UV light and filter will do the work to maintain a high level of air quality in the home all year long.
Upkeep of the UV System
Homeowners should count on replacing UV bulbs every few years or so depending on the type of system and bulb. Since the bulbs work year-round to elevate the air quality in your home, their power decreases over time. They are somewhat costly for certain homeowners with an approximate expense of around a couple hundred dollars each. But this household expense is balanced by the cost-savings when your HVAC system is running more efficiently (helping to lower utility bills).
Consider all the benefits of installing a UV filter. From helping you and your loved ones to breathe better and stay healthier to facilitating a long life-span for one of the most important systems in your home, it may be one of the best home improvement decisions you can make.
Do you have questions about whether a UV filter would be a good choice for your home? We've been keeping our customers cool in the Tampa Bay heat for the last 13 years, by combining skill and professionalism with a steady commitment to honest dealing and doing business with integrity.
Contact the AC repair professionals at Easy A/C at 813-COLDAIR.