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The Benefits of UV Light in HVAC Systems

Ultraviolet light refers to a specific wavelength of light along the light spectrum. You may be familiar with the term, especially if you’re prone to sunburns, which result from UV-A and UV-B ray exposure.

Within the spectrum of UV rays, scientists have discovered a particular frequency of light that has germicidal properties: UV-C. Recently, the benefits of this UV light in HVAC systems have received a lot of attention. The reasons for this are compelling.

Still, you may be wondering how effective UV light is in HVAC systems and whether the expense is worth it. Buric Heating and Air Conditioning wants to answer some common questions for you.

Why Is UV Light Being Discussed?

People are becoming more concerned about the quality of air in their homes. The HVAC system in your home can keep your space comfortable but may also be a collection point for dust, dander, and mold. How so?

Airborne particles sucked into your air conditioning system can pass through and be redistributed through your home. This keeps your air perpetually dirty. Because bacteria and viruses pass through the air, this is a particular concern.

Hospital and restaurant HVAC systems have utilized UV light for a while because of its germicidal properties. Now, this technology is moving into the residential sector. If you are concerned about breathing pure air, UV light may interest you.

Do UV Lights Kill Viruses?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this question may be at the forefront of your mind. The answer is not a simple yes or no. UV light can kill viruses. However, according to the EPA, if COVID is a concern, you should use this technology in conjunction with other best practices like handwashing, as recommended by the CDC.

Benefits of UV Light in HVAC Systems

When you're considering the pros and cons of UV-C technology, you’ll discover several benefits of adding UV air purification to your HVAC system. These include:

  • Mold and allergen control
  • Virus and bacteria elimination
  • Odors reduction
  • Better HVAC system cleanliness
  • Improved system efficiency 
  • Reduced maintenance needs

Depending on your air quality needs, a UV light in your HVAC system can benefit your health and the health and life of your HVAC system, as well.

UV Lights Improve Your Health

The air you breathe is filled with microscopic particles. These can include dust, pet dander, pollen, viruses, and other bacteria. A UV light installed in your HVAC system can help purify the air in your home by killing the viruses and bacteria that pass through it. When coupled with a HEPA filter that catches most dust, pollen, and dander, you can achieve excellent air quality in your home.

The implications of this kind of air purification are essential. By removing or limiting the virus and bacteria particles in your air and keeping your system free from these contaminants, you may experience fewer illnesses or allergic responses each year. Since UV light effectively kills fungus and mold, it can be of particular interest to those who suffer from allergies or asthma.

UV Light Protects Your HVAC System

Over time, certain parts of your HVAC system become covered with dirt and even mold. This can affect the performance and efficiency of your heating and air system.

The right kind of UV light can naturally clean the coils, increasing your cooling system capacity by 10 to 35%. The easier it is for air to flow through your system, the more efficiently it operates. The result is lower heating and cooling bills.

Not only does the HVAC light clean your coils, but it sanitizes them, as well. This means the air passing through them is filtered, and keeping your HVAC system coils clean keeps your air cleaner, as well. It will also prevent you from the maintenance issues associated with cleaning dirty coils.

UV Lights and Effectiveness

With ideal placement, installation, and length of exposure, a UV light installation in your HVAC system can be up to 90% effective at killing contaminants in your air coils and ductwork.

Some studies suggest UV light is the most effective way to prevent disease and infection. Since it can even treat tuberculosis, it’s a standard way that hospitals purify their air.

Where Should a UV Light be Installed in My HVAC System?

There are two types of UV light installation for HVAC systems. One type provides sanitization for your air coils, and the other sanitizes air as it passes through your return ducts.

Air sanitization is most attainable when you install the UV light near your return ducts. By utilizing the reflective surface within that ductwork section, the UV light is maximized in all directions making it more efficient.

Coil sanitization installations require UV lamps where the light can touch problem components, including coils, filters, and condensation pans. This kind of installation allows the UV light to target microbial growth in hard-to-clean areas, such as the fins and grooves inside your system.

Potential Downsides to UV Light in Your HVAC System

The use of UV light in your HVAC system can add expense. For example, it will cost you some money in the electrical consumption of the lamps. In addition, like any lightbulb, the UV lamps will need to be replaced, adding some long-term expense.

Nonetheless, many find that the advantages, such as fewer maintenance needs for your overall system, outweigh these disadvantages.

There are also common-sense warnings about looking directly into the sun because the UV rays can damage your eyes. Manufacturers make similar warnings about exposure to the UV-C light used in HVAC systems. These UV lamps produce light that can be hazardous to the skin and eyes.

A qualified air conditioning technician will handle the UV system carefully. They can install the units so that no UV light reaches an occupant’s eyes.

Achieving Overall Air Quality Also Requires a Filter

An HVAC UV light can help keep your air quality safe. However, to achieve the most healthy air possible, you also need to ensure proper air filtration. UV lights sanitize the air, but they do not remove airborne particles.

The perfect partner for a UV light in your HVAC system is a high-quality air filter. The UV light provides sanitization while the filter removes the dust, dander, and other contaminants floating in the air. An air filter with a MERV rating of 13 or greater can remove up to 90% of the particles in your home’s air.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a UV Light System?

This is a difficult question to answer in this format because so many factors can influence the cost of your UV light system. The placement and number of lights required can be factors. In addition, the ease of accessibility to your current system can affect the time needed for the installation. A UV light installer can help you understand the cost.

Enjoy the Benefits of UV Light in Your HVAC System

Are you considering adding UV technology to your HVAC system? That’s a great idea, and we can help!

Our technicians at Buric Heating and Air Conditioning will treat you like family. We will work with you to determine the quality of your home’s air and make a plan to address your specific needs.

Using the latest technology and materials, we can make sure your UV light systems are installed safely and correctly. Our team will also help you maintain them. Worried what all of this will cost? Don’t be! Our upfront pricing takes the guesswork out of the pricing process. Contact us today to learn more.