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How Ultraviolet Lights Can Improve Your Home's Air Quality and Efficiency

If you are looking for a way to improve the air quality and efficiency of your home's heating and cooling system, you may want to consider installing an ultraviolet (UV) light. UV lights are devices that emit powerful rays of energy that kill bacteria, mold, viruses, and other airborne contaminants that can harm your health and comfort. In this blog post, we will explain how UV lights work, what benefits they offer, and how to choose the best one for your home.


How UV Lights Work


UV lights are installed either in your air handler or in your ductwork, depending on the type and model. They are usually connected to your thermostat, so they only turn on when your system is running. As the air moves through your system, it passes by the UV light, which exposes it to the germicidal rays. The UV rays damage the DNA of the microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing or spreading. This way, the UV light sanitizes the air before it reaches your living spaces.


There are two main types of UV lights for HVAC systems: coil sanitizing lights and air sanitizing lights. Coil sanitizing lights are placed near your evaporator coil, which is the part of your system that cools the air by absorbing heat and moisture. The coil can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can reduce its efficiency and cause odors.


The UV light prevents the growth of these organisms, keeping your coil clean and functional. Air sanitizing lights are placed in your return vents, which are part of your ductwork. They target the air that is being recirculated throughout your home, killing any germs that may have escaped the coil or entered from outside sources.


Benefits of UV Lights


Installing a UV light in your HVAC system can offer several benefits for your home and your health. Some of the main advantages are:


  • Improved air quality: UV lights can eliminate up to 99.9% of the airborne contaminants that can cause allergies, asthma, infections, and other respiratory problems¹. They can also reduce the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful chemicals that can cause headaches, nausea, and irritation. By sanitizing the air, UV lights can help you breathe easier and feel more comfortable in your home.


  • Reduced energy costs: UV lights can help your HVAC system run more efficiently by preventing the buildup of mold and bacteria on your coil and ducts. This can improve the airflow and heat transfer, reducing the strain on your system and lowering your energy consumption. According to some studies, UV lights can reduce energy use by up to 35%.


  • Increased system lifespan: UV lights can also extend the life of your HVAC system by preventing corrosion and damage caused by mold and bacteria. This can reduce the need for repairs and replacements, saving you money and hassle in the long run.


  • Enhanced home value: UV lights can also add value to your home by making it more attractive to potential buyers. Homes with UV lights are more desirable because of the health and air quality benefits they offer. They can also help you comply with the indoor air quality standards and regulations that may apply in your area.


How to Choose a UV Light


If you are interested in installing a UV light in your HVAC system, you will need to consider some factors to choose the best one for your home. Some of the things to look for are:


  • Size and type: You will need to measure the dimensions of your air handler or ductwork to find a UV light that fits your system. You will also need to decide whether you want a coil sanitizing light, an air sanitizing light, or both, depending on your needs and preferences.


  • Power and wavelength: You will need to check the power and wavelength of the UV light to ensure it is effective and safe. The power is measured in watts, and it determines how much energy the light emits. The wavelength is measured in nanometers, and it determines how deep the light penetrates the air. The most effective and safe UV lights for HVAC systems are those that use UV-C rays, which have a wavelength of 253.7 nanometers⁴. They are powerful enough to kill germs, but not harmful to humans or animals.


  • Features and warranty: You will need to compare the features and warranty of different UV lights to find the best value and quality. Some features to look for are a timer, a sensor, a filter, and a safety switch. A timer allows you to set the duration and frequency of the light operation. A sensor detects the presence of people or pets and turns off the light automatically. A filter traps dust and debris that may block the light. A safety switch prevents the light from turning on when the system is not running. A warranty covers the cost of repairs or replacements in case of defects or malfunctions.


Conclusion


UV lights are a great way to improve the air quality and efficiency of your home's heating and cooling system. They can kill bacteria, mold, viruses, and other airborne contaminants that can harm your health and comfort. They can also prevent the buildup of these organisms on your coil and ducts, improving the airflow and heat transfer, reducing the energy use, and extending the system lifespan.


They can also add value to your home by making it more desirable and compliant with the air quality standards. If you want to install a UV light in your HVAC system, you will need to choose the right size, type, power, wavelength, features, and warranty for your home. Give us a call, we can help you with the installation and maintenance of your UV light.

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