How Do UV Light Indoor Air Quality Products Work?
Air purifiers and HEPA filters are probably the first things that spring to mind when you think about air purification. Both are excellent at eliminating contaminants and enhancing indoor air quality. However, these two technologies aside, using UV lights is another excellent way to improve air quality in a building. But what exactly are they, and how do they enhance indoor air quality? Let’s find out.
What Are UV Lights?
Ultraviolet (UV) means “beyond violet.” While violet light is visible to the naked eye, UV light isn’t. On earth, they are largely transmitted from the sun’s rays, and unprotected exposure to them can damage cells and cause sunburn and even skin disease.
Fortunately, most UV radiation is absorbed by oxygen, water vapor, ozone, and carbon dioxide. However, because they can damage cells, UV lights are also effective at combating several pollutants.
Types of UV Lights
They can be broken down into three different categories:
- UV-A: It is the most common. Too much unprotected exposure to it can cause wrinkles, tanning, and premature aging.
- UV-B: It isn’t as common, but it is more harmful. Unprotected exposure to it can cause skin cancer.
- UV-C: It is the most harmful type to living organisms. Thankfully, you are insulated from its effects because it is absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere. However, despite its harmful effects, it is a useful germicide. It is effective at destroying contaminants, and thanks to this property, it is usually created artificially.
How UV Lights Enhance Indoor Air Quality
UV-C light can improve indoor air quality. But how does it achieve this? UV-C light is effective at destroying cells. Prolonged exposure to it degrades cells and stops them from performing essential functions. Thanks to this cell-destroying property, it is effective at destroying pollutants such as mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria.
When incorporated into your HVAC system, UV lights will not only sterilize the system but also enhance indoor air quality. They’re a great way to eliminate pollutants without using chemicals.
Where Are UV Lights Used?
UV lights aren’t limited to residential settings. They can also be used in a variety of other settings. Hospitals and clinics usually use them to sterilize equipment and sanitize surfaces. They are also excellent at combating allergens and providing greater comfort to people with respiratory illnesses such as asthma.
Food is prone to getting spoiled due to bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella that can cause food poisoning. UV lights can destroy these bacteria and prevent food-borne illnesses in restaurants and food processing plants.
Where Can You Install UV Lights?
Before installing UV lights, your technician will advise you on the most appropriate place to install them in your system. Typically, they can be installed in the following places:
- The indoor coil: If you have a central AC, this is the most ideal place to install them. The coil is prone to condensation. Thus, it provides favorable conditions for mold growth. By installing coil UV lights, you can prevent its growth
- The ductwork: UV lights can also be integrated into the ductwork. These UV lights, also known as air sanitizing lights, eliminate contaminants that pass through the vents
Other Ways to Enhance Indoor Air Quality
UV lights are a great way to eliminate contaminants and improve indoor air quality. However, to enhance their efficacy, you should also do the following things:
- Replace your AC filter: Because of the strenuous work they do, filters eventually clog up. A clogged or dirty filter can compromise indoor air quality and even lead to your AC system malfunctioning. You can prevent this by ensuring you change it regularly.
- Examine air ducts: Over time, pollutants such as dust and mold can build up in your ducts and reduce air quality. Get a professional to examine your ducts and clean them to remove contaminants.
- Open windows: Even during cold spells, open windows to let fresh air into your home. Open windows also let in sunlight that’s a natural disinfectant that can inhibit the growth of things like mold.
At All Temp Co., Inc Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, & Electrical, Inc, we’ve been serving residents of Concord, NC, and surrounding areas for over 35 years. In addition to air quality solutions, we also offer heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair, ductless system services, energy audits and thermal imaging, wine cellars, and a range of commercial services. If you are looking for professional help installing UV lights or have more questions about them, call today, and someone on our team will assist you right away.
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