How Ultraviolet (UV) Light Improves Air Quality
Air filters are a vital force when it comes to combating unwanted air pollution within your home. However, even if you pay attention to MERV ratings and change your filter like clockwork, you still might not be getting the cleanest possible breathing experience within your home, especially when the spring and summer months roll around with their heightened pollen and moisture levels. Fortunately, there’s another interesting way to combat airborne pollutants that is becoming more and more popular throughout Phoenix each year: UV bulbs.
The Science Behind the Method
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a frequency of light that mostly exists beyond the scope of human perception. It is emitted by the sun and is the force that leads to freckles and sunburn when you spend too much time outdoors. Aside from being a sort of light, UV is also a form of electromagnetic radiation. UV light is sorted into three categories, depending on how powerful the radiation it emits is:
- UV-A (315 to 400 wavelength band) is more visible than the other two categories and is mostly harmless (used in black lights and tanning beds)
- UV-B (280 to 315 wavelength band) is more robust and has enough energy to disrupt the DNA in skin cells, leading to skin cancer and sunburn
- UV-C (100 to 280 wavelength band) is the most powerful of the three categories and can completely wipe out microscopic organisms by destroying their DNA
The UV-C classification of ultraviolet light is used in UV sanitation methods. While there is an abundance of UV-C outdoors to clean the environment naturally, it’s very rarely found in the enclosed, insulated spaces of modern homes. This is why it’s estimated that the number of pollutants inside homes can be more than 100 times higher than outdoor spaces.
How UV Light Is Used to Keep Air Clean
Of course, the solution to reducing the number of pollutants and microorganisms in your home isn’t just to fill it with UV lamps. While it would be an excellent way to get a sunburn indoors, it’s not a very effective way to keep the air clean. Instead, an effort should be made to concentrate the presence of UV light within critical parts of your air conditioning system. These lights keep your HVAC system clean, reducing the number of particles circulating throughout the air in your home.
Though UV sanitation lights in Phoenix can be installed in ducts, vents, and even near the ceiling in rooms, they’re most often found mounted near the drain pans or cooling coils of HVAC systems that use this technology. In these areas, the UV-C light can dramatically reduce the amount of mold and bacteria found in the air by reducing – or even stopping – their growth. These two areas are by far the most responsible for accumulating and shedding mold and bacteria, making them the ideal spots for UV cleaning to take place.
The Benefits of UV Sanitization
When you choose to implement UV bulbs to keep the air clean in your home, you’ll encounter a wide range of benefits. First and foremost is, of course, cleaner air throughout your home. While air filters provide an irreplaceable service when it comes to filtering out pet dander, pollen, and dust from the air in your home, many filters are powerless against the microscopic presence of bacteria, viruses, and mold. UV light can reduce or eliminate these unwelcome pollutants, making them a perfect complement to a good, efficient air filter.
For millions of Americans, this boost in air purity comes with the added benefit of more comfortable, healthier breathing. This boost in air quality is suitable for even the healthiest lungs, of course, but is even more beneficial for the 24 million people in the United States with asthma and the 50 million Americans who suffer from household allergies. By reducing the number of irritants in the air, you’re reducing the likelihood of hay fever or asthma attacks for both residents and guests who might otherwise be affected in your home.
Additionally, by keeping your HVAC system cleaner, you’re keeping your system more efficient. By killing off bacteria, mold, and other pollutants, you’re keeping your coils cleaner. Cleaner coils mean your system can work with less strain. Not only does this mean making your home’s operations more “green” in the long run, but it may also translate to reduced monthly energy bills. Installing UV bulbs is a simple step that keeps homes healthier and greener while bolstering your energy budget.
Finally, keeping your coils clean also means reducing the likelihood that you’ll need to perform expensive repairs soon. Dirty coils inside an HVAC system often lead to corrosion, leading to refrigerant leaks and other issues that keep your system from running effectively at best and contribute to a complete system breakdown at worst. Cleaning your coils with UV light serves as a form of preventative maintenance so your system can work better, longer.
Biocide chambers are UV sanitization products that fit both above and below your cooling coil. The dual chambers are installed by a professional and work hard to bring you all the benefits of UV cleaning without any hassle on your part. After they’re installed, biocide chambers will:
- Reduce the presence of mold and mildew
- Keep your air conditioner coil sanitary
- Reduce the presence of allergens in your home
- Slow system corrosion
- Keep coils clean to discourage refrigerant leaks
- Keep your HVAC efficient and effective for longer
- Improve the overall air quality of your home
It’s estimated that a good, top-of-the-line biocide chamber could reduce the presence of airborne threats such as viruses throughout your home by up to an astounding 99 percent. Used in tandem with an air filter with a suitable MERV rating and proper maintenance, these UV cleaning products will keep you breathing easy in your home year-round.
If you’re interested in learning more about how biocide chambers and other UV cleaning methods can keep your home clean and clear of airborne pollutants, contact Howard Air. Our team of HVAC professionals in Phoenix, AZ, are highly knowledgeable on the subject of UV lighting systems and can give you a thorough rundown of how, exactly, your home will benefit from the installation of one of these air cleaning systems. You deserve to breathe easy in your own home, regardless of whether you have asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Rely on the power of UV light to give you the clean air you need, and rely on our professionals to provide you with the professional installation you deserve.
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Nor Gal
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