UV Lights In Your HVAC System Combat Bioaerosols In Your Air

Posted On: January 01, 2013

Don’t underestimate your options when it comes to destroying bioaerosols lurking in your home’s air. You’re not at their mercy with the power of UV lights installed alongside your HVAC system. Ultraviolet (UV) lights have long been used in hospitals and other “clean” environments to combat bacteria, viruses and mold. Now, residential systems give homeowners that same access to cleaner air.

Why UV lights?

Ultraviolet rays are able to target a specific class of contaminants, bioaerosols, that other air-cleaning technologies can’t touch. While standard air filtration can clean the air to a limited extent, capturing very small particulate matter in the filter’s media, filtration does little to combat micro-organisms such as viruses, mold and bacteria. With a UV-light system, the bioaerosols are exposed to its harmful rays, as the air in your home circulates through the equipment. Once a cell is exposed to the light, the UV rays alter its DNA, penetrating the cell’s membrane, and changing its structure forever. As a result, the cell can no longer reproduce and eventually dies.

How UV lights work

There are two options from which homeowners can choose to implement UV lights in their home. The first solution is to install a UV-light system in-duct, so that once the furnace or air conditioner conditions the air, it passes through the UV lights, where bioaerosols are destroyed, on the air’s way through the ducts. The second option involves installing UV lights on the heat pump or A/C coil, so that the air is purified as it moves over the element. Many air-quality experts encourage the latter option for homeowners with heat pumps or A/Cs, as it’s believed the UV rays keep the coil clean, encouraging a better-performing HVAC system, as well as better quality indoor air. It’s best to work with your local HVAC contractor to decide which type of system will work in your home, to meet your air quality needs.

Do you want to learn more about UV lights? Contact Ernst Heating & Cooling today to talk to one of our indoor air quality experts about effective solutions to combat bioaerosols in your home. We’ve served homeowners throughout the Metro-East area since 1951.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about UV lights and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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