If you’re looking to minimize allergy symptoms and keep your family healthy, upgrading your HVAC system with UV lights is a great option. UV lights have been shown to improve indoor air quality and can also prevent and overcome issues with moldy or musty odors that come from air conditioning systems. Here are some of the ways UV lights are beneficial.
UV Lights Improve Air Quality
There are two different types of HVAC UV light units, both of which are designed to be installed inside a building’s existing ductwork. These units are great at reducing allergens and improving indoor air quality as the ultraviolet light deactivates or kills many allergens and microorganisms. This includes common household allergens like mold spores, dust mites, and pollen. When any of these particles come into contact with UV light, it alters their DNA and instantly deactivates them so that they are harmless and cannot spread or cause allergy symptoms. The light doesn’t instantly kill the allergen but alters it so that the organism can no longer produce the proteins it needs to survive and reproduce.
UV Lights Can Prevent Illnesses
UV lights are also a great way to prevent illness and keep your family healthy. Not only do they help with many common allergens, but ultraviolet light will also kill any bacteria and viruses. Whenever one person in a home is sick, it usually won’t be long before everyone else in the house catches the illness also. What happens is that a sick person constantly sheds or expels the bacteria or virus into the air. These microbes can then get drawn into the HVAC system and circulate into every other room. UV lights will help to prevent this problem as they will instantly alter the DNA and kill any bacteria or viruses as they flow through the ductwork before they can get circulated into the rest of the building.
UV Lights Can Help Prevent Odors
Smelling a moldy or musty odor whenever your air conditioning is running is a fairly common problem. An AC system doesn’t just remove heat from your home, but it also helps to lower indoor humidity as moisture in the air constantly condenses on the evaporator coil. This means the evaporator coil is wet whenever the AC runs and remains so for a while after the system shuts off. When the AC runs, warm air is constantly pulled in and blown over the evaporator coil.
This combination of heat and moisture creates the ideal conditions for mold to grow on the evaporator coil and inside the ductwork, which is why your AC may sometimes smell moldy or musty. The fact that UV lights instantly kill mold spores means that they will eliminate mold within the AC system and prevent any new mold and mildew from growing.
UV lights can also help eliminate odors and keep your home smelling fresh as they will eliminate most odor-causing bacteria. These units are especially great for pet owners as they help with stinky pet odors. Most pet odors are due to odor-causing bacteria in the same way as human body odor is also caused by bacteria. By helping to kill these odor-causing bacteria and prevent them from spreading throughout the house, UV lights can keep your home smelling much better.
UV Lights Can Reduce Your Energy Bills
UV lights have also been shown to help reduce how much energy your HVAC system uses. This is because the lights can also help to keep the AC evaporator coil or ductwork cleaner. If the evaporator coil is dirty, the system won’t remove heat as quickly and will thus need to run longer and use more energy. Dirty ductwork is also an issue, as it can increase the static pressure or resistance to airflow within the duct system. The greater the static pressure is, the more difficult it will be for the blower to circulate air. This means the HVAC system will heat or cool more slowly and again use more energy.
Types of UV Light Units
When opting for a UV light unit, you must decide whether you want a coil-sanitizing light or an air-sanitizing light. Both units work in much the same way, but there are still some differences. A coil-sanitizing light unit is installed in the air handler compartment and shines directly on the evaporator coil. This unit type is primarily meant to prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria from growing on the coil. A coil-sanitizing light will kill some airborne allergens and bacteria also, but it won’t be all that effective in this regard since the light primarily shines on the evaporator coil and not throughout the entire air handler.
Air-sanitizing lights can be installed anywhere in the supply or return ductwork. This type of light shines throughout the entire section of ductwork, which means it will eliminate any allergens and bacteria in the air as they flow through the duct and come into contact with the UV rays. If mold is already growing anywhere in the duct system, a coil-sanitizing light can be installed directly at the source of the problem to kill any mold present and prevent the spores from spreading or the mold from returning.
Another difference between the two is that coil-sanitizing lights only work during the summer when you’re using your air conditioning, whereas air-sanitizing lights can be used throughout the year, no matter whether you’re using your air conditioning or heating.
A coil-sanitizing light will remain on 24 hours a day, and then you’ll need to manually turn the light off once the weather cools and you switch your AC off for the year. With this type of light, it must stay on constantly throughout the cooling season to ensure that the heat and moisture don’t lead to mold forming on the evaporator coil.
Air-sanitizing lights, on the other hand, are wired so that they automatically turn on and off whenever your HVAC system does. There is no point in the light remaining on when the HVAC system is off since air won’t flow through the ducts.
The fact that coil-sanitizing lights remain on 24 hours a day throughout the entire cooling season means they use a bit more energy than air-sanitizing lights. Even though air-sanitizing lights can be used throughout the year, they will still typically be on for fewer hours in the year than a coil-sanitizing light. Still, it is important to note that either type of unit is extremely efficient as it will only use about the same amount of electricity as one 100-watt incandescent light bulb.
At Simply Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we offer numerous solutions for improving indoor air quality, including UV lights, air purifiers, mechanical ventilation systems, and whole-home humidifiers. We also offer a full range of professional heating, cooling, and plumbing services for residents of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today to learn more about our indoor air quality services or to schedule a consultation.