Reducing mold and mildew in ductwork and HVAC systems is one of the most common preventative maintenance services that HVAC companies provides. Besides reducing the instances of illnesses for both people and pets, regular ductwork cleaning can also reduce the wear and tear on parts.
One of the best options for thorough cleaning of HVAC appliances and ductwork is using UV lighting.
HVAC systems, including the ducts and filters, can be an ideal environment for bacteria and mold spores to multiply, which can be especially harmful to people who have asthma, C.O.P.D, and other breathing issues, or the elderly and infants.
Do UV Lights Kill Mold, Bacteria, and Viruses?
In a word? Yes! Over 100 years ago, Niels Finsen, noted Nobel Prize in Medicine winner, discovered that ultraviolet (UV) lights killed bacteria, mold, and viruses. He then went on to use UV light to treat patients with skin infections.
Now, ultraviolet light is used to sterilize public spaces, including restaurants, grocery stores, and even hospitals – and both residential and commercial HVAC systems. In 2012, a study conducted by Duke University demonstrated that UV lights killed 97% of bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics – including superbugs. Furthermore, the Journal of Applied and Environmental Biology published reports in 2001 that UV radiation reduces airborne fungi in air handling units, such as HVAC systems.
But here’s the most common question we get asked…
Can UV Light Kill COVID-19?
According to the Centers For Disease Control, it might! While the evidence is still being gathered, what’s been discovered so far seems promising.
What Kind of UV Light is Used in HVAC Systems?
HVAC Industries uses ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights, which can have varying degrees of effectiveness according to their intensity. For the most part, these types of lights are used at full volume and on full time, and therefore the dose is considered quite high, making them more effective.
Promising but not proven
As we stated before, the tests are ongoing. So while it appears that UV lights kill coronavirus, the intensity and dose are different for different types of lights. Plus, the success rates for these types of treatment can vary depending on how long each surface is exposed to the light.
Don’t risk your health and safety – if you’re worried about contamination of any kind in your home, make sure that you follow the right cleaning guidelines for all surfaces. Opening windows can help give you fresh air and reduce the concentration of mold spores in the air. And, consider adding UV germicidal light added to your system, and if you already have one, make sure the bulb is working.
UV Light Options for Your HVAC System
UV’s also called purifying lights, germicidal lights, sanitizing lights, and sterilization lights, and there are two main types.
Coil Sanitizing Lights
Indoor air conditioning systems have an indoor coil, and this is a prime location for mold and bacteria to grow. The coil condenses moisture to add humidity to the air in your house while your AC operates. Debris in the air can stick to the coil, including allergens and bacteria. However, you can have your HVAC professional install coil sterilization lights to reduce contamination on the coil.
Air Sanitizing Lights
These are installed throughout the ductwork in your home or business, treating the return air by killing germs and mold. Some may also be coordinated with the blower motor on the HVAC unit to cycle on and off along with the motor. However, this is not a DIY fix, as these lights must be hardwired into the system by a professional.
Benefits of HVAC UV Lights
HVAC lighting has many different benefits. These include:
● Controlling mold and bacteria
● Reducing colds and cases of flu – germs are not re-circulated by the HVAC system
● Reducing smells and odors in the home
● Remove VOCs
● More effective in humid climates than dry climates
● Reduces clogging in condensate drain lines by preventing algae growth
● Maintain a cleaner coil, improving cooling efficiency and reducing electricity costs
However, there are also some disadvantages to UV lighting, so bear the following in mind:
● Don’t clean flowing air unless air sterilization UV lights are installed
● Destroy non-UV stabilized plastics in the air handler. Only items in the line of sight are affected
● They may eat the drain pan in 3-5 years
● They may eat flex duct in as little as 2 years
Healthy Homes Recommended Products
● Carrier Air Purifier
Contaminants like dust, dander, pollen, and other particles can make the air inside your home more polluted than you imagine—maybe even more polluted than outdoor air. Carrier air purifiers can filter out pollutants, so you and your family can breathe cleaner air.
● HALO Whole Home Air Purification System
The HALO-LED™ is the industry’s first LED in-duct, whole home and building air purification system that is both mercury free and zero ozone compliant. The HALO-LED™ proactively treats every cubic inch of air conditioned space, reducing airborne and surface contaminants and pollutants through bi-polar ionization and revolutionary, patent pending, REME-LED™ technology.
REME HALO® whole home in-duct air purifier is the next generation of indoor air quality (IAQ) technology and capable of purifying every cubic inch of air that your central air conditioning system reaches. Designed to eliminate sick building syndrome risks by reducing odors and air pollutants, the REME HALO® whole home in-duct air purifier is the best solution for whole house and building air purification.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This rating system reports how well the filter captures and holds dust. The chart shows the MERV ratings. It shows particle size ranges. It also shows air filter efficiency levels. Efficiency is measured by the percentage of particles captured.
MERV chart helps to answer one question “Which air purifier is the most effective?”. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter.
Install Your UV Lighting Today!
At HVAC Industries, we’re trained to install ultraviolet lighting in all types of HVAC systems, both residential and commercial. Give us a call today or fill out the form to request an estimate and we will provide you an assessment of your UV options and a quote for your consideration . We can’t wait to help you breathe easier!