Installing UV lights in your home HVAC system helps close a critical gap in your strategy to promote healthy indoor air quality. Airborne particulates continuously circulate through the ductwork as the system blower moves over 1,000 cubic feet of air every minute. Common inert particles like household dust, dirt, and lint are normally removed by the system air filter. However, invisible living microorganisms such as mold spores, bacteria, and viruses are small enough to pass through filter media and continue infecting the breathing air in your living spaces. As these pathogens naturally reproduce, the concentration in household air may soar to levels that produce allergic reactions or illness.
Utilized for over a century in hospitals, laboratories—and even municipal water facilities—ultraviolet wavelengths of light are harmless to humans but toxic to airborne microorganisms. By penetrating the DNA of living spores, viruses or bacteria, light rays in the UV spectrum disrupt reproductive capacity and microorganisms are exterminated. Most UV lights resemble small fluorescent tubes. A typical stick-style UV light tube ranges from eight inches up to 16 inches long and consumes only about 24 watts of electricity. For the most effective disinfection, lights may be situated in two locations in a residential heating and cooling system:
- Ductwork – Installed inside the return duct through a small access hole, an ultraviolet light tube constantly exposes the circulating airflow to germicidal UV light. Because the entire volume of air inside your home moves passes through the ducts several times daily, continuous disinfection of indoor air is ensured.
- Evaporator coil – The air conditioner evaporator coil inside the indoor air handler provides a perfect environment for the growth of toxic mold and bacteria. Even during winter when the A/C’s not operating, furnace airflow still passes through the air handler and coil and can be contaminated by airborne microorganisms. A UV light tube permanently mounted inside the air handler sterilizes coil surfaces and prevents mold and bacteria from growing.
For more information on the air quality benefits of UV lights in your HVAC system, in the greater Cleveland area contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
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