In light of the Covid-19 quarantine, many of us are spending more time than ever in our homes. While we may have been able to ignore matters of indoor air quality in the past, it’s now crucial to ensure your home’s air is clean and healthy to breathe — after all, you’re breathing a lot more of it!
How Can UV Light Clean My Home’s Air?
While the sun provides the outdoors with a natural cleaning mechanism through its ultraviolet (UV) rays, our homes often lack adequate air filtration. Even if you change your air filters regularly at the proper intervals, they can only do so much. This is where air purifiers come in, helping to reduce and eliminate particles in the air that your air filter can’t get rid of on its own. These purifiers use many different technologies to clean the air, such as ionizers, electrostatic filters, and activated carbon filters. More recently, however, UV-light technology is being used to increase the effectiveness of indoor air filtration.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) uses short-wave UVC rays to destroy or inactivate common airborne pollutants such as mold, mildew, bacteria, allergens, and even viruses. While all UVC light from the sun is absorbed by the earth’s ozone, human-made UVC lights have proven very effective as a disinfectant.
UVC light is the most powerful form of Ultraviolet light, with shorter wavelengths than UVA (commonly used in black lights and tanning beds) and UVB (most notable for its role in causing sunburns and skin cancer). UVC lights work to purify the air by penetrating and breaking down the DNA of these microorganisms. The effectiveness of UV lights to destroy or deactivate pollutants depends largely on dosage and exposure times, so it’s important to carefully evaluate the options when it comes to improving your home’s air quality.
UV Sterilization Lights for Home Air Purification
UV sterilization lights use short-wave Ultraviolet light (UVC) to kill pathogens in the air and on surfaces. Whereas small UV lights are often used to disinfect everyday items such as cell phones and reusable water bottles, larger UV lights can be used to clean entire rooms. For example, hospitals, industrial facilities, and even office buildings frequently use UV light sterilization to ensure a safe and clean working environment on a daily — or even hourly — basis.
Because of UV light’s ability to spread out in an area naturally, it has a more “automatic” feel than chemical-based cleaning solutions, with which you can easily miss a spot. This set it and forget it quality makes UV light an ideal solution for cleaning rooms and other spaces where both the air and surfaces need to be disinfected frequently.
The main drawback of using UV sanitization lights for room cleaning is that no one can be in the room during the cleaning process. While safer than chemical-based cleaning solutions when used properly, direct exposure to any kind of UV light can be harmful to the skin and eyes. But the good news is that UV lights clean relatively quickly! While the exact exposure time necessary for sterilization will vary based on the device’s power, many of the available residential systems can clean a medium-sized room in less than 30 minutes.
UV Air Purifiers for Home Air Cleaning
UV light may also be used in combination with air purifiers and even your existing AC unit to create cleaner air in your home. Using the same technology discussed above, UV air purifiers direct the UVC rays at the air itself as it passes through the device, attempting to break down the harmful air particles in the process. Since much of this technology is a recent innovation, concerns abound as to whether this method of UV cleaning is effective, especially since the exposure time of the microbes to the UV light is much less than generally required to inactivate them.
UV Cleaning for AC Systems
UV light can also be used to clean your AC system by directing the UV light at the coils of the air conditioner. Rather than trying to kill the germs in the air as it passes through the system, these devices seek to keep the germs from collecting on the AC unit itself, which helps keep the system clean and prevents it from spreading those germs throughout your home. This method has an advantage over UV air purifiers since it allows for proper exposure times of the UV light to inactivate the germs. An AC system utilizing UV light cleaning will also run more efficiently and for a longer time since its performance is not hindered by bacteria, mold, or other particles that can clog up your HVAC unit.
Benefits of UV Air Purification
Used effectively, UV light can reduce the number of harmful pathogens in your home and provide safe and healthy air for you to breathe easy, no matter how long you’re stuck inside. In times like these when everyone is more conscious of what’s in the air around them, investing in technology that can bring cleaner air to your home has never been more important.
AC Service in Brevard County
At Colman Air, we understand that sometimes, AC issues happen during the most inconvenient times. This is why we have a 24/7 AC emergency line. Call us if you need assistance ASAP, if you’d like to learn more about faulty capacitors, or to schedule routine HVAC maintenance.
24-HR Emergency Service: (321) 269-4565