South Florida has a humid, subtropical climate. Well, I don’t need to tell you this – you live here! Experts suggest that to keep mold and mildew at bay, you should keep your thermostat set at 75 or above at all times. Yes, even when you’re away. However, did you know that UV light for HVAC also combats fungus and bacteria from infiltrating your home?
Importance of UV Light
A large percentage of bacteria and mold makes up the indoor air pollution most homes have. As time progresses, this air pollution can build up in your air handler which can then lead to circulation through your HVAC system. Filters work to trap many of these microbes but even the best filters can’t completely stop germs from getting into your air.
How a UV Light for HVAC Works
The science behind this concept is not complicated. Think of it this way: when you get home and take off your shoes after a long day’s work, they can be a little, well, disgusting and full of odor. That odor is caused by bacteria composed of sweat from your feet. If you leave those same shoes outside in the hot sun for a period of time, you’ll find that your shoes no longer smell. Why? The sun (assuming there is no humidity in the air) essentially dries out your shoe and eliminates the bacteria. UV light for HVAC systems works in a similar way.
UV lights are specifically designed to disinfect the air as it circulates through the ventilation system, which is also known as ” ionizing the air” that kills microbes. UV lights disturb the mold and bacteria’s make-up and effectively prevent them from reproducing, which causes the germs to die off.
Most research has been done in medical settings to help prevent contagious diseases. The most commonly used UV light frequency is 253.70nm which is the frequency when light passes through mercury vapor.
Ultraviolet light at this frequency clearly shows that it can destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi. UV light shines light 24 hours a day inside of your air conditioning ductwork. Most units have a sight glass which will allow you to see if the light bulb is on and still working. A word of caution: you do not want to get UV light on your skin or eyes.
Types of UV Light Bulbs
There are two types of UV lights for HVAC systems, coil sterilization and air sterilization.
A coil sterilization UV light is the most reasonably priced and most common type of UV light for HVACs and runs in your system 24/7.
On the other hand, an air sterilization UV light includes a complete UV light unit installation. The unit sterilizes moving air. The UV light unit is installed in the return air duct and cycles on with the air handler blower.
Lifespan of UV Light Bulbs
One UV stick light bulb normally lasts just over 1 year or 9,000 hours. We recommend that you change the lamp once every 12 months.
UV Light and COVID-19
A report from Columbia University stated that ultraviolet light, already having demonstrated effectiveness in killing two coronaviruses that inflict less severe symptoms on humans, is now undergoing testing against the novel coronavirus “with encouraging results.”
Although we can’t make the claim that UV light kills Covid-19, research points to the possibility that this will soon be the case.
Several fortunate restaurateurs are now making large investments on air filtration systems that they truly hope will help diners breathe easier during inviting indoor meals. The high-tech system disinfects the air with UV light to improve the indoor air quality and ventilation.
Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality
It’s important to understand what can happen to your health if you breath in poor quality air for long periods of time. Health effects associated with indoor air pollutants include: Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Breathing polluted air for long periods of time can cause more serious problems.
There are many factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality. That can include:
• Poor ventilation (lack of outside air)
• Temperature control issues
• High or low humidity
• Recent remodeling, and other activities in or near a building that can affect the fresh air coming into the building.
• Specific contaminants like dust from construction or renovation, mold, cleaning supplies, pesticides, or other airborne chemicals (including small amounts of chemicals released as a gas over time).
Beware of Unscrupulous HVAC Companies
It’s no surprise then that as a share of the population, the state of Florida is bursting with seniors. Nearly one in five residents are age 65 or older.
A recent news report uncovered that an AC company ripped off numerous seniors. The complaint filed in Lee county stated that an AC company told numerous consumers that high-priced repairs were needed, but when the consumers obtained a second opinion from another HVAC business, these consumers learned that the high-priced repairs were excessive and unneeded.
One of the victims, an 86-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s that was sold an unneeded $2,407 UV germicidal light system even though the victim had an active maintenance program with another company.
Unfortunately, scams can come in many shapes and forms. Don’t fall victim. The best way to avoid being scammed is to do your research on the company you’re working with.
For a limited time, Echo Air Conditioning is giving you a FREE UV Light when you install a 14-16 SEER HVAC in your home. For an 18+ SEER HVAC Installation, we’ll also throw in a FREE Nest thermostat. Contact us for details and to get a quote or book online here!