Installing a germicidal or ultraviolet (UV) light in your HVAC system will benefit all of your family members. UV lights purify your air by directly targeting bacteria and contaminants. These systems are particularly helpful if you live with children or loved ones with seasonal allergies or respiratory concerns. UV lights are worth it in households where you’re worried about germs, spores, and other living particulates.

How They Work

The three types of ultraviolet rays include UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. Sunlight is the most common form of ultraviolet light, producing all three rays. UV-C is the type of shortwave radiation that’s most effective at killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A professional will install your germicidal lights inside your HVAC system or the attached ductwork to clean all of your air.

When the light is active, its rays will burrow into passing particles and target their DNA. This neutralizes the pathogen’s ability to reproduce, stopping infections and infestations before they begin. Before UV lights were widely adopted for residential use, they were utilized in medical settings to sterilize equipment and surfaces.

Be aware that these lights are so strong that only trained HVAC technicians should handle them, as they can cause skin irritation and other side effects.

Types of UV Lights

The two major types of UV lights include coil sterilization and air sterilization. These options use the same type of ultraviolet rays, but they’re installed in different places. The coil option, for example, is a stick-shaped, mounted light placed in the air duct. It works to stop harmful contaminants from accumulating on the air handler or evaporator coil. This is the most common form of germicidal light and also the least expensive.

An air sterilization system, on the other hand, tackles the hefty task of directly cleaning your air supply. It’s hardwired into your HVAC system, so it kicks on when your furnace or air conditioner begins a cycle. This model has a more comprehensive set-up that requires more materials, making it overall a more expensive investment. However, it tends to be the more reliable form of UV sanitization.

Pros and Cons

Before you invest in an HVAC UV light system, it’s important to know if it’s the best choice for your household. These lights will improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) as well as your rate of airflow. By removing contaminants like bacteria and mold, they encourage your HVAC system to run more efficiently. Without excessive filth accumulation, you’ll notice lower monthly utility costs and fewer repair needs over time. You may even benefit from an increased HVAC system lifespan.

Without as much debris in the system, you won’t have to worry about your condensate line blocking up. During the summer, your air conditioner can quickly struggle with clogs that cause unpleasant odors, leaking, and humidity concerns. Finally, due to the natural neutralization properties of UV lights, you can look forward to fewer colds and illnesses in the home.

While these systems have a lot of benefits, they won’t improve all of your IAQ-related health symptoms. UV lights zap living debris, but they won’t impact dust, dander, or hair. If you’re dealing with these types of allergies, you may be better off with an air purifier. Even if you get UV lights, you’ll still need to continue purchasing HVAC air filters. They’ll help to remove larger contaminants before they circulate through your system and ductwork.

Germicidal lights will also require some regular maintenance and cleanings. Their bulbs are effective for about a year before you’ll require replacements. They’ll also need to be routinely wiped down to clear away any dust. As it’s not recommended to handle them yourself, you’ll need to call for a professional a few times a year. Overall, they’re a worthwhile investment if you regularly deal with indoor mold, bacteria, germs, and viruses.

Home Heating and Cooling Specialists

George’s Air Conditioning is a company that provides the best HVAC services in Galveston, TX, and the surrounding communities. Our friendly team has years of experience and always works hard to stay up-to-date on HVAC advancements and trends. Let us maintain, repair, or replace your air conditioner or furnace. We can also boost your air quality or offer advanced ductless system services. Don’t forget to call us if you need commercial-grade refrigeration or indoor comfort services. Schedule your UV light appointment with us in Galveston today.

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