UV Lights for HVAC Systems
Ultraviolet lights were shown to kill mold, viruses and bacteria more than 100 years ago. In fact, in 1903, Niels Finsen was given the Noble Prize in Medicine for using UV to effectively treat patients with skin infections.
Today, UV lights are used for germicidal use in hospitals, restaurants and grocery stores. And they have been shown effective in killing sterilizing an HVAC system. Here are two examples:
1). In 2012, a study at Duke University Medical Center showed that UV lights killed 97% of bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics, the so-called superbug bacteria that are the toughest to kill.
2). The Journal of Applied and Environmental Biology reported in 2001 that germicidal UV radiation significantly reduces airborne fungi in air handling units.
How Do UV Lights Help?
Fungal contamination in HVAC units is a widespread issue that shouldn’t be ignored as it often contributes to building-related diseases, like infectious diseases, allergic rhinitis, asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Ultraviolet light helps kill a variety of harmful bacteria and mold, but most UV lights have no action on some other allergens or dust. UV systems should prevent the organic build up on the surfaces of your HVAC system’s coils, and in your ducts. An additional benefit of UV lights is that they improve airflow and the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, as well as eliminating the need for regular duct cleaning.
Ultraviolet (UV) lights for air purification are more important for folks who reside in humid areas prone to mold growth or for those with severe health issues. You might argue that filters are sufficient for you, but the best HVAC UV lights do a better job at disinfecting and sterilizing the air in your home.
Types of UV Lights for Your Air System
There are two types of UV lights for HVAC systems, Coil Sterilization and Air Sterilization.
In Coil Sterilization, a “stick type” light is installed inside the return air duct and sterilizes the air handler coil. A coil sterilization UV light runs 24/7 and is the most common type of HVAC UV light. It is also the most reasonably priced.
In Air Sterilization, a complete UV light unit is installed that sterilizes moving air. The UV light unit is installed in the return air duct and cycles on with the air handler blower.