The sealed indoor environments found in most modern households can easily contain more pollutants than the outside air. If left unchecked, these pollutants — which include mildew, mold and disease-causing viruses and bacteria — can significantly interfere with the health of your household. Fortunately, a newly developed tool, known as germicidal UV light, can help restore your indoor air quality by killing off the most common polluting microorganisms. Let’s look at how this technology works.
What Is UV Light?
UV light is a common term for ultraviolet light. Like the visible light that allows you to see, this type of light comes from the sun and forms part of the electromagnetic spectrum. We can’t see UV light, but we can feel some of its effects. In fact, this is the type of light responsible for giving you a tan (or a sunburn, in cases of overexposure). UV light comes in three subtypes, known as UV-A, UV-B and UV-C.
How Does UV Light Kill Indoor Air Pollutants?
When UV-C light comes into contact with bacteria, mold, viruses, fungi and mildew, it damages the cells inside these microorganisms by interfering with the normal function of their DNA. Basically, the light shuts down the building blocks of DNA and makes it impossible for each individual microorganism to reproduce and multiply.
UV Light and Your HVAC System
Unfortunately, your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system can act as an entry point and breeding ground for microorganisms that circulate in your indoor air. Two main potential problems spots are the evaporator coils that provide cool air and the ducts that carry air to and from the rooms in your home. If you install UV lights or lamps in one or both of these critical areas, you will substantially reduce the odds that mold, bacteria and other unwanted visitors will accumulate indoors in numbers large enough to trigger illness, asthma attacks or allergic reactions.
It’s important to note that HVAC specialists generally classify germicidal UV lights as a secondary line of defense in the ongoing effort to maintain the quality of your indoor air. You still need to keep your heating/cooling system in good working order and regularly change the air filters that form a crucial part of that system. However, UV lights may be the difference between acceptable and unacceptable air quality, especially if you suffer from asthma or allergies.
For more information on germicidal UV lights and other important HVAC-related topics, contact us and keep reading the pages of this blog.