Many HVAC installers recommend UV light to kill microbes and germs, but do HVAC UV light purifiers really work? Well, reading this article, you will know all the answers.
When I was installing the HVAC system in my office, the mechanic suggested me to attach a UV light to the system.
Indeed, I had much curiosity about the utility of UV light purifiers.
So I researched much on this topic and was able to explore the facts behind the UV light purifiers. Here, I will share the scientific facts about how it disinfects an HVAC system.
How Do UV Lights Help to Clean the Air?
In the late of 19th century, William F. Wells discovered the ability of UVGI to prevent germs from spreading. The efficiency was proven in the scientific method.
You can use the UVGI system to disinfect the water, air, and surface. From the early stages, using the process of water disinfection is more accepted. Nowadays, it is becoming popular using UVGI in the HVAC system.
Almost all of us dried out clothes in the sunshine as the sun’s Ultraviolet (UV) rays can kill any germs. The UV light works virtually in the same way, and this process is also known as (UVGI) ultraviolet germicidal irradiation systems. This process generates the same type of UV rays as the sun. But these artificial rays are more powerful than the sun’s UV rays that reach the earth.
The UV rays work in a specific range and damage the organic growth of germs. It targets a particular type of impure air and destroys microorganism’s DNA and nucleic acids so that they die or are unable to reproduce.
The UV light purifiers only impact viable microorganisms. Otherwise, it doesn’t affect the inanimate like dust or any particles. The rays also can’t prevent air pollutants elements such as fumes or organic mixes either.
The UVGI system has been used in hospitals and food processing centers so that it can deduct the germs. Anyway, it is proven that the system is eligible against many diseases and viruses. For example measles, rhinoviruses, and influenza viruses. It is also effective against bacteria clans like Streptococcus variants or Staph infection.
Do All the UV Systems Work the Same?
The UVGI process is not as simple as that you attach any UV light purifier into your HVAC system. To make the system impactful, you need such a UV light that generates the right amount of light for a limited time.
There are two types of UV light available in the market, such as air sterilization and coil sterilization. So you can pick from these two types of UV system:
In the air serialization, when the air cycles through the HVAC ducts, the UV-C light disinfects the air. It is also known as the In-Duct UVC system. Thus, the microbes are damaged in the air. It also purifies all the parts of the HVAC system like the air filter, evaporator coil, and drain pan. But remember that it only works when the HVAC system is running.
Coil serialization is the most popular type of UVGI system. Here the UV light is installed near the HVAC’s coils, and when the air passes through the coils, the rays purify the air. As the UV light is very useful in wet conditions and the evaporator coils are also wet easily, so it is a more effective type in the HVAC system.
When Should You Invest in UV Light Purifiers?
Reading the article, you must understand the benefits of the UVGI system. So now you can decide whether you need purified air or not. If any member of the family has heart problems like asthma, weak immune system, or allergies, you need to install it. As the UV light purifies the air from microbes, your family members will be saved from many diseases.
Before installing a UVGI system, you need to consider your budget. Because it is a costly procedure of induction and maintenance. UV light needs regular maintenance. Over a year or two, these lights lose power and are unable to disinfect killing germs. However, they still generate light, but they are not sufficient. So you need to replace them regularly to get purified air.
Where You Should Put UV Light
Proper installation of UV light in HVAC can quickly improve the air quality. UV lights can efficiently keep the air clean.
UV-C lights are mostly used in hospitals to disinfect medical equipment and rooms. A residential home can also include this system to get a perfect environment.
This article will guide you about the installation process of a UV light on your HVAC system.
What UV Lights Do in an HVAC System
Portable UV lights are also capable of killing germs in the home or office environment. Installing this light in HVAC is a more effective way to disinfect the microbes in the air. Generally, There are two types of HVAC UV lights.
Air sterilizers can disinfect moving air through the HVAC system. This type of light is installed in the air return. The light turns on when the fan starts working and turns off when the HVAC is turned off.
On coil sterilizer, the light is kept near the coils in the air handler. The UV light constantly works to keep the contaminants away.
This is a better and cost-effective way compared to air sterilizer. Coil sterilizers may be a cost-effective way but not optimal for system-wide results.
Benefits of HVAC UV light
We are pointing out the most crucial benefits of this light in an HVAC system. These benefits can be gained by homeowners, business owners, and hospitals.
Built-in UV light of HVAC system ensures a complete sanitization of breathable air. It is a proven solution for people with allergy symptoms or breathing conditions. It also improves the odor and density of the air in a home.
Where to Install the UV Lights
The site of the installation of UV light depends on your needs and the system you choose. You can install it directly in the air handler or in the air return. There is also a strategic area of installation, which depends on the ductwork. It is recommended to put it on a reflective surface and conjunction with filers.
UV-protected HVAC components should be placed in the areas of its reflection. Reading the manufacturer’s guides will help you to understand the placement and mounting.
Find the best strategic location on your furnace or air handler to install the UV light. A wrong installation of UV light will reduce the effectiveness of purifying.
Make sure that the evaporator coils are getting the proper amount of this light. IT is ensured that the evaporator coil is the primary source of contaminants.
Evaporator coils are vulnerable to germs and microbes. All the microorganisms get stuck on the surface of the coil. The area of the evaporator coil covers around 5000 square feet.
The refrigerant runs through the copper or aluminum tubing of the air handler. The evaporator coils are located around the A-shaped coil. Germs or microbes are generally built up in the A-coil.
The UV light of the HVAC should be placed in an area of the highest mold growth. If you know the position of bacterial growth, then place it strategically on that point. There is no need for an experiment or searching if you already know the location where it is needed.
It is highly recommended to hire professional installers to set up the UV light on your HVAC system. They will do the best strategical placement of the light after evaluating an HVAC system. You can easily get local contractors by searching online.
The best location of installation is above, center, and downstream of the A-shaped coil. With this setup, the UV light shines mostly on the coil and kills all the airborne microbes.
Below the evaporator coil is the second-best location to set it. You can also set the UV light on either side of the coil as an alternative.
After the A-coils, another well-known coil is diagonal N-shape or Z-shaped A/C coils. There are two options to consider for N-shaped coils. The UV lights can be installed above or below the N-shaped coil. It is recommended by the professionals to install it closer to the drip pan and places with moisture.
You can always add an extra UV light on you HVAC system when needed. You can always place an extra UV light around the coil to get a better output.
You will get a clear idea of where to put it in HVAC after following this guide. It is not too difficult to put a UV light in the air handler.
HVAC UV lights significantly reduce the health hazards of an environment. It is a wise decision to take help from HVAC professionals for the installation process. The strategic installation will improve the environment of any HVAC system user.
Also, The UVGI system is a great way to stay healthy. Especially in the rainy and winter season, people are easily attacked by cold and flu. This UV light purifier can protect you from these diseases. It will be better if you consult a professional who will recommend the right type of UVGI system.
As the UV light kills only living germs, you need an air filter to get the clean air. It catches dust, fumes, small particles, and other pollutant elements.