Buehler Air Conditioning provides expert heating, cooling and indoor air quality systems for families in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. Homeowners rely on us for advanced solutions to their comfort needs, and indoor air quality (IAQ) is a common concern. Studies show that poor indoor air quality causes allergy-like symptoms as well as long-term medical issues such as asthma in children. One of our favorite solutions for improving air quality in your home is an ultraviolet light that fits into your existing HVAC system. Here are 14 things you should know about these devices.
1. Not All UV Light Helps Indoor Air Quality
Ultraviolet light is part of the light spectrum and is divided into three specific wavelengths. Not all wavelengths of UV light clean the air. UV-A light is “black light” that makes some pigments glow. UV-B light is a higher wavelength than UV-A, and it is responsible for skin damage such as cancer and sunburns. UV-C is the type of ultraviolet light that is used for indoor air quality products. Much as UV-B damages the DNA of skin cells, UV-C damages the DNA of bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and other tiny organisms. When you use UV-C light in your HVAC system, it prevents the microscopic organisms from reproducing, and this reduces the levels of airborne particles in your home.
2. Home Interiors Have Up to Five Times More Pollutants
Sunlight not only keeps us warm and helps plants grow, but also removes pollutants from the air. The air inside our homes is not treated by sunlight, and a typical residence in Jacksonville has up to five times the airborne pollutants as the outside air. Some studies even show that homes can have up to 100 times more airborne particles compared to the outdoors.
3. Insulation Worsens the Issues
The insulation in your home is designed to reduce energy consumption by preventing air from escaping. This means that whatever is floating in the air will also stay inside. Airborne particles have no way to escape your home if it is well insulated, so your best option is to reduce the number of airborne irritants.
4. UV Lights Don’t Affect Airflow
You may be wondering why you need a UV light if your heating and cooling system has a filter. Some of the particles that need to be removed from indoor air are much smaller than those that can be trapped by a filter, including a high-quality HEPA filter. UV light damages biological airborne particles of all sizes and greatly improves air quality. We don’t recommend a UV light instead of your filter. The two should be used in conjunction for the greatest benefit. The UV light will not reduce airflow from your HVAC equipment.
5. Safe for Your Family and Pets
Because UV lights emit UV-C wavelengths, they are perfectly safe for your family and pets. The light is also tucked away inside your heating and cooling system, typically around the coils. If you have to work inside your HVAC unit, you needn’t worry about skin damage. UV lights operate in a different wavelength from the one that can hurt your skin.
6. Reducing Allergy Symptoms
UV light in your HVAC system can reduce your allergy symptoms. Some of the airborne particles that trigger your allergies are damaged by the UV-C light. It may take some time to notice the difference in your symptoms, but given enough time, a UV light will reduce the allergens in your home.
7. Used by Hospitals
Hospitals and other medical facilities use UV lights to keep areas clean and sanitized. The same technology has been adapted for use in Jacksonville homes.
8. Sanitizing Air and Surfaces
Installing a UV light in your HVAC system not only cleans the air but also helps to sanitize surfaces. Whatever floats in the air will eventually land on your countertops and other surfaces. If a single bacterium or mold spore lands on a surface in your home, it can quickly multiply, putting your family at risk. UV lights affect the DNA of these particles so they are unable to reproduce.
9. Cleaner Air Ducts
The ductwork in your home carries air to each room. The metal surfaces are ideal for colonies of bacteria, mold and viruses. A secondary benefit of UV lights for IAQ is that the interior of your ducts will be much cleaner. If you want to install a UV light, we may recommend duct cleaning prior to the installation.
10. Treating Common Household Irritants
UV lights treat a range of airborne particles. In addition to mold spores, viruses, and bacteria, UV lights help with dust mites, mildew, and fungus.
11. Easy to Install
UV lights are very easy to install in your current HVAC system, and most homeowners are surprised at how compact these effective units are. No modifications to your equipment or ducts are needed. The light is installed near the coil or air handler and tied into the existing electrical feed. We also have UV lights that can be installed inside the ducts to clean the air as it passes along to the rooms of your home.
12. UV Light May Extend an HVAC System’s Useful Life
Your heating and cooling system has an expected lifetime that is specified by the manufacturer. The prediction is determined by operating the equipment in ideal conditions. In other words, this is in an environment where airborne particles are not present. In a typical Jacksonville home, though, airborne particles are present, and the accumulation of them inside your HVAC system, ducts, and filter means that you may not maximize the investment in your heating and cooling equipment. A UV light helps ensure that the equipment operates in an environment that is as close to ideal as possible.
13. UV Lights May Reduce Energy Consumption
A clean HVAC system is energy-efficient because particles are not interfering with the operation. Changing out your filters is not enough because small particles can still reach the delicate components. When the air is cleaned by one of our UV lights, your system runs efficiently and may need less energy to heat and cool your home.
14. Extending the Benefits of Routine Maintenance
Our professional recommendation at Buehler Air Conditioning is that you have routine maintenance on your HVAC system twice per year, ideally in the spring and fall as the weather changes. The service includes changing filters and checking all components. A UV light helps to keep your heating and cooling equipment running properly and may reduce the need for unexpected and costly repairs.
Learn About Other IAQ Solutions
Buehler Air Conditioning offers other ways to improve the air quality inside your home, such as air purifiers, dehumidifiers and more. We also help with all your heating and cooling needs, including installation of new systems, repairs, and maintenance. You can count on us for duct replacement services as well. Give us a call today to speak with one of our expert technicians and arrange an appointment. We’ll schedule one at your convenience. Our mission is to keep your home safe and comfortable.