If you have ever had an HVAC replacement or cleaning, the HVAC technician or air duct cleaner may have asked if you’d like UV lights installed inside your HVAC. They claim this will prevent mold and mildew from getting into your home, and of course you don’t want that gunk in your space. But can a lighting system really help ease these concerns? Such an add-on certainly sounds like a gimmick, so is there any science to support the claim or is it just an empty promise?
Lincoln Tech will help separate fact from fiction with answers to these common questions about UV lights for HVAC systems.
Question: Are mold and bacteria a concern in HVAC systems?
Fact: Yes, it is scientifically proven. Fungal contamination in HVAC units is a widespread issue that shouldn’t be ignored. This contamination often contributes to building-related diseases, like infectious diseases, allergic rhinitis, asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. But Ultraviolet (UV) lights can be used in a variety of applications, including air purification. The UV light can help eliminate many types of fungi, bacteria, germs, viruses and pathogens.
Question: Will UV lights really increase the air quality in my home?
Fact: Yes, your home is susceptible to fungus. In 1996, an NCBI study installed UV lights on certain floors (and not on others) of an office building for four months to measure and compare the fungal levels of each floor.
- UV lights reduced fungal contamination within air-handling units.
- UV lights reduced levels of fungal contamination in the fiberglass insulation.
- UV lights reduced levels of airborne fungi in the floor space.
In 2012, researchers at Duke University Medical Center used ultraviolet radiation to nearly eliminate drug-resistant bacteria in 50 hospital rooms, reducing the number of bacteria by more than 97 percent. Many factors play a part in the effectiveness of a UV light in your home’s HVAC system, so it needs to be done methodically.
Question: Can a UV light installation still be a waste of money?
Fact: Yes, so make sure your home conditions are right and installation is completed correctly. It’s important to hire a trusted HVAC technician. These factors can contribute to the effectiveness of UV lighting, according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association:
- Intensity and number of UV lamps.
- Placement and direction of UV lamps.
- Surrounding temperature and humidity levels of home.
- Reflectivity of surrounding surfaces.
With the right conditions and proper installation, UV lights are very effective at killing viruses, mold, fungi and bacteria, keeping them out of your home. Who knew adding an HVAC UV Light benefits the home so much.