Poor indoor air quality can have a negative effect on a person's overall health and aggravate breathing diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. Air conditioners can contribute to indoor air pollution because mold can grow around the coils and get circulated into the room. Additionally, if the A/C unit does a poor job of dehumidifying the air, the excess moisture can encourage mold and mildew to grow in air ducts and walls. One way to battle this issue is to install an ultraviolet (UV) light in your HVAC system. Here's more information about this option.
What are UV HVAC Lights and How Do They Work?
UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that cannot be seen by the naked eye but is necessary for some human biological processes, such as the production of vitamin D. The light is powerful enough to kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, which is why it's frequently used in medical facilities to sterilize equipment.
Ultraviolet HVAC lights sanitize the air that flows from the air handler in forced air heating and cooling systems in one of two ways. A coil sterilization light is installed so the UV rays shine directly on the coils to sterilize them. An air sterilization light is typically installed near the return air duct and disinfects the air as it flows into the building. The majority of these lights are designed to remain on all day every day. However, there are some lights that will only turn on when the air handler does.
Pros and Cons of UV HVAC Lights
The primary benefit of this type of air purifier is it kills harmful microorganisms at the source. In addition to eradicating mold and bacteria, UV lights can eliminate cold and flu bugs, reducing the spread of illnesses in a home or office. One study found that the level of fungi in an office building fell significantly after using a germicidal UV light for four months. A general study into the effectiveness of UV light against germs found that hospitals that used it experienced a 97 to 98 percent drop in colony forming bacteria.
The lights can also reduce odors, remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and prevent algae from growing in the condensate lines. Coil sterilization lights help keeps the coils clean, which can improve efficiency and reduce energy costs.
However, UV lights aren't without their drawbacks. Ultraviolet light can alter the chemistry of components that come into contact with it as well as break down the bonds between atoms and molecules. This means that, over time, the light can damage components in the air handler such as the drain pan, nearby ducts, surrounding plastics, and any other items the light comes into contact with.
Because the light stays on all the time in most cases, it will need to be replaced frequently. Depending on the brand you buy, it can cost $70 or more just for the light, and you may need to replace the light yearly. Installation can also cost a pretty penny, landing around $600 to $800 depending on the size and type you purchase and whether you opt to install it yourself or have a professional do it for you.
However, the light can improve coil efficiency by 10 to 35 percent, which may help you save money on energy costs.
If you suffer from breathing diseases, are sensitive to indoor pollutants, or just want to improve the quality of your indoor air, then it may be worth the money to invest in a UV HVAC light for your air conditioner. For more information about this product or to have it installed on your A/C unit, contact a professional in your area. Companies like Nu-Temp Associates Heating & Cooling may be able to meet your needs in this area.
How old is the front door on your home? Have you ever walked past the door and felt a cool breeze coming from under it? Could it be time to replace your front door, or can you repair the one that you have? My site is filled with advice and tips for learning when to replace and when to repair a front door. You can learn from my personal experience of living in older homes how to know when it is time to call it quits on the old stuff and invest in new. Hopefully, my failures and successes can help you avoid the failures and go straight for the success.