When we hear ultraviolet lights (UV) mentioned, most of us think about sun tanning or sunburn from the 8-billion-year-old star known as the sun. Have you ever wondered what UV light really was? UV is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light but longer than X-rays (from 400 nanometers (nm) to 10 nm in wavelength).
UV is classified into three different ranges; UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C
- UV-A is commonly associated with suntan (or burn).
- UV-B is used in the medical field to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis.
- UV-C is produced from UV lights and can be installed into heating and air conditioning systems and is used for germicidal purposes to destroy bacteria, mold, yeast and viruses.
With the cost of utilities continuing to rise, homeowners are always looking for ways to save energy.
Another focus of homeowners is improving the indoor air quality in their homes to protect their families from harmful mold and allergens. UV lights installed in your heating and air conditioning system are a great solution to address these concerns.
For additional information on ultraviolet lights or to get a quote
Call (703) 266-3678
How would I save utility costs with ultraviolet lights?
Installing UV lights into your air conditioning system offers many benefits. First, it will virtually eliminate dirt build-up on the indoor evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is what de-humidifies and removes heat from your home. While dehumidification and heat transfer is taking place, the evaporator coil is constantly saturated with moisture (this is actually the humidity being removed).
With moisture being present on the evaporator coil; dirt, grime and contaminant will naturally build-up on the coil…as little as two-thousandth of an inch can restrict airflow by as much as nine percent! When the airflow is restricted, this will have many negative effects. One effect is increased energy consumption of the fan motor that circulates the air because it is working much harder to force air through the restricted evaporator coil. Another effect would be the reduced air conditioning capacity (reduced heat transfer), causing the air conditioner to run much longer with reduced results.
Installing UV lights will clean the coil and virtually eliminate this build-up, thus increasing your heating and air conditioning systems efficiency.
How will my indoor air quality improve?
Because the indoor evaporator coil is constantly saturated with moisture during the air conditioning months, the evaporator coil becomes a breeding ground for mold spores, viruses, dander, harmful bacteria and fungi. Molds can flare up allergy symptoms and in some cases trigger asthma attacks. In our experience of removing old air conditioning systems, we see many cases where the indoor evaporator coils are covered with mold. Installing UV lights can reduce these indoor-air pollutants significantly by disrupting the reproduction process within the microorganism, resulting in its death.
Removing these pollutants will help provide a healthy indoor air environment above and beyond that produced by standard air purifiers. All of this cleansing from the UV lights comes without the use of toxic chemicals, which is also good for you and your loved ones. Once the UV light system is installed, it immediately begins to “zap” the DNA of these nasty pollutants.
Do I need a high efficiency filter in conjunction with UV lights?
Although not necessary, pairing a UV light with a good high efficiency filter is definitely an excellent choice because the filter alone cannot address the build-up or growth on the evaporator coil. Installing UV lights will “zap” these indoor pollutants that breed on and around the evaporator coil. A high efficiency filter can also capture pollutants that become airborne and are pulled back through the return air duct to the filter. When it comes to air purifiers, it’s always best to do more, rather than not enough.
What maintenance is required with UV lights?
The manufacturer recommends that UV lights should be replaced annually. Although the lights may not be burned out at the one year mark, (and in most cases they will not be burnt out) the intensity and zapping power drops off significantly. Ideally, it is best to schedule UV Bulb replacement in the spring or early summer so they are at peak performance during the air conditioning season. This type of maintenance is standard with all air purifiers but is particularly important for UV lights.
Do UV lights produce Ozone?
Some brands produce ozone; however ozone is produced in very small traces and are much lower than exposure limits set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention agency (CDC). The Carrier germicidal UV lights we install are non-ozone producing models.
Are these units hard to install?
Because we are trained professionals, we feel that these UV light systems are not difficult to install. We have all the proper tools and training to ensure a smooth and proper installation. Unfortunately, we constantly see UV lights installed incorrectly. UV lights are an investment in air quality for your family and let’s face it, they are not cheap. If they are not installed correctly, they will provide no benefit for efficiency or air quality in your home.
Can I purchase these units over the internet?
All we can say to this is BEWARE. Most reputable manufacturers do not approve HVAC equipment being sold on the internet. If you do purchase it on the internet, good luck trying to get the warranty or technical support to help.
To set up an appointment for installation of ultraviolet lights
Call (703) 266-3678
We install ultraviolet lights in Alexandria, Arlington, McLean, Fairfax, and all surrounding areas.