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What is a UV light?
Ultraviolet (UV) lights can be used to kill microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, mold and fungi. They first found commercial popularity for use in water treatment facilities to remove mold, mildew and other biological contaminants from water and surrounding equipment. The technology was then introduced into the HVAC market in order to help prevent the spread of infectious disease in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical facilities. As a result of its effectiveness, it has become more widespread in both commercial and residential HVAC applications.
How do UV lights for HVAC work?
In residential applications, we typically install the UV light (commonly referred to as a “stick light”) near the coils to prevent mold or bacterial growth. In addition to killing organic growth on the surface of the coil and housing, the UV light can also sanitize the air that crosses its path. With adequate exposure, the light can kill airborne bacteria, mold, fungi and some gases without restricting airflow. Because air must come into close contact with the light in order to be decontaminated by it, it has a less immediate effect on indoor air quality throughout the rest of the space.
For this reason, we also recommend installing a REME HALO® UV light system in the supply side of the unit (in the ductwork) to further treat the air as it leaves the coil and eliminate any mold growth on the outside of the coil and supply plenum. The REME HALO® also releases hydroperoxides that actively attack viruses, bacteria, mold, VOCs, odors, allergens and other particulates/contaminants throughout the entire conditioned space.
What are hydroperoxides?
Hydrogen peroxide molecules (hydroperoxides) occur naturally in the atmosphere and help to clean the air. By releasing them into the indoor environment, the REME facilitates constant air purification throughout the conditioned space — killing up to 99% of viruses, bacteria and mold and also reducing odors. As an added benefit, the hydroperoxides also pass a charge to allergens — such as dust, dander, pollen and other particulates — which causes them to stick together and makes them easier to filter.
We recommend keeping the fan on constantly or setting a circulating fan to come on every 30-45 minutes to help alleviate the build up of hydroperoxides in the duct system. This helps keep the air throughout the home clean at all times (not just when the system is operating) and also reduces the build up of hydroperoxides in the duct work, which can cause strong oxidation odors when the system first starts running.
Are hydroperoxides safe?
Hydroperoxides are not the same as ions. Hydroperoxides occur naturally and are not considered a health risk at normal levels. Conversely, uncontrolled ozone production or ionizing filters can have lasting health effects. For an in-depth information about hydroperoxides and oxidation, please refer directly to RGF Environmental Group.
HVAC UV light maintenance and safety
UV lights must be replaced every one to five years. The frequency will depend on the manufacturer’s recommendation for your particular model. Even though the light may still be on and visible, the effectiveness of the UV light declines drastically after the recommended useful life expectancy (5 years on the HALO LED™ model; 1-2 years on the REME HALO® model). See the user manual or ask your Efficient AC, Electric & Plumbing technician for more information on UV light bulb life.
For your safety, do not look directly at a UV light when activated, as this can cause severe eye damage.
Why should you let Efficient AC, Electric & Plumbing install your UV light
Ready to improve the air quality at your home or business with a UV light? Schedule an appointment or give us a call at (512) 501- 2275.