UV stands for ultraviolet, a type of electromagnetic radiation not visible to the human eye. UV light has a shorter wavelength than visible light and is divided into three categories: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-C light, which has the shortest wavelength and the most energy, is used for HVAC applications.
In HVAC systems, UV lights are installed in the air ducts or near the evaporator coils to kill airborne bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. UV light kills these microorganisms by damaging their DNA, preventing them from reproducing and causing health problems.
There are two types of reasons why UV lights are commonly used in HVAC systems:
- Coil Sterilization: Coil sterilization involves placing UV lights near the evaporator coils to kill any microorganisms that may be growing on them.
- Air Sterilization: Air sterilization involves installing UV lights in the air ducts to kill any microorganisms that are circulating in the air.
UV lights used in HVAC systems are designed to emit a specific wavelength of UV-C light that is known to be effective in killing microorganisms. UV-C refers to ultraviolet light with a wavelength between 200 and 280 nanometers. It is highly effective at killing or inactivating microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, by damaging their DNA and preventing replication.
They are also designed to be safe for use in HVAC systems and do not produce harmful ozone.
Benefits of UV for HVAC
Improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
One of the most significant benefits of using UV lights in HVAC systems is improved indoor air quality. UV lights kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause illnesses such as colds, flu, and allergies. Common household VOCs that HVAC UV light systems neutralize include paints, solvents, aerosols, cleaners, disinfectants, repellents, and air fresheners.
Increased Energy Efficiency
By killing microorganisms on the evaporator coils, UV lights can also increase the energy efficiency of HVAC systems. This is because microorganisms can reduce the efficiency of the coils by creating a layer of grime, reducing heat transfer, and forcing the HVAC system to work harder to achieve the desired temperature.
Reduction of HVAC Maintenance Costs
UV lights can also reduce HVAC maintenance costs by reducing the need for coil cleaning and replacement. By killing microorganisms, the UV lights can prevent grime buildup on the evaporator coils, leading to reduced efficiency and more frequent cleaning or replacement.
Prevention of Mold and Other Biological Growth
Another benefit of UV lights in HVAC systems is preventing mould and other biological growth. Mould can be a serious problem in HVAC systems and cause health problems for building occupants. UV lights can prevent mould growth by killing the mould spores before they can take hold and grow.
Applications of UV for HVAC
Ultraviolet (UV) light has a range of applications in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. UV can be used for HVAC systems induct or as a portable device to improve indoor air quality and prevent the growth of microorganisms.
In HVAC systems, UV technology can be installed in the ductwork to sterilize the air as it passes through. This helps to eliminate bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms that can circulate through the building. UV light can also help to reduce mold and mildew growth, which can cause unpleasant odors and damage to HVAC components.
Portable UV devices can be used to disinfect surfaces and air in specific areas of a building, such as offices or conference rooms. These devices emit UV-C light that can quickly kill bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms. Portable UV devices are particularly useful in high-traffic areas, where regular cleaning and disinfecting may not be sufficient to prevent the spread of germs.
Residential HVAC Systems
UV lights can be used in residential HVAC systems to improve indoor air quality and reduce the spread of illnesses. They can also reduce HVAC maintenance costs by preventing the buildup of grime on the evaporator coils.
Commercial HVAC Systems
Commercial buildings such as offices, schools, and hospitals can benefit greatly from UV lights in HVAC systems. They can help prevent the spread of illnesses and improve indoor air quality for building occupants.
Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics can benefit greatly from UV lights in HVAC systems. They can help prevent the spread of illnesses and reduce the risk of infections in patients who are already ill.
Maintenance of UV for HVAC
1. Cleaning and replacing UV lamps
The maintenance of UV lights in HVAC systems typically involves cleaning and replacing the UV lamps. The lamp replacement frequency will depend on the specific system and the manufacturer’s recommendations. While UV-C light is highly effective, it can also be dangerous to humans if they are exposed to it directly for extended periods of time. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, when working and maintaining UV-C technology and should be handled according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Checking for the proper functioning of UV lights
It’s also important to regularly check that the UV lights are functioning properly. This can be done by checking for the blue glow that indicates that the UV light is on or by a status indicator on your unit. It’s also important to check that the UV lamps are free of dust and debris that can reduce their effectiveness. While UV-C light is highly effective, it can also be dangerous to humans if they are exposed to it directly for extended periods of time. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, when working and maintaining UV-C technology and should be handled according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Maintenance Frequency
The frequency of maintenance will depend on the specific system and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, UV lights in HVAC systems require annual maintenance, including cleaning and lamp replacement.
Air Sniper UVC Technology
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI, uses shortwave UVC energy for germicidal irradiation. We utilize Air Sniper’s innovative technology, featuring UVGI light at a spectrum of 253.7 nanometers, as other wavelengths are prone to producing ozone. This UVGI technology achieves effectiveness from a holistic perspective by combining multiple high-wattage bulbs, reflective panelling and proper circulation time.
Learn more about our UV-C technology here.