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Indoor Air Quality: UV Lights

As winter gives way to spring, it could be time to think about improving your indoor air quality. After all, you may have an extensive spring cleaning list, so why not look into cleaning up your IAQ? One of the best ways to do that in our region is UV lights.

Air Cleaners and Mold

There are several different types of air cleaners (also known as air purifiers), designed to do different jobs, clearing the air of different types of particles. Among the several common airborne particulates most homeowners have to deal with is mold. Mold, mildew and fungus — which can be a problem in our damp climate — propagate by giving off spores. The spores pollute a home’s air and can trigger allergies and aggravate other respiratory problems.

A good quality, pleated air filter, rated MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 8-12, will trap some mold, mildew and fungus spores. But if you’ve had any issues with mold infestation in your home, you may want to look into installing another type of air cleaning technology known as UVGI, or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights.

How UVGI Works

Ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength than visible light, but is longer than X-rays. It has long been used for disinfection of bacteria and viruses in research, industrial and medical settings.

UVGI systems are generally installed in the return ducts and near the evaporator coils of an HVAC system. The coils are where considerable condensation occurs, and a primary site for mold. The UV lights are focused on the air as it is drawn through the HVAC system, and work by disrupting the DNA of the mold molecules so that they cannot reproduce.

UVGI systems are also effective at treating bacteria and some viruses.

UV lighting works best when the bulbs are new and strong. They last as long as two years, but should be changed regularly when they start to dim.

Clearing up mold not only improves the quality of your air so you can breathe better, but also will help clear up musty odors.

For more on UV lights, contact Beyer Boys.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).