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  • How Does a UV Air Purifier Work?



  • How Does a UV Air Purifier Work?

    February 23, 2018

    white air vent - how UV air irradiation works

    For those worried about bacteria, germs, and other airborne organisms, ultraviolet (UV) air irradiation may be the right choice for you.

    When it comes to indoor air quality, it’s not dirt and dust that are your enemies, it’s the living microorganisms in the dust and the air that can lead to major health problems.

    One way to kill or inactivate bacteria, mold, fungi, bio-aerosols and other organisms in your air is with UV germicidal air irradiation (UVGI).

    What is Ultraviolet?

    You’ve probably heard of ultraviolet light before, the electromagnetic radiation invisible to the human eye. It is a part of the light spectrum, along with x-rays and radio waves.

    Ultraviolet is separated into three wavelengths:

    • UV-C: ranges from 100 nm to 280 nm
    • UV-B: ranges from 280 nm to 315 nm
    • UV-A: ranges from 315 nm to 400 nm

    UV air cleaners use UV-C rays, which are the most effective at damaging the DNA of microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses.

    How a UV Air Purifier Works

    Ultraviolet light is found naturally in the rays of the sun, comprising around 10% of its total light output. It’s one reason why the outdoor air is often cleaner and healthier for you than the air you breathe indoors.

    While UV light can have harmful effects on human skin, it is used as an effective and non-chemical sanitizer for water, food, air, and surfaces.

    Unlike other air cleaners, a UV air purifier kills microorganisms by scrambling their DNA and RNA. UV air cleaners use UV-C rays (200 to 280 nm in wavelength) to zap airborne organisms circulating in the ductwork.

    When UV light is used in HVAC systems to purify indoor air, it is sometimes referred to as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation.

    UV Air Purification Benefits

    UV air purification systems are installed into your return ducts to kill any microorganism that happen across its path. And since they are tucked away inside the ductwork, there is no danger of UV exposure.

    Installed near the indoor air handler, UV lights keep mold, fungi, and other bio-contaminants from collecting on your coils and other parts of the HVAC system.

    Here’s a list of some of the benefits of UV germicidal irradiation:

    • Safe
    • Non-Toxic
    • Effective
    • Affordable
    • Deodorizing
    • Mold Control
    • Kills Germs & Viruses
    • Quiet Operation
    • Improves Energy Efficiency
    • Reduces HVAC Repairs & Replacements
    • Improves Airflow
    • Reduces Illness & Disease

    Ultraviolet light can help protect you and your loved ones from bacteria, germs, mold spores, and other organisms floating around your home. UV light scrambles DNA and RNA to cause death and prevent reproduction. They are a safe and effective way to eliminate sources of illness and improve the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC system.

    Keep in mind that you will need to periodically change the bulbs, about once every year or two.

    For the best indoor air quality this spring and all year long, UV air purifiers are just one piece to the puzzle. Speak with a qualified HVAC technician about air filtration, ventilation, and humidification as well.

    If you have respiratory problems or suffer from allergies, we highly recommend improving your indoor air quality with a combination of filtration and purification. Speak with a professional for a customized indoor air quality solution.


    For more information on ultraviolet lights, contact the indoor air quality experts at OnTime Service: 205-942-1405

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