Can UV Light Disinfect Air and Surfaces In Your Home?

Finding better ways to disinfect your home has definitely crossed your mind in the past couple of months. A great way to rid your home’s air and surfaces of harmful bacteria, mold, and viruses is by using UV light.

You’ve heard of UV light before for example, UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. You may not know however, there are different types of UV light, three in fact: UV-A light, UV-B light, and UV-C light. The first two can most commonly be encountered from exposure to direct sunlight and aren’t really useful for anything but getting a tan, yet UV-C light is very useful in helping to disinfect your home.

Dating all the way back to the 1950’s, there have been a multitude of scientific studies proving UV-C light’s potency in cleaning air and surfaces. What differentiates UV-C light and gives it more cleaning utility than UV-A or B light is the wavelength at which it is emitted from a light source. The shorter the wavelength, which also means the higher the frequency, the better the light is able to penetrate objects and kill microorganisms. UV-C light has a wavelength range of 280-200 nano meters making it much shorter than UV-A light and UV-B light who’s wavelengths range from 400-315 nano meters and 315-280 nano meters respectively. It was in this range (280-200 nm) that scientists found UV light was most effective at killing and disabling bacteria and viruses.

So now the question is how can you implement this UV light effectively into your home? Well there are a few options on how to do this. The main two are to install UV lights into your home’s HVAC System or to use an enclosed UV light system to disinfect small objects.

As for installing UV-C lights into HVAC systems, there are also two ways you can do this. You can use the lights for air sterilization or coil sterilization. Air sterilization is pretty much what it sounds like; UV lights are placed in the HVAC system such that air can pass over the lights and is sterilized directly. Coil sterilization focuses more on placing UV lights to directly target areas that can be susceptible to growing mold or bacteria such as cooling coils, condensation pans, and filters. In this case, the UV lights are pointed at the target areas to kill the microorganisms growing on them keeping the air from being compromised by the HVAC system itself. Both forms have their benefits and work well, but air sterilization has one added benefit when certain UV light air scrubbers are used. The air that passes over those air scrubbers can be oxidized so that when the air particles land on surfaces they also sterilize the surface they land on.

There are also UV light systems that small objects can be put in to be sterilized. These systems work like coil sterilization by having UV lights pointed directly at the object being sterilized in an enclosed area, so that the UV light isn’t being emitted into your home. These systems come in handy for sterilizing things like masks, wallets, and keys.

Thanks for reading our first blog post! For more information about UV light and disinfecting click on this link: http://arco-hvac.ir/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ASHRAE-Handbook-2016-HVAC-Systems-and-EquipmentIP.pdf and go to Ch.17. To install UV lights into your HVAC call Universal Mechanical at 406-752-4328.

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