HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) is a fairly new technology. It was developed in the 1960s. The goal of HVAC is to keep homes comfortable year round. Some homeowners have elected to replace old, inefficient, heat pump furnaces with efficient furnaces that run on electricity and natural gas. Others have opted to use an air conditioner.
Many homeowners are concerned about the negative effects of indoor air quality. Urine and other contaminants can make some surfaces look disgusting even when they are not visible. Indoor pollutants can get into surfaces without ever being seen. UV lighting is one way that HVAC can address some of these concerns.
HVAC UV lighting is a form of ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet light, or UV lights, is similar to the sun’s rays. When ultraviolet light strikes a surface, it breaks down the molecules in the material. This process makes the source of the light evaporate and the broken molecules drop to the floor.
Since HVAC systems use warm water for indoor air purification, it makes sense to use ultraviolet lights to reduce moisture and kill airborne contaminants. But the UV lights do more than simply change the color of the surfaces they are placed on. HVAC ultraviolet lights create a chemical reaction on surfaces when the light is introduced. This change activates a chemical reaction in which the source of pollutants is changed into either water vapor or carbon dioxide. These emissions are trapped within the ductwork, reducing the amount of pollutants in the air.
Ultraviolet light is particularly effective at combating airborne pollutants because it penetrates the tiny pores found on all surfaces. The lights change the color of the microorganisms present in the air to purple or blue. These microorganisms are unable to tolerate this color change and die quickly. The HVAC UV light reduces the number of airborne pollutants by two hundred percent. The lights reduce the moisture in the air by up to eighty-seven percent, which improves indoor air quality. In addition to the moisture reduction, the HVAC ultraviolet light kills a wide range of microorganisms and bacteria.
UV lighting also kills bacteria and viruses that can be present in an HVAC cooling system. Since the majority of cooling systems in the house are used by adults, the germs and viruses typically in them are not hot enough to kill with the ultraviolet light. However, some viruses and bacteria have been resistant to ultraviolet light. In a study funded by the Department of Defence, researchers developed a virus that was resistant to the ultraviolet light and used it to test HVAC cooling systems.
It found that all of the UV light that could destroy the virus killed ninety-nine percent of the viruses. Another study performed by the Environmental Protection Agency found that using ultraviolet lights in HVAC UV systems reduced the number of days needed for cooling by as much as fifty percent. This kind of efficiency makes ultraviolet lighting attractive to many homeowners who are trying to improve indoor air quality while saving money. Some heating and cooling companies use ultraviolet lights in their HVAC cooling systems as well to help kill dust and pollen mites. The HVAC manufacturer, Carrier, markets an ultraviolet light called “Quad”.
UV lights are used to kill viruses, bacteria, and mold spores that are damaging your home. Other manufacturers sell their HVAC products separately called “Quad” fixtures. They advertise that they are useful for killing viruses, germs, and bacteria, while eliminating excess moisture. UV lighting is particularly useful for drying up damp areas that can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.