Know Your AC: UV Light

An image of the sun shining through the clouds

Living in Florida, most of us are fairly familiar with the term “UV.” We know that when the UV index is high, we have a better chance of getting a golden brown tan at the beach (and hopefully not a lobster red sunburn).

But, did you know that UV light is capable of doing much more than bronzing/burning our skin? When a UV light is installed in the air handler of your HVAC system, it is highly effective at killing off mold and bacteria that pollutes the air in your home! In this segment of Know Your AC, we’re telling you everything you need to know about using a UV light in your HVAC system.

What is UV Light?

When light shines through water and breaks into various colors, it forms a rainbow. The colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet make up the color spectrum. Now, imagine there is one more color at bottom of a rainbow, just after violet. This is UV, or ultraviolet, light, and while it’s invisible to the naked eye, it is very strong.

What do UV Lights Do in an HVAC System?

While there are many different sources of indoor air pollution, mold, bacteria and other germs often make up a large percentage of it. Over time, germs build up in your air handler and circulate through your HVAC system. While filters trap many of these microbes, even the best ones can’t completely stop germs from getting into your air.

The best way to fight germs is to stop them at the source, and that’s exactly what a UV light does inside your air handler. By disrupting germs’ DNA, UV lights effectively prevent them from reproducing, causing them to die off. Earth’s atmosphere naturally filters UV light, so microbes do not have a built up tolerance to it.

A UV light will begin killing germs just minutes after it is installed and will kill off more than 99 percent of harmful microorganisms within 24 hours.

Along with reducing your risk for respiratory illnesses, a UV light will also reduce the risk of airborne illnesses spreading in your home, as fewer germs will be circulated through the unit. Additionally, it will keep the coil in your air handler cleaner, improving efficiency and lowering energy costs.

Are UV Lights Safe For My Family?

Because UV lights are installed inside the air handler, which is an enclosed space, they do not pose a threat to any living thing in the home—except for germs!

Still, it is important to avoid looking at or touching UV lights, as direct contact can be dangerous. You should always leave the installation, care and maintenance of your UV light to a professional technician.

Start Fighting Indoor Air Pollution Today!

Indoor air pollution is a serious health matter that should not be overlooked. While having a UV light installed in your air handler is an effective way to combat pollutants, other methods, such as routine cleaning and maintenance are also important in protecting your air quality! At One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Clearwater, our professional technicians are here to help you and your family fight indoor air pollution. Call today at (727) 245-0378 to schedule a visit!