How Do UV Light Indoor Air Quality Products Work?

April 6, 2021
Family enjoying clean air

It’s not uncommon to have poor air quality in your home. While you may have a functioning AC, it’s not an efficient way of getting rid of contaminants in the house. It would be best if you had another way of purifying the air and improving its quality every day.

Many homeowners use humidifiers, filtration systems, and ventilation as different ways to purify the air. However, these aren’t as effective when you have microbes like bacteria and fungi, among other airborne pollutants.

In this case, you’ll need indoor UV lights specifically designed to eliminate microorganisms. Let’s explore how they work.

What Is Ultraviolet Light?

You’ve probably heard of UV light before, but do you know what it is? Ultraviolet light exists between x-rays and visible light at a wavelength that goes from 400 to 10 nanometers. Usually, violet is the highest of all light that’s visible to the human eye.

Ultraviolet light comes in three forms, namely UVA, UVB, and UVC. It’s essential to protect yourself against UVB and UVC since they’re responsible for sunburns and increase the risk of skin cancer.

However, UVA is more common, and many people use it in tanning beds for a bronze glow. When you expose yourself to low amounts of UVA, you’re not at high risk for skin cancer, which is not the case for UVB and UVC.

Luckily, UV is an efficient way of killing the microorganisms responsible for spreading diseases and infections found in the air that you breathe at home.

Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation

UV radiation can be measured using frequency and wavelength. With UV, when wavelength increases, frequency decreases, and vice versa. When you have a higher frequency of UV rays, you have more energy, which helps to illustrate why using high-frequency UV lights is an efficient way of killing microorganisms. Excessive energy harms their molecular structure, leaving you with clean air to breathe.

After you break down UV rays into UVA, UVB, and UVC, you notice that UVC has a lower wavelength of 200 to 100. Therefore, it has a higher frequency and high energy. Most indoor UV lights use UVC to clean the air in your home by getting rid of all microbes.

Nevertheless, how UVC light affects microbes, varies. It’s more effective when exposed to viruses. For bacteria, its effect is medium since it doesn’t affect fungi that much.

When you notice the air has lots of bacteria, you need to crank up the UV lights to get rid of them. The same applies when you have lots of fungi in your home. It would help if you got quality UV lights that offer you different frequencies plus an air quality monitor for microorganisms at hand.

How Does UV Light Eliminate Microbes in the Air?

Your home’s ductwork can contain allergens, fungi, bacteria, and mold. UV lights sterilize and kill bacteria, mold, and any other organisms as they pass through your HVAC system. Once the microorganisms come into contact with UV light, it does irreparable damage to their structure. It destroys the DNA structure of the microbes, rendering them weak to perform any cellular functions. When this happens, the microorganisms get neutralized and can’t reproduce.

When you turn on the HVAC system, you activate the UV lights. All the air that passes through the unit undergoes thorough purification, thus improving its quality. As a result, you end up breathing clean air and reduce the chances of health issues.

How to Test the Quality of Air in Your Home

Once you decide to install indoor UV lights to improve your home’s air quality, you will have to do frequent tests to see if it’s working. The best way to test the air in your home is to get a monitor for indoor air quality.

An indoor air quality monitor does what you think it does; it checks the quality of air in your home and lets you know when there’s a problem. The electronic device is easy to use, and you can leave it on as long as possible to regularly check the quality of air.

Devices vary, and each tests a different pollutant. When using UV light in your home, it’s better to pick the kind that checks for microorganisms in the air. The device can cost upwards of $100 but is a good investment for your home.

Any model you get will have a display screen and different readings that you will need to note following installation. It’s a good idea to read the accompanying manual to be able to interpret these readings.

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

It’s also important to understand what causes pollution in your home. You can’t see air pollution, but you can smell it sometimes. Indoor air pollution may occur due to a wide range of products, chemicals, even family pets. It can worsen, irritate and even cause serious harm in some cases. Regardless of its cause and origin, being able to detect air pollution inside your home can help your family breathe easier. It might also minimize your risk of long-term health complications. Below are the common causes of pollution in your home:

Dirt and dust: Ventilation is essential for proper air circulation in your home. On a good day, you end up opening the windows to bring in some fresh air. But, the air isn’t free from dust and dirt. These particles enter your home affecting its air quality.

Cleaning detergents: While it’s essential to clean your home, the type of products you use matters. They can affect the quality of air in the house and even trigger allergies. Prolonged exposure can lead to severe issues like headaches and eye problems.

Pets: Generally, pets are notorious when it comes to indoor air pollution. Due to their excrement and shedding, they end up affecting air quality. For instance, if they pee somewhere and you never know, that can be a breeding ground for bacteria that becomes airborne.

Moss: Having moss on your roof might seem like a good idea for a cottage look, but it creates a breeding ground for mold. The mold can eventually penetrate your home, affecting the quality of the indoor air. In some cases, home inhabitants can end up with frequent sore throats, wheezing, and flu due to mold exposure.

Paints and VOCs: Paints are packed with volatile organic compounds, commonly known as VOCs. These compounds can cause some health issues in extremely high concentrations. Ever experienced a headache after applying a fresh layer of paint? Now you know the reason. Most of the volatile compounds released in the new paint are usually gone by the time it is dry. Some may linger, putting your entire household at risk. That’s because some of the VOCs, such as benzene, methylene, and chloride, are known carcinogens.

Summing Up

Buying indoor UV lights for your home is a great way to improve air quality. HVAC systems can get rid of dust and dirt but don’t remove microorganisms from the house. UV lights excel at this and are a practical investment.

Our experts at Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces can help you install and figure out how to use UV lights in your home. We also offer other services like heating repairs, heating installations, service agreements, whole-home audits, and AC-related services. Contact us today to install or maintain UV lights in your Dallas Fort Worth, TX, home.

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