UV lamps work with the HEPA filtration system to rid the indoor air of germs, particulates, and allergens. The lamps deactivate the DNA of organisms it comes in contact with. When that happens, the organisms are unable to replicate, and this is how they die. These lamps are available as standalone units or as units that install in your central air conditioner. You can talk to a JW Plumbing, Heating, and Air to understand which unit is right for you.
What Is Ultraviolet Light?
UV light is the light that we cannot see, and it doesn’t produce heat. It has a shorter wavelength compared to visible and infrared light. This part of the light spectrum exists beyond the violet side of the spectrum.
The wavelength of light is inversely proportional to its frequency. Because UV light has a shorter wavelength, it has a high frequency and more energy. The high energy of UV light means it can do more damage than visible or infrared light.
Some animals such as bumblebees can see UV light. The light may not be seen or felt, but its effects can be fatal.
If you sit under the sun without sunscreen for a long time, you will end up with a nasty sunburn. The redness and inflammation is as a result of the UV light from the sun destroying some of the cells in your skin. Only about 5% of the UV light from the sun gets through to the Earth’s atmosphere. Everything else is blocked.
Categories of UV Light
UV light is in three categories based on the wavelength.
UV-A has a wavelength of between 315 and 400 nanometers. It is more abundant in the atmosphere. Although it doesn’t cause sunburn, it penetrates through the skin and exacerbates signs of aging and the formation of wrinkles.
UV-B has a wavelength of between 280 and 315 nanometers. This is the spectrum responsible for sunburn and skin cancers. Although the sub-blocks up to 95% of the light, the remaining 5% can still cause so much damage.
UV has the shortest wavelength of the three at between 100 and 280 nanometers. This also means it has the highest energy. The earth blocks almost all the UV-C rays from reaching the earth’s surface. UV lamps use UV-C to kill germs and disinfect surfaces.
Installing Germicidal Lamps
Installation of UV lamps needs to be handled by a professional. UV rays are harmful to human beings and to other animals. The lamp manufacturers observe safety precautions when designing the lamps and all you have to do is install them right.
You can install the units in your central air conditioner, or you can have them as standalone units. Most UV lamp manufacturers install a built-in HEPA filter that traps particulates and allergens. When installed in your central air conditioning system, the UV lamp complements the HEPA filtration system in your central AC.
You need to install the system where it makes the most impact in your home. It also needs to be far from members of the family. There are two ideal positions for installing the system:
You can install it in your central air coils. The coils are responsible for cooling and dehumidifying the air in your home. With time, bacteria can grow on the coils and then get circulated in your home. You can ensure that doesn’t happen by installing a UV lamp near the coils. The UV lamp will not only disinfect the coils but also the air that passes over the coils.
The air ducts are also an ideal place to install the UV lamp. The cool air from the central air coils distributes through ducts. While installed here, the lamps can purify the air before it gets into your indoor space.
How Does UV Light Kill Microbes?
UV-C light is highly potent. When molecules absorb the light energy, it denatures them. The DNA in microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and mold can be inactivated when they absorb the energy. When inactivated, the microbes fail to replicate, and that is how you purify the air.
UV light is also applicable in industries where it disinfects surfaces.
It is used in the treatment of waste and drinking water. Because microbes can breed in water, the use of UV light makes the water safe for drinking.
It is also used in disinfecting surfaces in food processing industries where it kills bacteria and other microbes.
Other areas where the light finds its application includes in the healthcare industry, horticulture, and in the disinfection of consumer products.
Are UV Lamps Safe?
UV lamps are safe for use at home and away. These lamps come with a thick coating that ensures they do not emit UV where it is not needed. Without the coating, the lamps would be dangerous for home use. The lamps have been in use for more than two decades now.
They can kill viruses, fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms. The research on these lights started more than a century ago, but scientists only started using the lights a few decades ago. According to EPA, the UV-C light used in these lamps has a wavelength of about 230 nanometers. This light is potent enough to cause damages to human beings.
The main concern of these lamps is the formation of ozone in your home. The UV light can split the free oxygen molecules in your home to form two oxygen atoms. When that happens, one atom can combine with the free oxygen in the air to form ozone.
Ozone is a dangerous gas as it interferes with the transportation of oxygen in your body. However, it is only dangerous in high amounts. A little ozone will have no effects on you. Better still, UV lamp manufacturers ensure the lamps have enough coating to protect you from the ozone.
Types of UV Lamps
There are different types of UV lamps depending on the emitter.
Pulsed xenon lights are among the most common types. These are gas-discharge lamps that give off visible UV light that approaches the infrared region of the light spectrum. The gas produced from the system is safe to the environment and applicable in UV-C lamps and disinfection of surfaces. The only challenge with pulsed xenon lamps is that they need dedicated hardware to install.
Low-pressure mercury lamps are the most common, according to the EPA. These lamps emit radiation in a narrow spectrum. The use of mercury in the lamps can cause some environmental concerns, but these lamps are effective. Unlike pulsed xenon lamps, these lamps do not require dedicated hardware to install. Instead, they need time to warm up and cool down during operation. This means they consume energy constantly.
LED lamps are more eco-friendly, and they have a low operating cost. The lamps also last a long time and are ideal when disinfecting heat-sensitive surfaces. However, the lamps take longer to disinfect surfaces and air in your home.
UV lamps have several advantages in your home. For starters, they sterilize the air in your home by removing bacteria and viruses. This improves the indoor air quality to keep you comfortable and healthy. The system also prevents the growth of mold and mildew and extends the life of your HVAC system.
Contact us Today
At JW Plumbing, Heating and Air, we service your heating, cooling, IAQ, and plumbing systems. You can call us for repairs, installation, and maintenance of these systems in Los Angeles. Call today and speak to a professional.