The Science Behind UV Light Air Purification in Punta Gorda, FL
Maintaining healthy indoor air quality is important now more than ever before. With an air purification system that uses UV light, you can reduce indoor airborne pathogens and breathe a little easier in your Punta Gorda, FL, home.
About UV Light
UV light comes from the sun and is part of the spectrum of light that’s not visible to the human eye. Of the three types of UV light, UV-C carries the most energy and is the most destructive. Luckily, while UV-A and UV-B light reach the Earth, our atmosphere completely absorbs UV-C light.
How UV Air Purifiers Work
UV-C light is so powerful it has the ability to destroy molecules and change DNA. It’s harmful to humans, but it’s also harmful to germs that can cause illness in humans. According to the National Institutes of Health, scientists with special lamps and prisms discovered that UV-C light can destroy bacteria as early as 1903.
French scientists developed a system that used UV light to purify water in 1908. In modern times, UV light sterilizes scientific and medical equipment and environments. More recently, it’s used as a way to disinfect indoor air.
UV air purifiers installed inside an HVAC system, commonly called UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) air purifiers, come in two different types. One type works by cleaning the AC coils and drains to prevent harmful microorganisms from growing. The other type works by passing air through a chamber where it’s exposed to high-powered UV-C light.
Residential units usually use this second type with mercury lamps in the air chamber. For the most benefit, UVGI systems also include a HEPA air filtration system. The air first passes through the filter; then, after exposure to the UV light, some systems also pass the air through a second filter.
Proper maintenance is important for any air conditioning, and professional care is even more critical for systems using UV light. Along with regular upkeep, some systems require annual UV bulb replacement.
Benefits of a UV Filtration System
Using a system with UV-C light can inactivate particles in the air such as bacteria and viruses. People with allergies and asthma can be particularly sensitive to these microbes in the air. An air filtration system that uses UV-C light can kill germs and possibly improve overall health.
Dangers of UV-C Light Exposure
UV-C light can damage almost any living organism, so it’s important to avoid exposure. This danger formerly limited its practical use, especially in a residential setting. Now, in-duct systems have safety features to prevent harm to people.
Besides damaging your eyes and skin, UV-C rays can also degrade some materials. You need a professional to install a UV system to ensure the components in your system won’t break down.
What About Ozone?
Because of the destructive power of UV-C light, some frequencies can smash oxygen gas molecules (O2) into two separate atoms. Some of these recombine with the oxygen gas to create ozone (O3). According to the EPA, ozone can bring a wide range of negative health effects, including:
- Decrease in lung function.
- Aggravation of asthma.
- Throat irritation and cough.
- Chest pain and shortness of breath.
- Inflammation of lung tissue.
- Higher susceptibility to respiratory infection.
The good news is the creation of ozone is preventable. A coating on the glass of a mercury bulb can stop the damaging high-frequency wavelengths. This is one more reason it’s so important to have a trusted company install your UV air purification system.
Installing a UV System
Because of the potential dangers of UV-C light, it’s critical to have a professional install the system. You can rely on us to safely install a UV purification system in your home or business. Call All American Heating & Cooling today to learn about all of our indoor air quality services.
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