Written by Brad Crawford
IAQ, or indoor air quality, is a significant health issue for an American population that spends most of its time indoors. In many cases, the air filter in your HVAC system or a more advanced air filtration device takes care of removing solid particulates such as dust, pollen, fibers, animal dander, and other contributors to allergies and respiratory problems. However, getting rid of particles is only one aspect of effective IAQ and contaminant control. Air also contains living organisms such as viruses, germs, bacteria, fungi and mold spores that can cause disease and severe physical discomfort. To keep these health hazards under control and ensure the best IAQ possible, it’s a good idea to add ultraviolet (UV) lights to your existing HVAC system.
UV lights are extremely powerful disinfectants that can kill biological contaminants and micro-organisms in your indoor air. While ultraviolet light cannot be seen by the human eye, it’s still highly effective. In current applications, UV lights are used in places where a clean, sterile environment is critical, such as hospitals, food production facilities and manufacturing plants. UV light is a form of radiation that is highly effective at eliminating the micro-organisms that can cause infection, disease and related medical issues.
In residential settings, UV light systems are installed in conjunction with your forced-air heating or cooling system. The light units are mounted within the ductwork so that all of the air circulating through your HVAC equipment can be exposed to the UV light. When micro-organisms are exposed to the UV light, it kills many of them outright. In the ones that aren’t killed, the light causes severe damage to the organisms’ DNA, the genetic material necessary for reproduction. With their DNA destroyed, micro-organisms cannot establish a population and reproduce in your home or in your body, where they cause disease and discomfort. When these biological contaminants are removed from your home’s environment, your IAQ will be dramatically improved.
Remember that direct exposure to UV light is necessary for it to be effective. You’ll want to leave installation of UV light disinfectant systems to your local trusted indoor air quality expert. UV light is most effective against germs, bacteria and mold, though it has no effect on non-organic particles. An additional air filtration or purification system is recommended to achieve the highest possible level of IAQ.
Crawford Services, Inc. is a leading source of HVAC and indoor air quality services in the Dallas area. Contact us today for more information on improving IAQ and how UV light can dramatically boost indoor air quality by removing potentially harmful micro-organisms.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in North Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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