Using Light As An Air Purifier
Mold, bacteria, allergens, viruses and germs, chemicals, VOC's, formaldehyde, cigarette smoke, diesel fumes, cooking & pet odors, and thousands of other contaminants.
The amazing abilities of the UV air purifiers are quite simply undeniable, but is the same ultra-violet light technology useful when it comes to purifying your ducts?
UV air purifiers have been getting a lot of attention lately - and for good reason. UV light is a natural air purifier, capable of killing yeasts, molds, and viruses. In addition, this natural purifier is available for free because it is found in the sun. But, nowadays, and to our detriment, too many people live indoors - not out in the sun! Therefore, the trick is finding a way to use this naturally occurring air purifier in the home. This is where UV air purifiers come in to play. These air purifiers can help to detoxify the air in your home, although it is important to note that they won't remove particles from the air.
More About UV Light
UV light is one of the wavelengths emitted naturally by the sun. Although these waves are invisible to the human eye, they are all around us outside. As the sun emits these waves, they radiate pollutants in the air.
Air purifiers that utilize filters, such as HEPA and carbon filters, work by removing solids such as allergens, pet dander, and dust.
Ionizing and ozone air purifiers work by using magnetism and oxygen atoms to remove odours and smoke from the air.
UV light air purifiers, on the other hand, work by killing yeasts, molds, viruses, and bacteria that may remain in the air. Unfortunately, UV air purifiers on their own will not take care of dust, allergens, or solids in the air.
The Amazing World of UV Light
UV-C wavelength destroys viruses, molds, bacteria, mildew, yeast, and algae by breaking through the microbe and causing its death. In addition to killing the common cold and influenza germs, UV air purifiers also kill more powerful diseases like anthrax and smallpox.
Taking Advantage of UV Air Purifiers in Your Ducts
Ultra-violet air purifiers are usually installed in metal air duct systems, as exposure of UV light to eyes is very harmful. The faster and more often the air system is circulating, the more effective the UV air purifier will be. There are plug-in air purifier models available that make use of multiple filter systems (HEPA and carbon) in addition to a UV light stage.
Multiple filter + UV stage air purifier models start at about $600. Air duct installed systems, usually offering UV only or a UV / HEPA combination, start around $300 with an average model costing $700 plus installation. Unlike most other purification systems, UV air purifiers have no odour and are silent, though there is noise inherent in running forced air through a home or office.
Light bulbs usually need to be replaced every 15 months or so if the UV air purifier is run 24 hours a day.
Just Ask the Professionals about the UV Air Purifier
"...ultraviolet radiation, properly integrated with heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, shows the most promise as a widely applicable means of air disinfection." Richard Riley, M.D. United States
Government buildings, including schools and hospitals, are required to have UV air purifiers installed in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) systems.
Designed to be installed in the return or supply plenum, as the airflow passes through the UV tubes, the process destroys the contaminants that would otherwise have been distributed throughout the ventilation system.
Drawbacks to UV Light
There are some situations that would render a UV light air purifier virtually useless. If the air doesn't circulate in a room or building, or if the air circulates very slowly, a UV light purifier won't be able to do its job. This is because UV light can only kill contaminates that are very, very close to the light bulb. A UV bulb is only 60 percent efficient at 0.4 inches from the bulb and only 20 percent effective at 2 inches from the bulb.