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UV Lights 101: Improving IAQ

UV Lights 101: Improving IAQInstalling UV lights in your home’s HVAC equipment solves two of the most common problems Floridians experience during the prolonged, hot summers: deteriorating indoor air quality (IAQ) and high energy bills. These lights keep the indoor air cleaner and prevent the growth of mold and biofilms inside the HVAC system that lower its energy efficiency.

Placement

You can use the lights inside the ductwork to sanitize the air that flows through them and/or inside the air handler near the evaporator coil. This coil houses the refrigerant that removes the heat from your home when the A/C runs. Water vapor condenses on the coil as a byproduct of cooling and it provides a suitable environment for mold and biofilm growth. A dirty coil uses much more energy.

How They Work

Contact with UV light damages the outer shells of mold spores, bacteria and viruses. As a consequence, their DNA is damaged and they won’t be able to reproduce. These lights are used in hospitals and clinics to reduce the threat of infectious diseases.

Placed inside the HVAC system, they offer the same protections against disease transmission and prevent the spread of mold, which can cause costly damage and impair health.

VOCs and UV Exposure

The lights also provide an effective way to reduce the toxicity of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the indoor air. VOCs come from everyday products used for cleaning, home renovation, laundry, and personal use.

Sensitivity to VOCs varies among people. Some people don’t react at all, while others develop severe reactions that include nerve damage, cancer, or organ damage.

VOCs build in tightly closed homes and the only ways to prevent their concentrations is to avoid the products altogether, grow VOC-absorbing plants, or provide fresh air through ventilation. UV lights won’t change the amount of VOCs in the air, but they will alter their structures to make them less toxic.

Putting UV lights in your HVAC system is a cost-effective way to improve IAQ and lower cooling bills. For more information, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing HVAC services for Orlando-area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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