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UV Light For HVAC | Benefits of Using UV Lights in an HVAC System

Updated: 4 days ago

In today's world, especially post Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring a healthy and comfortable indoor environment is more critical than ever, particularly in commercial spaces where employees and customers spend significant amounts of time.


a uv light for hvac system, ETS logo, text 'The Benefits of Using UV Lights in an HVAC system'

As business owners and facility managers strive to maintain optimal indoor air quality, UV lights have emerged as a powerful tool in the arsenal of HVAC technologies.


UV lights, particularly Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) systems, offer an effective way to combat airborne pathogens, allergens, and other contaminants, providing cleaner and safer air for occupants.


This blog will analyze the world of UV lights for commercial HVAC systems, exploring their benefits, applications, and the different types available.


Join us as we uncover the transformative potential of UV lights in creating healthier and more comfortable indoor environments for businesses of all sizes.



 

What Are UV Lights and How Do They Work?

UV lights, or ultraviolet lights, are a type of electromagnetic radiation that can kill or inactivate microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungi.


woman with hand on chin looking upward in deep thought with UV light in the background, text 'UV lights explained, what are thy and how do they work?'

UV lights have a wavelength range of 100 to 400 nanometers, and are divided into three categories: UVA, UVB, and UVC.


UVA and UVB are the types of UV rays that reach the earth's surface and can cause sunburns and skin cancer. UVC is the most germicidal type of UV light, but it is blocked by the ozone layer and does not reach the earth.


However, UVC can be artificially produced and used in various applications, such as water purification, food sterilization, and air disinfection.


UVC works by damaging the DNA and RNA of microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing and infecting other cells.


 

Benefits of Using UV Light For HVAC System


"Indoor air can be 2-5 times, even up to 100 times, more polluted than outdoor air. Americans spend 90% of the time indoors."


This is why it is so important to consider what your daily indoor environment is like and how you might be able to improve it. This is where UV-C lights really shine (pun intended).



Using UV light in commercial HVAC systems can have several benefits, such as:



Kill Microorganisms

UVC light, when properly installed, can reduce airborne pathogens , such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungi.


Reduce Allergens and Irritants

If you have ever become a victim to coughing and sneezing, it may be due to the allergens and irritants in the air. With UVC light, you can effectively reduce your exposure to these nasty repiratory antaginizers.  


This is particularly beneficial for individuals with allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues.


Reduce Spread of Illnesses


Disinfection: UVC lights disinfect the air circulated by the HVAC system. This means they kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.


Minimize Transmission: Because of their ability to disenfect, the transmission of contagious illnesses is reduced, enhancing occupant health and well-being.


A scientific study published in The Lancet was carried out accross nine hospitals in the southeastern part of the United States. They wanted to see if using UV light in the cleaning process of hospital rooms could help reduce the spread of certain hard-to-treat germs.


Over 31,000 patients were part of this study, and about 69% of them (or 21,395 patients) met all the criteria to be included in the final results.


Here’s what they found:

When UV light was added to the standard cleaning process, it helped kill more germs. In fact, there was a 30% decrease in the number of certain germs found in the rooms cleaned with UV light compared to rooms cleaned without it.


Prevent of Mold and Mildew Growth

UVC lights installed within the HVAC system can inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. These organisms thrive in damp and dark places, like the evaporator coil, drain pans, and other surfaces within the HVAC system.


Odor Reduction

UVC lights help eliminate unpleasant odors caused by the microbial growth and organic compounds in the HVAC system.


Enhance HVAC System Efficiency

By preventing the accumulation of mold and bacteria on the coils and pans, UVC lights can improve the heat transfer and airflow of the HVAC system, reducing the energy needed to cool or heat the indoor air.


Some studies have shown that UV lights can save up to 35% of the energy costs of an HVAC system.


According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), HVAC systems will consume 5.35 Quads, which is 30% of the total commercial building energy consumption, so the potential dollar savings can be significant. The EPA states "reducing energy consumption by 20% to 30% can produce savings from 6%-9% of total annual costs".


Environmental Sustainability

UVC lights offer a chemical-free and environmentally friendly solution for air and surface disinfection, promoting sustainable practices and reducing the reliance on chemical disinfectants.


Compliance with Health and Safety Standards

Installing UVC lights in HVAC systems demonstrates a commitment to maintaining high indoor air quality standards and helps ensure a safe and comfortable environment for building occupants.


Peace of Mind

Business owners can have peace of mind knowing that UVC lights provide continuous disinfection of the HVAC system, reducing the risk of microbial contamination and contributing to a cleaner and safer indoor environment.


Flexibility and Customization

UVC lights come in various configurations and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different commercial HVAC systems, offering flexibility and customization options for businesses of all sizes and industries.


Extend the life of the HVAC system

A dirty HVAC system works harder to get results.


By preventing corrosion and build up of dust and debris on the coils and pans, UVC lights can extend the life of the HVAC system and reduce the need for repairs and replacements.


 

What Types of UV Light for HVAC Does Engineered Temperature Solutions Offer and Install?



Lets take a look...


Fresh-Aire UV specializes in a variety of UV light and activated carbon air purifiers designed to improve indoor air quality in both residential and commercial settings.


fresh-aire uv logo, 'the indoor air quality expert'

Here’s a detailed summary of their Commercial UV products:


fresh-aire UV aire-foil UVC disenfection
  • Designed for upper air UVC disinfection in occupied spaces.

  • Features 15” – 60” high-output UVC lamps and is wall-mounted near ceiling height.

  • Neutralizes airborne viruses and bacteria, and uses APCO technology for odor and VOC reduction.

  • Safe for occupied spaces and produces no harmful ozone.


Commercial Core System (TUVC), Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, (UVGI), image rendering of fresh-aire uv CS core L mount in large AHU
  • Designed to improve indoor air quality by sterilizing airborne viruses, bacteria, and allergens.

  • 99.9% surface disinfection GUARANTEED.

  • Improves HVAC system efficiency.

  • Flexible installation with an advanced multi-voltage, water-resistant power supply.

  • Disinfects coil & drain pan.

  • All parts (except lamps) are covered by a lifetime warranty.


fresh-air uv blue-tube XL dual uv light system for hvac
  • Sterilizes mold, bacteria, viruses.

  • Improves indoor air quality.

  • 99.9% surface disinfection GUARANTEED (coil).

  • Improves HVAC system efficiency (coil).

  • Flexible installation with an advanced multi-voltage, water-resistant power supply.

  • Can be adjusted for multi-lamp configurations.

  • All parts (except lamps) are covered by a lifetime warranty.


fresh-aire uv tight-fit kit uv light for hvac
  • Designed for limited space applications, it brings the benefits of germicidal UV light to most fan coil units and PTACs.

  • Kills airborne viruses, mold, & bacteria.

  • Extends life of HVAC system.

  • Features a low-profile lamp on a metal shield with a mounting magnet.

  • The magnet mount allows the UV light to be located precisely for optimum UV exposure particularly where space is limited.


fresh-aire uv purity commercial filter for hvac
  • A polarized filtration system that captures the smallest particles (known as PM 2.5) down to 0.1 microns.

  • Has achieved 97% efficiency removing 0.3 micron particulates in laboratory testing.

  • Uses an polarized charge to attract and clump particles together making them easier to capture without restricting air-flow.


fresh-aire uv lights for ice machines, ice UV
  • Makes ice machine maintenance easier, safer, and more cost-effective.

  • UV-C light works continuously to sterilize viruses, mold, and other dangerous pathogens that thrive inside the dark, damp, cool interiors of ice machines.

  • Features a 2-year water-resistant germicidal UV-C lamp with a shatter-resistant Teflon® lamp coating.

  • All parts (except the lamp) are covered by a lifetime warranty.

  • The system includes a 110-277 VAC electronic power supply and a movable mounting bracket and shield.

  • Multi-lamp configurations are available for large systems.

  • The system effectively reduces health risks, liability, maintenance costs, and biological odors.


Fresh-Aire UV products are installed directly inside the central air system, ensuring that microbes and odors are eliminated as air cycles repeatedly through the system.


They are designed to protect families and businesses, extend the life of air systems, and reduce energy and maintenance costs.



Fresh-Aire UV Commercial UVC product applications include:


See which Fresh-Aire UV products are used in your industry:


Steril-Aire specializes in UVC light solutions aimed at improving air quality and providing disinfection.

sterile-aire logo

UVC for HVAC:

Steril-Aire’s UVC solutions are designed for HVAC systems to control mold, bacteria, and other biological contaminants.


hvac system AHU with uvc lights, sterile-aire uvc light solutions for hvac systems to control cold, bacteria, and other biological contaminants

They offer various products including:

  • HVAC Solutions: High-performance UVC emitters installed on the supply side of the system for effective microbial control.

  • In-Room Solutions: Portable UVC units for direct room air disinfection.

  • UVC Replacement Emitters: A wide array of germicidal replacement UVC lamps.

  • UVC Accessories: Products such as UVC Smart-Vu Sensors, Viewports, UVC Watchdogs, UVC Controllers, and various installation components.

  • Rapid Install Kits (RIKs): These kits are designed to lower energy costs by restoring heat transfer and airflow uniformity across the coils while providing airborne disinfection benefits.

Steril-Aire emphasizes the effectiveness of their UVC solutions in making environments safer, healthier, and more productive.


See which Steril-Aire UVC products are used in your industry:


The company is also ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, reflecting their commitment to quality management and environmental standards.



 

How to Choose the Right UV Lights for Your HVAC System?


how to choose uv light for hvac, engineered temperature solutions logo

Choosing the right UV lights for your HVAC system depends on several factors, such as:


Understand Your Needs

The first step in choosing the right UV light for your HVAC system is understanding your specific needs. This includes the size of your HVAC system, the specific contaminants you’re trying to eliminate, and any specific regulations your industry might have.


Research Different Types

There are different types of UV lights available, each with its own pros and cons. Some are designed to be installed in the ductwork, while others are designed to be installed near the coils. Research the different types and choose the one that best fits your needs.


Consider the Installation Process

Some UV lights are easier to install than others. Some UV light systems may also have a more complex and costly install process. If you’re planning on installing the light yourself, make sure to choose a model that is straightforward to install. If you’re hiring a professional, this might not be as big of a concern.


Check the Lifespan and Maintenance Requirements

UV lights have different lifespans and maintenance requirements. Some might need to be replaced more frequently than others. Make sure to factor in these costs when making your decision.


Consult with a Professional

It is reccommended to consult with a professional when making decisions about your HVAC system. They can provide valuable advice and help you choose the right UV-C light for your commercial or industrial space.


 

Cost Considerations of HVAC UV Lights

The cost of HVAC UV lights can vary depending on several factors, such as:


The type and quality of the UV lights:

The type and quality of the UV lights can affect the cost, such as the wattage, wavelength, lamp type, ballast type, and housing type.


In most cases, coil sterilization UV lights are cheaper than air sterilization UV lights, and low-pressure mercury lamps are cheaper than high-intensity lamps.


The size and complexity of the installation:

The size and complexity of the installation can affect the cost, such as the number, location, and configuration of the UV lights, and the compatibility and accessibility of the HVAC system.


Generally, the more UV lights you need and the more complicated the installation is, the higher the cost will be.


The operating and maintenance costs:

Electricity consumption, lamp replacement, and cleaning of the UVC lights are all factors of overall cost.


The higher the wattage and the shorter the lifespan of the UV lights, the higher the operating and maintenance costs will be.


According to some estimates, the average cost of HVAC UVC lights can range from $300 to $2,000, depending on the factors mentioned above.


 

Conclusion

UV lights offer a transformative solution for commercial building owners seeking to enhance indoor air quality and optimize HVAC system efficiency.


With the ability to neutralize harmful pathogens, reduce mold and mildew growth, and improve system performance, UV lights are a cost-effective investment in the health, comfort, and sustainability of your business environment.


By harnessing the power of UV technology, businesses can create safer, healthier spaces for employees and customers alike, while also minimizing energy consumption and maintenance requirements.


Embracing UV lights in your HVAC system represents a proactive step towards achieving cleaner, more efficient indoor air and ensuring the long-term success of your business.


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Click on banner to contact Engineered Temperature Solutions for a FREE quote!

 

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