UV Lights: What Kind of Maintenance Is Required?

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November 28, 2013

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UV Lights: What Kind of Maintenance Is Required?UV lights shine brightly against airborne pathogens that infiltrate your home’s heating and cooling system. Hospitals and other medical facilities have long utilized the disinfecting power of certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light to sterilize air and surfaces.

While conventional air filters remove inorganic particulates such as dust – the stuff you can actually see floating around – living microorganisms such as mold spores, viruses, mildew and other bacteria are often too small to be captured by standard filter media. These pathogens, commonly associated with allergic responses, respiratory illnesses and other physical symptoms, may even form a breeding ground inside the filter itself and continue to thrive, dispersing millions of spores into circulating air.

Exposure to UV lights neutralizes toxic microorganisms by disrupting their DNA and interfering with reproduction. Installed by an HVAC professional inside your ductwork, ultraviolet lamps expose microorganisms in the airflow passing through the ducts to germicidal levels of UV light.

Because the total volume of air in your home circulates through the ducts multiple times per day, continuous sanitizing is ensured. A UV lamp can also be placed at the A/C evaporator coil, a frequent focus of mold contamination that can even obstruct system airflow, to provide constant disinfection.

For maximum effectiveness, replacement and maintenance requirements of UV lights is more stringent than a standard light bulb. While a UV lamp will still generate light for as long as a standard fluorescent bulb, it’s germicidal effectiveness begins to decline after about 9,000 hours – an average year’s use. Annual lamp changes are therefore recommended, particularly for lamps installed in airflow. Lamps installed at the evaporator coil are generally effective for up to two years.

Also, keep these maintenance tips in mind:

  • Keep lamps free of dust that diminishes the potency of ultraviolet emissions by wiping them every six months with a clean cloth.
  • Avoid touching UV lamp surfaces. Fingerprints contain oil that diminishes UV output and may cause the lamp to heat unevenly.

For more advice about UV lights and how they can safeguard your home’s air quality, contact the professionals at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning. We've been serving Fort Wayne and surrounding communities since 1963.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about UV lights and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

New Haven , Fort Wayne area , indoor air quality , indiana , preventative maintenance , uv lights , A/C evaporator coil , airborne pathogens


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