How Does a UV Air Purification System Work?

No matter the time of year, you and your family deserve to breathe in pure, clean air. Sometimes you can accomplish this by just opening a window, but for the rest of the time (and when pollen counts are high), your best bet is choosing a UV air purification system for your home.

What is a UV air purification system?

UV air purification systems use short-wave ultraviolet light, also known as UV-C light, to degrade airborne pathogens like mold, mildew, bacteria, and viruses.

When installed in your home as a part of your HVAC system, air is forced through these systems where it passes by the UV-C lamps that in turn disinfect the passing air via germicidal irradiation. This isn’t as scary as it sounds — all it is is the UV light disrupting the DNA of unwanted pathogens by destroying their nucleic acids and disrupting their ability to reproduce.

Essentially, these systems make it so the stuff you don’t want infecting your air can’t spread, leading to better overall home air quality.

What are the benefits of a UV air purification system?

There are plenty of benefits that come with installing a whole home UV air purification system–most of which involve helping you and your family feel, breathe, and sleep better.

  • They help alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms. Breathing cleaner air means alleviation of breathing-related health issues. Fewer allergens floating around your home means less time spent sneezing and sniffling.
  • They reduce mold-related health risks. UV-C light is particularly effective at destroying mold cells. Exposure to mold can lead to a number of health risks like sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, runny noses, and more.
  • They make everything smell better. We’ll cover exactly how they do this below.
  • They improve your sleep. Cleaner air circulated in your home makes it easier to take deep, restful breaths while asleep. The better you breathe while sleeping, the deeper you sleep.
  • They’re less hassle than standard air purifiers. UV bulb replacements are needed about once per year, while traditional air filters need to be changed six times as often.

While not a bonus for all UV air purification systems, ones purchased from Sedgwick Heating come with our proven service warranties and 24-hour repair assistance.

Does UV light deodorize?

Yes, UV light can remove odors from the air by degrading the outer shells of bacteria and mold spores, removing their ability to reproduce and limiting their ability to infest your home with unpleasant smells.

Is UV light safe?

You’ll find some information online claiming that using UV light is dangerous due to the risk of ozone production. This is only partially true. Some (not all) UV-C lights emit ozone, but all levels are beneath federally mandated limits. Other things in your day to day life that emit similar levels of ozone include fluorescent lamps, electric motors, and your refrigerator.

That doesn’t mean ozone doesn’t pose health risks if left unregulated. However, those risks don’t apply to the type of lights you’ll find in a typical home UV air purification system.

How long does it take UV light to kill mold?

UV light is capable of killing any mold or mildew growing in your home HVAC system within a couple hours.

It kills the mold via electromagnetic radiation, the short wavelength frequencies acting as a germicide by penetrating the mold cells and killing them off until they’re no longer able to reproduce.

Are UV air purifiers worth it?

Yes, UV air purifiers are worth it. Because they use UV-C light, they don’t run the same risks faced from UV-A or UV-B radiation. Instead, they offer improved air quality and energy savings through their efficient, easy-to-maintain design.

Depending on your budget and air quality sensitivity, you have two main options to choose from: whole home UV air purification systems or hybrid ones.

Whole home UV air purification systems, including installation, typically cost between $400 and $800. Replacement UV bulbs cost an additional 20 to 50 dollars, but are on average only needed once per year.
UV light hybrid filter systems cost more, but they trade off the cost with their ability to capture the smallest particles. These systems combine the germ-killing power of UV light with the mechanical filter’s ability to capture dust, danger, and other particles. One of these units, plus installation, typically costs between $1,200 and $3,000. The average homeowner might not necessarily need the power provided by these units, but we always recommend them for those who suffer from severe allergies or respiratory illness.

Pssst–did you know that we offer featured specials for homeowners interested in our services but concerned about budget?

Interested in breathing a little deeper the next time you step through your front door? Let’s work together to make sure you and your family have the best home air quality available to you. Contact us at Sedgwick to talk to one of our experts about the ideal air purification solution for your unique home.

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