As builders and engineers find ways to keep our houses virtually airtight in order to save energy, at the same time our HVAC systems have become compromised. While you do not want a house that leaks cool air and lets in heat, you also need to be able to breathe clean air, which is difficult to achieve in an air-tight home. Once introduced, contaminants in air ducts are harder to expel. They must be either removed, or procedures have to be followed for better ventilation and a germicidic approach.
Dirt and dust trapped in a home’s air duct system can be removed quite easily with a full duct cleaning service. However, that buildup, along with trapped moisture, creates the perfect breeding ground for contaminants like bacteria, mold and mildew. While your air ducts do not need cleaning all the time (once every five years is recommended) how you deal with contaminants in between cleanings will determine how pristine your air will be. On a regular basis, it is good practice to vacuum and wash your house, reduce ways that dust and dirt are let in, install high-quality filters and clean those often. But, these procedures may not be enough to address the problem of airborne germs. That is where UV lights can help.
HVAC ultraviolet lights are lights that kill surface mold, mildew, bacteria and germs. They effectively reduce the amount of these types of contaminants in your duct systems, thereby reducing sicknesses caused by such contaminants, reducing smell and odors, maintaining a cleaner coil and improving HVAC efficiency. There are two standard types of UV lights: the coil sterilization light and the air sterilization light. The coil light is installed inside the return air duct, sterilizing the air handler coil. Contaminant growth almost always starts at the coil, spreading outward. The air light sterilizes the moving air and is installed in the return air duct, cycling on with the air handler blower.
UV lights of course work best in combination with other good indoor air quality practices, such as the ones mentioned above. UV lights are corrosive to some materials that may be in your duct system such as non-UV stabilized plastics and flex ducts, so be sure to research your materials.
To learn more about installing UV lights, reach out to air duct cleaning expert Carlton Mills, Ductz.