Ultraviolet Purifiers/UV Air Filtration
One potential problem with your heating and cooling system is that mold and bacteria may actually be growing in the moist areas of your system. For example, your air conditioning coils may be hosting mold and bacteria that are making their way into your family’s air. An ultraviolet, or UV, germicidal lamp is a great way to kill these pollutants.
One of the best ways to promote long-term health is to keep indoor air pure and free of contaminates as well as germs, bacteria, and other microbes. A good filter is a must‐have for your heating and cooling system and is a great start to catching dust, mold particles, mold spores, and pollen. However, most filters can’t catch the smaller airborne viruses and bacteria. When it comes to choosing an air purifier and filtration system that will deal with these microscopic organisms, a filter that provides UV air purification may be the best choice to meet your needs. Ultraviolet air cleaners can effectively remove these contaminants from your home. In this way, a UV air cleaner allows your family to enjoy a healthier environment. This is especially beneficial if any of your family members suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems.
Germicidal UV is a specific type of ultraviolet light (253.7nm wavelength). It does not prevent transmission of infections—like colds—through direct person‐to‐person contact, but it is known to kill airborne germs that transmit infections from person‐to‐person within buildings.
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How Do UV Purifiers Work?
The intricacy of a UV filter can be different, depending on how advanced it is, but in the end you’ll find that any in-duct UV filter is simply a light bulb in a box. The important thing is how well designed that light bulb and box are. Ultraviolet light is a very broad range of electromagnetic frequencies of light. The light used in standard in germicidal lamps emits Ultraviolet C (UVC) light. UVC light is a shorter wavelength of light which cannot penetrate through the Earth’s ozone layer. Because of this, we’re protected from UVC emitted by the sun. UVC light damages cells, leading to the inactivation of smaller organisms. By placing a specialized UVC-generating lamp inside the ductwork of your home you can disinfect the air as it passes through the system. Many of these systems have the added benefit of disinfecting surfaces which commonly trap moisture, if installed in a way that exposes those surfaces to the light.
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Are Ultraviolet Purifiers Safe to Use?
Mild UV light exposure, like that used for air quality improvement purposes, has no negative side effects, and germicidal UV is aimed at the upper room air so that only airborne microbes are directly exposed. Room occupants are exposed only to low levels of reflected UV—levels below that known to cause eye irritation or other side effects. Germicidal UV has been used safely and effectively in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories for more than sixty years.
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