Ultraviolet (UV) light is commonly used to sterilize HVAC systems. UV destroys bacteria, mold, and other contaminants often found in these systems. Cleaning your building’s HVAC system is not only beneficial to the health of your occupants, but it keeps the system running smoothly.
UV may be applied to a system’s drain pipes or ducts, but another excellent use of UV is for cleaning the cooling coils.
How UV Works on Coils
Cooling coils are a central part of an HVAC system. When contaminants build up, pressure drops and the building’s temperature rises.
Cleaning these coils is necessary to restore your system to optimal function, but the process of cleaning is normally a hassle. Traditional cleaning methods may involve pressure washing, which is not only time-consuming but may not destroy all contaminants.
When a UV light is installed in an HVAC system, it enters through the air handler and moves throughout the system. When it reaches the cooling coils, it quickly destroys contaminants like mold and bacteria. This is much easier, and much more efficient, than pressure washing your coils.
The Downsides to UV Systems
While UV is an excellent tool for keeping your HVAC system clean and operational, it’s not without its downsides. Be aware of these as you consider installing a UV system:
- Upfront costs. UV lights aren’t usually expensive, but there are additional costs, such as installation and bulb replacement. However, they save on time and energy, and there are do-it-yourself options for installation.
- Limitations. While UV light is highly effective at killing some contaminants, such as bacteria and mold, it’s not a replacement for filters.
- Radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is dangerous to humans, so UV lights should be turned off while they’re being cleaned. However, you won’t be exposed to radiation on a regular basis with UV systems.
The Bottom Line
There are pros and cons to every system, and UV is no exception, but the benefits certainly seem to outweigh the problems. UV systems can save you a lot of time and energy.