In theory, your home is your castle, the place where you’re safe from the many problems of the outside world. In practice, it doesn’t always work out that way. Even the air you breathe indoors can have a host of contaminants that can make you sick, or aggravate existing conditions like COPD, allergies, and asthma. For this reason, Medley Services offers indoor air quality solutions in the Dallas area so you can breathe easier. Some of the most innovative are ultraviolet (UV) air filters for your HVAC system.
How UV HVAC Filters Work
UV filtration and purification has been used for decades to render everything from surgical instruments to food and drinking water safe for use by and around humans. Like these tried-and-true methods, an HVAC air filter uses a shorter wavelength known as UV-C light that’s especially effective for decontamination. As the bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens pass through the light, the UV light kills them; some UV filters can also ionize air or water vapor (like indoor humidity), giving it a negative charge that boosts its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Types Of UV Air Filters
UV filters can be free-standing, or they can be installed directly in your central air system. Each has its advantages. A free-standing system can be moved from room to room, while a UV air filter that’s integrated with your central air helps to purify the air in your entire home.
Furthermore, there are two subtypes of UV filters for HVAC units. There are coil sanitizing lights that help keep indoor condenser coils free of contaminants like mold and bacteria. There are also germicidal lights that can be installed in the ductwork or near the blower motor to purify the air itself.
When it comes to ensuring good indoor air quality, there’s no single magic bullet to solve all your problems. Simple things like dusting and keeping your windows closed matter, as do professionally-installed air quality solutions.
Benefits Of UV Air Filters
Indoor air contains a startling number of contaminants. UV light won’t address all of them; CFCs, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other types of contamination require different types of filtration. However, when used in tandem with effective HVAC filters that are changed on schedule, a UV air filter is helpful.
Drawbacks Of UV Air Filters
Anything that kills pathogens depends on two key factors: the strength of the medium, and the time of exposure. On one hand, the UV lights used in an HVAC system aren’t too strong. On the other, unlike other applications that shine a UV light on something that’s immobile, like a hard surface or surgical instruments, a UV air filter is trying to sterilize something that has a high flow rate, so exposure time isn’t long at all.
Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?
None of this is to say that there’s no place for UV air filtration. Since you asked, the bottom line is yes — if you’re willing to do it properly. A UV filter won’t be enough to ensure good indoor air quality on its own. But in conjunction with a good HEPA filter (which can trap up to 99% of particulate matter), a UV filter can be an added line of defense that leads to a healthier home.
As a newer technology, the cost of UV HVAC filters is a bit higher than a standard air filter, or even HEPA filters or others with a higher MERV value. The initial cost will vary based on the type of filter and its installation. Operating costs are low, averaging $15 to $30 per year. There’s another cost involved, too. A UV light that’s burnt out, or covered with dust, won’t do much to the air one way or another, so there is maintenance and air duct cleaning involved. But since you should be relying on Medley Services for HVAC maintenance on a regular basis anyway, this really doesn’t add much by way of cost.
Home Air Filtration In Carrollton, TX: Getting Started
If you’re wondering whether a UV HVAC filter is right for your home, call Medley Services. We can conduct indoor air quality testing, evaluate your existing system and air quality solutions, and make suggestions that will improve not only your IAQ, but also your health and well-being.