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Since the germicidal properties of sunlight were discovered over 100 years ago, ultraviolet (UV) light technology has been adapted for cleaning and sanitizing. Take advantage of UV light’s germ-killing properties in your Harleysville, Pennsylvania, home by installing a UV lamp on your air conditioner or air purifier. Here’s how a UV lamp protects your home from invisible, airborne invaders.

What is UV Light?

UV light is invisible to the human eye, but if we could see it, it would come after violet on the light spectrum, hence the name “ultraviolet” light. One of the ways UV light is different from the light we can see is the way its high frequency affects organisms, such as bacteria and mold. UV light can disrupt these nasties at a cellular level, making them unable to reproduce. That’s what makes UV light useful for decontamination.

There are three different wavelengths of UV light: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. Only UV-C light, which has the highest frequency, can be used to eliminate bacteria and mold.

Where does UV Light Come From?

The sun produces all three types of UV light naturally. As the sun’s rays reach the Earth, UV-A and UV-B light pass through the atmosphere, but highest frequency UV-C light is filtered out. It’s a good thing too, because UV-C light is harmful to living things. Its ability to destroy living cells is what makes it dangerous and useful at the same time.

What is a UV Lamp?

A UV lamp artificially creates UV light so it can be put to various uses, such as sterilizing and purifying. UV lamps come in many different sizes and shapes, allowing them to be used for various purposes, such as detecting counterfeit money, inspecting artwork, or by a ticket agent checking your re-entry stamp at a concert.

A UV lamp is different from a regular lamp because it’s typically made of quartz instead of glass. Inside, there is an inert gas mixed with mercury. When the lamp is plugged in, electricity reacts with the mercury, and the lamp produces UV light. The type of UV light emitted depends on the pressure inside the lamp. Not all UV lamps produce the UV-C germ-killing wavelength.

How Can a UV Lamp Benefit My Indoor Air Quality?

The coils on the HVAC equipment in your home such as an air conditioner or air purifier are prone to the buildup of harmful bacteria and mold. When these coils aren’t cleaned properly, airborne contaminants circulate into your home. This makes it uncomfortable for family members with respiratory problems, and it can aggravate allergies or asthma and also cause sickness. Using a UV lamp to sterilize the coils on your HVAC equipment has been proven to improve indoor air quality.

How is a UV Lamp Installed?

Most of the UV lamps in HVAC equipment are “stick type” lamps that can be installed inside the equipment and wired into the same electricity as the HVAC unit itself.

It is important to install the UV lamp where it will do your unit the most good. That means selecting a place where the UV light will shine directly on the unit’s coils. The parts of your HVAC unit that are not directly in the UV light will still grow contaminants.

Some HVAC units are manufactured with UV lamps already in place, but others can be retrofitted with a UV lamp. A professional HVAC technician can install a UV lamp in your HVAC equipment.

Do I Need to Maintain a UV Lamp?

The longer a UV lamp is used, the less effective its germ-killing becomes. Replacement of UV lamps in HVAC equipment is recommended every year. You can have the bulb in your UV lamp replaced at the same time as the annual maintenance on your HVAC equipment is completed.

Using a UV lamp to improve the indoor air quality in your Harleysville home is simple and effective. New Age Air provides indoor air quality solutions, including air cleaning units as well as UV lamps. Call 610-298-0271 to speak to a New Age Air representative about your indoor air quality needs today.

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