Can UV Lights Kill Bacteria?

21 June 2022


Nobody wants bacteria growing in their air conditioning system. Not only can bacteria and germs contaminate the air and cause allergies and health risks, they can also reduce the efficiency of your overall system. Unfortunately, due to the moisture that gets trapped in ducts, your HVAC system offers the perfect location for bacteria, mould and microorganisms to sprout, grow and spread.

To help eliminate bacteria and improve the quality of their air conditioning system, more and more people are turning toward ultraviolet (UV) lights. Here’s a closer look at how these lights work and the unique benefits they bring to your home.

Can UV Lights Kill Bacteria And Germs?

Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that’s invisible to the human eye. Ranging from 0 to 400 nanometers (nn), it’s shorter than visible light but longer than X-rays. UVC light, which falls within the 280 to 220 range, is ideal for eliminating germs — this is usually the type of light used to enhance air conditioning systems.

The ability to eliminate harmful germs and bacteria through UV lights has been proven by multiple studies. In 2012, Duke University demonstrated that UV lights were capable of killing 97% of antibiotic-resistant bacteria — similarly, the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that UV light has been effective in killing viruses. Thus, it’s no surprise that this technology has been adopted into the technology sector.

Why Are UV Lights Important?

There’s no question that UV lights offer an effective way to get rid of any bacteria and mould in your air conditioning system. But are they really necessary? What happens if you decide to just let that bacteria grow?

While you may be tempted to ignore the problem, it’s important that you give it proper attention. If the bacteria and mould that grows in your air ducts aren’t taken care of, they can quickly spread and cause health-related side effects. These include:

Allergy symptoms (such as sneezing and coughing)
Viruses and infections (such as colds and coughs)
Skin reactions (such as rashes)
Even worse, many of the health problems caused by bacteria can easily spread to other people. Thus, it’s important not to let bacteria go unaddressed. It is particularly important for commercial systems to ensure they are clean and not spreading any contaminants through the air

What UV Light Systems Are Available?

There are two types of UV light installations available for air conditioning systems:

Air sanitising lights: Also known as in-duct UVC systems, these lights kill airborne germs and purify the air as it moves through return ducts.
Coil sanitising lights: Designed for central air conditioning systems with indoor coils, these lights target germ-prone areas like cooling coils and filters.
Both of these systems use UVC light to destroy bacteria that may be lingering in the ducts and air.

Are There Other Benefits of UV Lights?

If you’re hesitant about investing in UV lights, it might be helpful to learn about some of the other benefits they offer. These include:

  • Better airflow: UV lights encourage the flow of air in your system, which helps get rid of debris and prevents unfavourable odours. As an added bonus, this air is of higher quality as it’s free of contaminants.
  • Conserved energy: With the ever-growing battle against climate change, it’s important that we do what we can to help the environment. Operating more efficiently, UV light systems can reduce the amount of energy consumed.
  • Lower costs: Eliminating bacteria, UV lights help keep your system running smoothly and reduce the need for repairs and maintenance, ultimately saving costs in the long run.
  • Decreased clogging: Not only does the build-up of moisture in HVAC systems encourage bacteria growth, but it can also clog the condensate drain line and lead to water damage. By lowering moisture levels, UV lights help prevent clogs.
  • Less VOCs: Bacteria isn’t the only harmful substance you might be breathing in. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, come from things like cleaning supplies, air fresheners and paint. Fortunately, UV lights can help remove them, further ensuring the purity of your air.
  • Ultimately, UV lights keep your air clean while boosting your energy-efficiency and reducing the risk of more costly problems, such as water damage. Of course, for an effective system, you’ll need to work with a reputable company.

Get High-Quality UV Lights Installed Today!

At Advanced Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, effective ultraviolet lights designed to improve your air conditioning, airflow and overall health. Whether you have a residential or commercial property, we’re happy to look at your system and make an expert recommendation on how to enhance it. We can also handle any repair or maintenance needs that you may have. Give your air conditioning system the boost it needs by contacting our team today!

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