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UV Sanitizers: Do They Work?

Many of us wonder if UV light air cleaning systems installed in central air conditioning ducts really work. Do they kill bacteria, mold, mildew, odors, filter the air, etc., or is it just a bunch of…marketing? Let’s take a deeper look.

How UV Air Purifiers Work

The main factors to the effectiveness of UV light include:

  • Length of time to which the pathogens are exposed to the UV-C light. RXAIR uses a powerful fan to bring air in, but then it uses its patented Viratech technology to slow the air down once in the kill chamber.
  • The intensity of the ultraviolet germicidal light kills the pathogens as they move through the chamber.
  • The proximity of the pathogen to the light is another advantage that RXAIR has as the Viratech chamber is specially designed to keep harmful bacteria and viruses in close contact to the UV-C light.
  • What is more important - how many times the air in a given space is circulated through an air purifier in an hour. RXAIR can clean a large room upwards of 800 sq. ft. up to six times in an hour.

Types of HVAC UV Lights

There are two types of UV lights:

  • Coil Sterilization – A “stick type” light installed inside the return air duct near that sterilizes the air handler coil. A coil sterilization UV light runs 24/7 and is the most common type of HVAC UV light. It is also most reasonably priced.
  • Air Sterilization – A complete UV light unit that sterilizes moving air. The UV light unit is installed in the return air duct and cycles on with the air handler blower.

Advantages

HVAC UV lights:

  • Control mold and bacteria
  • Reduce colds and flus – germs are not re-circulated by HVAC system
  • Reduce smells / odors
  • Remove VOCs
  • Are more effective in humid climates than dry climates
  • Reduces clogging in condensate drain lines by preventing algae growth.
  • Maintain a cleaner coil, improving cooling efficiency and reducing electricity costs.

Disadvantages

HVAC UV Lights:

  • Don’t clean flowing air unless air sterilization UV lights are installed
  • Destroy non-UV stabilized plastics in the air handler. Only items in the line of sight are affected
  • May eat the drain pan in 3-5 years
  • May eat flex duct in as little as 2 years

HVAC UV lights are an effective means for improving indoor air quality, but only after following the indoor air quality priorities. Install an HVAC UV light and experience healthier indoor air quality.

UV has been proven under numerous studies for its ability to destroy the DNA of germs: viruses, mold, spores, fungi, and bacteria. It works at different levels depending on what one wants to accomplish.

In the commercial world, i.e. hospitals, clean rooms and food processing plants, the objective would be to have instantaneous kill. Therefore, UV lights would blanket the air passage system and the airflow directed over and between lamps, which provide for maximum kill of air pollutants. This process is expensive.

In residential applications, the objective is to create a cost effective and continuous method of cleaning the air. The kill rate of air pollutants is a function of space, time and the intensity of UV. Because UV has been proven to work in a cumulative manner, the polluted air is cleaned over time and subsequent passages over the UV lamp - the same way like we wash our hands more than once a day to periodically get rid of germs. Germs are constantly growing in our indoor environment and pollute the air we breathe. UV technology gives us the opportunity to clean the indoor air continuously in a cost effective manner.