The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus has everybody in a spin. To make matters worse, the WHO or the World Health Organization has now indicated that there are signs of airborne transmission. In such dire and trying times, everybody wants to make the air they breathe as safe as possible, especially in their homes. The newest rage is, therefore, the germicidal UV lights.
UV Lights As A Sterilization Solution
Ultra Violet literally means “beyond violet”. It is a type of electromagnetic radiation that has a short wavelength, but high frequency as compared to the visible violet light. The Ultra Violet light is divided into three types, each with higher frequency or energy, and reducing wavelength. These are:
As a sterilization solution, only UVC has sufficiently high energy to kill microorganisms. Its range is between 100nm to 280nm.
How Does UVC Sterilize?
UV sterilization is known by a few other names like UV disinfection and UVGI or Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). It works by destroying the chemical bonds in a molecule, such that the DNA structure along with the RNA and proteins get scrambled. The result is that the microorganism can no longer multiply. Since it cannot proliferate inside the host, it is considered dead. Dead meaning no longer infectious.
How Long Does It Take For Germicidal UV Lights To Disinfect?
Rendering the microorganism sterile by exposure to germicidal UV lights depends on a number of factors. These are:
1. The total energy is applied.
2. The length of the exposure (timewise).
3. The distance from the source of light.
The closer the light source, the lesser time it takes to disinfect. Let us try and understand this little fact with an example. If you want to sterilize a biohazard suit and hang it in a cabinet with UVC lights installed on its roof. The top of the suit will disinfect faster than the bottom of the suit. It will have to stay longer in the cabinet to sterilize the bottom half of the biohazard suit.
Advantages Of UV Sterilization
1. Highly Effective – Disinfection via germicidal UV lights is the most effective form of sterilization known to mankind. So much so that it is used in hospitals to disinfect materials and equipment. Nowadays, even the hospitality industry, care homes, and salons embrace these to sanitize and decontaminate its paraphernalia.
2. Leaves No Residue Behind – Disinfection using UV lights does not involve the use of any chemicals. So, one need not touch any hazardous materials. Additionally, it does not leave behind any byproducts or residue. Therefore, no further cleaning is required.
Disadvantages Of UV Lights
1. Dangerous To Humans – Exposure to UV lights is dangerous to humans. It can cause a variety of diseases, from skin ailments to skin cancer. Hence, special shields, rooms or cabinets are used for decontamination.
2. Costly As Compared To Popular Disinfectants – Off-the-shelf disinfectants are cheaper than the UV lights. Also, an entire set up is needed to limit self-exposure to it. Needless to say, the entire package is an expensive deal and not everybody’s cup of tea.
Germicidal UV Lights – An Effective Home Sterilization Tool
UV lights are, without any doubt, effective in killing a variety of pathogens. In homes, it is not possible to direct the light on all the surfaces. So, the next best option is to sanitize the air that acts as a carrier to these pathogens. The two popular ways in which the UV lights are used in homes are:
1. Stand Alone Air Purifiers With UV Lights – One can place individual air purifiers with UV lights in each room. The filters in the purifier will trap the impurities suspended in the air that passes through it. The UV light will destroy them along with bacteria and viruses that escape the filters.
2. UV Lights Mounted In The HVAC Unit – This is perhaps the most sought after way to sterilize the air inside the homes. The UV lamp is mounted inside the air handler facing the evaporator coil (Coil Sterilization UV Lights) or installed inside the return air duct (Air Sterilization UV Lights). Primarily, it disinfects the air that passes through along with the surfaces that fall within the path of the light. So, the air that enters the home is pure and clean.
How Do UV Lights Help In Homes?
UV lights kill the microorganisms or pathogens present in the circulating air and drastically reduce your chances of falling ill due to exposure. It also kills the mold spores and prevents the buildup of mold within the HVAC system, the ductwork, and elsewhere in the home. All in all, it improves the indoor air quality, and its effect can be felt by the good health enjoyed by the family.
The UV lights also neutralize the VOCs or the Volatile Organic Compounds, and so you will see a distinct fall in breathing troubles. Additionally, it also acts as an air freshener by removing the odors from the house.
Who Can Install The UV Lights In HVAC?
Installation of the UV lights is a straightforward process. Yet, we advise that only a trained HVAC technician should do it. It is because its accurate positioning is crucial to disinfecting the air in your home. You wouldn’t want to take any chances with that.
By and large, breathing clean and healthy air is important for our health. However, with rampant pollution outdoors and numerous bacteria and viruses present in the air, clean air is almost unheard of. In times like today, when a pandemic is on the loose, it is most sensible to employ all resources available to make the air inside our homes safe. Employing germicidal UV lights is a big step in the right direction. With their help, we can make our homes a safe haven.
If you wish to further discuss the air purifying and sterilizing solutions for your home, call the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning. Call today at +1-888-729-8452 to book an appointment.