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How Do UV Air Scrubbers Work?

It might amaze you what is actually floating in the air around you. Dust, pet dander, and so many other pieces of debris might be present in addition to a number of actually living creatures and organisms. These organisms are known as microbes, or microscopic biological organisms, and they can have a significant impact on your air quality, and thus your health and well-being throughout your day-to-day life. Microbes can include larger particles like mold spores, dust mites, and pollen particles as well as small particles, including single-celled germs like bacteria and viruses. Using the help of your HVAC system, these particles can spread quickly throughout your home, and they are often able to pass clean through air filters because they are significantly smaller than the holes in the average filter that allow air to pass.

What Is a UV Air Scrubber?

How can you take care of this problem? There are many ways, but one of the most common and popular is with a UV air scrubber system. A UV air scrubber is a small, compact lamp that uses a specialized bulb to emit a high concentration of specialized light into your HVAC duct network. These are typically installed either immediately before or after your condenser coil, ensuring they irradiate all of the air that passes through your HVAC system before it is distributed throughout your home.

The specialized light that these lamps emit is known as ultraviolet light, or UV light for short. UV light is extremely harsh—with its extremely short wavelength, it has the ability to pass clean through many small living organisms and can even mess with the genetic code of these microbes themselves. In fact, UV light is actually emitted from the sun overhead, and is the type of light that causes painful sunburns in those of us who have pale complexions. However, rest assured that your UV air scrubber won’t cause your skin to burn because the radiation from these specialized lights is filtered and only uses wavelengths that are safe for household use.

How UV Air Scrubbers Work

As we mentioned, a UV air scrubber is typically installed either on the entrance or exit to your indoor air conditioning unit. The air scrubber is wired to turn on when your blower fan turns on, meaning it shuts off when your system shuts off, saving on bulb life and energy costs. As the air is forced through your HVAC system, it has to pass by this specialized lamp. Any microbes in the air are carried past this lamp as a result, and that means they will be subjected to a brief but incredibly strong blast of radiation that will most likely be fatal for them. Depending on the size of the microbe and the amount of radiation it receives, most microbes are either destroyed entirely, irreparably damaged to the point where they die within seconds of moving through, or some even have their DNA sequence scrambled, creating a microbe that can no longer reproduce and can no longer harm you or anyone else either. These organisms are then entirely inert and die shortly after.

Why Invest in an Air Scrubber?

Why should you make the choice to invest in an air scrubber system? That’s an easy answer: because they can radically improve your quality of life, especially if you struggle with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory or immune system conditions that could jeopardize your health. The average American home has some fairly nasty air—several times worse than the quality of the air outside—and any steps you can take to rectify that problem will only lead to better health and wellness.

Air scrubbers take care of a lot of airborne particles that are genuinely harmful, such as bacteria and viruses. Airborne disease transmission is a problem in homes, and modern HVAC equipment unfortunately helps with spreading illness by passing germs efficiently and effectively through large spaces. Because most homes don’t have an air filter that eliminates microbes, a secondary source of disinfecting is the best way to do it. And unlike disinfecting sprays, UV air scrubbers don’t add any VOCs or other chemicals to your air.

It is important to point out that UV air scrubbers are not perfect. In fact, even the best air scrubbers on the market these days can only eliminate roughly 80 percent of all microbe concentrations in the air in a single pass. However, with sustained use over time, an air scrubber can and will dramatically improve your air quality and your health.

Find out more about installing a UV air scrubber system in your home today! Contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC at (770) 268-2422 to learn more.