Indoor Air Quality
Air Quality Overview
The air around you can contain all sorts of contaminants such as dirt and dust, but it can also contain live organisms, such as pollen, mold spores, bacteria, and many more. While these microbes may be impossible to see with your own eyes, they could have a serious impact on your health. This is particularly true for those who have sensitive immune systems, suffer from serious allergies, or deal with asthma or respiratory conditions.
While there may not be much you can do about the air outside, particularly during spring where warm temperatures and blooming plant life make an ideal environment for these microbes to thrive, there are things you can do to control the quality of your air inside. While air filters and humidity controllers can help, you may want to take advantage of an ultraviolet air scrubbing lamp. On this blog, we’ll explore this technology, including how it works and whether it’s the right option for you.
UV Light ?
To put it simple, an ultraviolet (UV) air scrubber is a small lamp that’s installed inside your home’s main air return vent. These small lamps can generally be wired right into your HVAC system for power, and generally need nothing more than minor attention every few years. However, the benefits of installing one of these lamps is tremendous, as they’ll almost instantly make a massive difference in your indoor air quality if you’re struggling with indoor air quality problems like mold spores, bacteria, and other microscopic airborne organisms.
HOW THEY WORK
The principle behind these lamps may seem like something out of a science-fiction movie, but the truth is they’re remarkably simple. The special bulbs they utilize emits ultraviolet light, a form of light that’s invisible to the human eye, but extremely harsh on living cells. UV light is what causes sunburns in human skin, which may seem uncomfortable, but it’s deadly to microscopic organisms. When the organisms in your indoor air pass through your return vent, they are exposed to a concentrated beam of this light, which quickly kills and neutralizes them, preventing them from multiplying, and spread, and allowing them to be more easily contained by your air filter. And any of these organisms that do get through your air filter are still essentially harmless since they can’t spread or reproduce.
It’s important to note that these scrubbers only destroy living organisms, and don’t take care of dust, dander, or other non-living forms of airborne contaminants. Therefore, they are no substitute for a good, high-quality air filter. However, when used in conjunction with a good, regularly-changed air filter, they can be remarkably effective at removing airborne microbes and improving indoor air quality.
WHY YOU NEED ONE
Do you need one of these ultraviolet air scrubbers? That depends on your situation. If you struggle with severe allergies, someone in your home has asthma or another respiratory condition, or someone in your home tends to get sick easily, then the investment may prove to be well worth it. However, if your indoor air quality is generally ok, or your primary problems consist of dust, pet dander, and other non-living material, then one of these lamps isn’t going to help you at all.
However, Florida in particular is an extremely popular market for ultraviolet air scrubbers because our environment is one that mold thrives in. Our warm, humid air makes an ideal living condition for mold, and humidity often means wet or damp locations that mold can settle in and start to spread. It’s actually not uncommon for the dark and damp conditions in your air conditioner itself (especially near your indoor coils) to become a prime settling and breeding ground for mold. Cleaning mold out of your coils can be an extremely tedious task, and even then a mold colony could spread throughout your air ducts becoming a humongous problem.
An air scrubber neutralizes this issue before it starts: by zapping the mold spores as they pass through, they can’t settle, grow, and start producing additional mold spores in your ducts and HVAC system. And it can do all of this for a relatively low cost, both in terms of annual maintenance and electricity usage.