Ultraviolet Purifiers/UV Air Filtration
If you are susceptible to suffering from allergies related to indoor allergens like mold and bacteria, or just want to be sure the air flowing through your home’s heating and air conditioning systems are as clean and safe as possible for you and your family, an ultraviolet, or UV, germicidal lamp is a great way to keep those harmful contaminants from entering the air in your home.
An ultraviolet purifier is one of the best ways to promote long-term health by keeping indoor air pure and free of contaminants as well as germs, bacteria, and other microbes. A good furnace filter is a must‐have for your heating and cooling system and is a great start to catching dust, mold particles, mold spores, and pollen. However, most filters can’t catch the smaller airborne viruses and bacteria. Ultraviolet air cleaners can effectively remove these contaminants from your home. In this way, a UV air cleaner allows your family to enjoy a healthier environment. This is especially beneficial if any of your family members suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems.
Germicidal UV is a specific type of ultraviolet light (253.7nm wavelength). It won’t keep you from getting a cold or respiratory infection through direct person‐to‐person contact, but it is known to kill airborne germs that transmit infections from person‐to‐person within buildings.
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How does a Ultraviolet Purifiers/UV Air Filtration work?
The intricacy of UV filters can be different, but the general concept of all UV air purifiers is essentially the same. You’ll find that any in-duct UV filter is simply a light bulb in a box. What’s most important is how well designed that light bulb and box are. All UV purifiers use ultraviolet light. UV light is a very broad range of electromagnetic frequencies of light. The light used in standard germicidal lamps emits Ultraviolet C (UVC) light. UVC light is a shorter wavelength of light which cannot penetrate through the Earth’s ozone layer. Since UVC light can’t make it through the earth’s atmosphere, we’re protected from UVC emitted by the sun. Research shows that UVC light can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissue. By placing a specialized UVC-generating lamp inside the ductwork of your home you can disinfect the air as it passes through the system. Many of these systems have the added benefit of disinfecting surfaces which commonly trap moisture, if installed in a way that exposes those surfaces to the light.
Are there dangers associated with using UV Purifiers?
Mild UV light exposure, like that used for air quality improvement purposes, has no negative side effects, and germicidal UV is aimed at the upper room air so that only airborne microbes are directly exposed. Room occupants are exposed only to low levels of reflected UV—levels below that known to cause eye irritation or other side effects. Germicidal UV has been used safely and effectively in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories for more than sixty years.
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