Many home and business owners have always sought to create clean, pollutant-free indoor air. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus on indoor air quality has grown with worries of the virus’s aerosolized version floating through the air. If you’ve experienced this concern, you’re not alone. The market for air purifiers has grown 9% a year since 2015, and it is expected to grow 10.8% a year now through 2023. In short: Many people are seeking ways to improve indoor air quality.

Installing a UV air purifier in your home or office space is a chief way to do this. For more than a hundred years, ultraviolet light (UV) light has been used in a variety of contexts to disinfect water, surfaces, and the air. UV air purifiers use UV-C light (more on that in a moment) to inactivate airborne pathogens and microorganisms, including mold, bacteria, and viruses. They work by eradicating these particles.

What’s UV-C light?

Ultraviolet light photons vibrate at a frequency that you cannot feel or see. These powerful light waves are the ones responsible for your sunburn when you stay outside too long or forget to apply sunscreen. Among the three commonly recognized ultraviolet light varieties, UV-C’s photons vibrate the fastest and carry the most energy. Exposure to this type of light can cause eye and skin damage to humans; however, the light is mostly used for its industrial use in disinfecting and sterilizing. Hospitals, kitchens, meat processing plants, laboratories, and municipal water treatment plants have all used it as a method to disinfect surfaces and water.

How do the UV air purifiers work?

UV air purifiers work by bombarding molecules with UV-C light. Pathogens are highly susceptible to the energy from the UV-C light, which ultimately damages and destroys the DNA the microorganisms need to live. This is particularly true of bacteria, since they are only one cell and can easily be rendered harmless. Because the UV-C light is contained within the air filter unit, the light doesn’t pose any heath risks.

UV air filters, like the Sanuvox that Aztec Mechanical installs, are even more effective when exposing the air to light for longer periods of time. In this model, contaminated air enters the purifier and passes a J-shaped lamp that increases the air’s contact time with UV energy. First, the UV-V section of the lamp destroys odor-causing particles and volatile organic compounds, like those that off-gas from paint and new furniture. Then, the germicidal section of the lamp destroys the biological contaminants from the air before releasing clean air into your home or office space.

What are the benefits of UV air purifiers?

UV air filters have been shown to effectively eradicate viruses, including multiple coronavirus strains; the flu (including H1N1); MRSA; strep; tuberculosis; and the measles. They have also been shown to inactivate bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungi through their unique ability to break down these microorganisms’ DNA. UV filters also reduce odors and remove indoor air pollutants, including smoke, which is particularly important during the summer wildfire season. They may also be effective against dust mites and mold, common household allergens. Overall, they may also benefit those with asthma and/or people with compromised respiratory systems. Many UV filters work in conjunction with HEPA filters for maximum results.

How can Aztec Mechanical help?

As full-service HVAC experts for home and commercial properties, Aztec Mechanical can retrofit your existing system with an UV air purifier. Additionally, if you’re building a system from scratch, as design/build experts, we can create an HVAC system that works for your needs from the start. Contact us to get started today.