You often hear about allergies in the Spring when everything is in bloom. However, allergens of some sort are present year-round. Many pesky allergens are found in our homes. When it’s hot outside, and you’re keeping your home’s interior shut off from the outside, this can actually be a time when indoor allergens are at their worst. Thankfully, you can use your air conditioner to find allergy relief for your indoor allergens. Here’s how.
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a form of energy known as electromagnetic radiation. It comes from the sun and man-made sources. UV light is not visible to the human eye because it has a wavelength shorter than the light we can see. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is a method that uses a type of UV light — UVC light — to kill a range of germs.
What Is UV Light?
Within the visible light spectrum, violet has the shortest wavelength of any color. Any light with a shorter wavelength than violet is called ultraviolet. There are three types of UV light:
Ultraviolet A (UVA) light: UVA light is also known as blacklight, and it’s the type of UV light with the longest wavelength. Some birds and insects can see UVA light.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) light: UVB light is the type that causes sunburns. Most of this light is absorbed by the ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Ultraviolet C (UVC) light: UVC light has the shortest wavelength of the UV light types and high energy. This form of light is also called germicidal and is used to disinfect air, water, food and laboratory equipment. The Earth’s atmosphere completely absorbs UVC rays, so they never make it to the surface.
Does UV Light Kill Viruses?
While all forms of UV light can inactivate various microorganisms on some level, UVC light is the most effective at killing germs, including viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. That’s why home or business owners may consider installing UV germicidal lights in their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These lights kill virus particles that would otherwise pass through air filters.
How Does UV Light Work?
UV germicidal lights inactivate viruses by damaging their genetic material and preventing them from replication. A virus needs its DNA or RNA to infect other living cells. Without this material, it cannot invade a human cell and make copies of itself. UVC light has been used for decades to destroy viruses and disinfect surfaces, air and water.
Does UV Light Kill the Coronavirus?
Although there are currently no studies that prove UV germicidal lights can kill the coronavirus, scientists say it’s likely. UVC is known to destroy viruses related to SARS-CoV-2, or the virus that causes COVID-19. This also includes the virus that causes MERS.
Does UV Light Kill Other Germs?
UV germicidal lights can also destroy bacteria and mold. Although tiny particles like viruses and bacteria are more vulnerable to UVC light than large ones, germicidal lamps still have the power to kill mold spores. UVC light is especially effective when it’s combined with high-efficiency air filtration.
How Does HVAC UV Light Installation Work?
UV germicidal lights can be installed inside your HVAC system. These lights can help clean the air inside your home by killing harmful microorganisms such as mold spores, bacteria and viruses. At OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc., we can install a UV germicidal light inside your HVAC ductwork or air handler, which will keep these organisms from spreading throughout your home.
Even if you have efficient air filters installed in your HVAC system — whether it is an electronic or mechanical air filter — they are not designed to kill bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Filters can provide ultimate protection when installed alongside a UV germicidal light.
We can help you select the right combination to improve your indoor air quality and potentially reduce exposure to viruses, bacteria and allergens. We take the whole-home approach, so our indoor air quality experts may suggest other ways to eliminate pollutants.
UV Light Installation and Repair in Burke, VA
If you live in Ashburn, Springfield or Burke, VA, or the surrounding area and want to learn more about UV germicidal light installation and repair, we’re here for you at OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. We understand our customers are trying to protect themselves and their families during the coronavirus pandemic, and we want to help.
Our technicians are prepared to make a repair if anything should go wrong with your UV germicidal light system. From replacing bulbs to inspecting the equipment for other issues, we are equipped to resolve any issues you might have.
Contact OASIS Heating, A/C & Refrigeration, Inc. for UV Lights in Burke, VA
We are here to provide emergency solutions, new installations or answers to any of your questions. We can go over your options and help you select a model that works for you, and we won’t sell you something you don’t need. We take the time to make sure each job is done correctly, and we’re only satisfied when you are. Call today or contact us online to ask about our UV germicidal lights and services.
Are you frustrated by the way that your air smells? An odd smell is one of the most common indicators that your indoor air should be evaluated, but it’s not the only one. In fact, indoor air quality is not so easily assessed by the senses alone, and it may take a professional evaluation to figure out what’s exactly in your air. Let’s take a look at three ways you can keep your indoor air clean!
Do you want to avoid getting sick during the winter or change of seasons? Of course you do. There a number of ways to increase your chances of staying healthy through the season. One you may not have considered is to call professionals to install a special kind of air cleaner into your HVAC system: UV germicidal lights (also known as UV air purifiers).
As a professional team of HVAC and indoor air quality experts, Oasis knows that we are living in uniquely challenging times. W also know that you are doing all you can to care for yourself and your family in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an essential business, Oasis is ready to assist homeowners like you across Northern Virginia. If you find yourself needing immediate repairs, contact our team for emergency HVAC assistance.As you and your loved ones continue to practice social distancing, your home comfort and indoor air quality have never mattered more. As we spend more time indoors, the air quality, and temperature can make a difference in how you feel.
5 Steps to Ensure Indoor Air Quality and Comfort
Keep The Air Circulating in Your Home – It’s important to keep the air circulating through your home to increase the volume of fresh and clean air. To do this, turn on the circulate feature on your thermostat to keep the air moving throughout your filtration system. This will ensure the air is flowing through the filter and getting cleaned more often. *If you have an iComfort® Ultra Smart Thermostat, check out this video to see how you can adjust your fan mode.
Replace or Upgrade Your Air Filter – You should make sure to change your filters on a seasonal-basis to reduce the amount of allergens and dust in your air. Now is a great time to make sure your filter is clean. If your filter is not clean, consider an upgrade to a higher-efficiency filter. When looking at air filters, you should look at theMERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This measures how successfully it filters pollutants. The higher the MERV rating, the higher the percentage of small-sized particles that are trapped by the filter. It is these fine-sized particles (smaller than 2.5 microns) that pass through our nose unfiltered and are known to possibly cause respiratory issues. It’s important to note that Lennox MERV16 filters contain a glass backing and should not be used to construct a mask, respirator or any application other than filtration associated with HVAC systems.
*High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are regarded as the gold standard inair filtration, because they’re usually in use at hospitals. They’re effective at trapping 99.97–99.99% of indoor pollutants, including pollen, pet dander and smoke in homes.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep – There’s a direct correlation between your body’s temperature and your sleep cycle. Research suggests that the ideal sleep condition sits between 60 – 67 degrees. If that seems on the cool side, there’s a reason: your core body temperature drops to a lower level during sleep. An overly warm temperature interferes with your brain’s messages that it’s time to get some shut-eye.
Adjust Your Temperature for Your Fitness Routine – As you’re practicing social distancing,you’re likely adjusting a majority of your daily routines, including how and where you exercise. Practicing traditional yoga calls for a temperature between 70 – 76 degrees, but you might want to raise or lower your thermostat by a few degrees depending on your personal preference. You also want to keep in mind your home’s humidity, airborne pollutants and even a general perception of how the air “feels.” A good HVAC system integrated with the right indoor air quality solutions lets you control all of these factors so that your workout leaves you feeling great inside and out.
Call the Professionals – Whether you have questions around upgrading your air filter, seasonal maintenance, repairing or replacing your air filter in Lorton VA and across Northern Virginia, our dealers are here for you. Before you try to correct a system error or make a purchase on your own, contact our team for an expert’s opinion.
Call on Oasis and Lennox to Enhance Your Air Quality in Response to COVID-19
We know these are challenging times. If you need us, Oasis and Lennox are here to help in Lorton, VA, Alexandria, VA, Burke, VA and across Northern Virginia. We are fully committed to keeping your air, and your home, perfectly comfortable. Here’s to home.
*Based on in-duct testing that shows Healthy Climate®filters reduce airflow restriction. Greater restriction of airflow creates a greater load on a unit’s fan motor, increasing energy consumption.
Could UV Lights In Your AC System Prevent COVID-19?
One of the important services that we provide for homes in Springfield and the surrounding areas is the installation of UV germicidal lights into the HVAC system. This is the most effective way to eliminate harmful biological pollutants from moving through the air of your home.
The ultraviolet radiation from these lights destroys bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and various other unhealthy microorganisms that could be linked to preventing the spread of influenza-like illnesses like COVID-19. This is particularly helpful during the hot and humid weather that we experience here, which encourages the development of mold.
However, there is another important job that UV germicidal lights perform—and it has to do with your air conditioner. Microorganisms – particularly viruses, are so tiny that filters are mostly ineffective. The UV systems have been shown to reduce problematic molds and pathogens that are found within the HVAC system and drain pan that would otherwise be introduced and distributed throughout the envelope of the building.
The Moldy Air Conditioner Problem
If you ever notice a peculiar “moldy” smell coming from the vents of your home when the AC is running, or a smell like dirty socks, then your air conditioner has probably developed mold across its evaporator coil. Appropriately, this is often called “dirty sock syndrome.”
It’s no surprise that mold can start to develop here. Water condenses across the coil as it absorbs heat from the air. Most of the water drips off into a pan below, but in humid weather too much can accumulate and make it easy for mold to grow. Not only does this create an unpleasant smell and release spores into the air, but it also makes it harder for the AC to work efficiently.
How the UV Lights Figure Into The Prevention of Illnesses
When UV germicidal lights are integrated into an HVAC system, they are set so they shine directly onto the air conditioner’s evaporator coils. This kills off mold and viruses, and prevents these harmful substances from developing in future seasons. While UV Systems have not been specifically tested against COVID-19, they have been proven effective against similar pathogens, some that need an even greater dosage for inactivation than the coronavirus.
So if you are encountering trouble with a moldy air conditioning and “dirty sock syndrome,” call up indoor air quality and HVAC specialists to have UV lights installed. Our experts know that it is better to be safe than sorry when serving our loyal customers of northern Virginia.
You have many options when it comes to filtrating your indoor air to make your home more comfortable, and your family healthier. Each type of air filtration system has its own method of removing pollutants from your air. Air filters are beneficial, but they can only do so much, and may not be fully effective for your needs. UV germicidal lights are an excellent addition to your indoor air quality devices. But is it really worth it?
Proper dehumidification for a home is often vital during the humid summers here in Virginia. If the humidity is balanced between 30% and 50%, it makes a significant difference in indoor comfort: the air can feel as much as 10°F cooler, and that often means you won’t need to rely on the air conditioner. Not only will you enjoy better comfort in summer, you’ll have reduced energy bills as well.
Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration is currently OPEN and performing active measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for our workers and loyal customers. We hope that you stay safe and healthy during this time. Schedule A Service