How Do UV Light Indoor Air Quality Products Work?
For a long time, UV light has been utilized in the disinfection of drinking water, air, and surgical equipment. History has shown that UV light is highly effective in dealing with microbes and disease-causing microorganisms. Advancements in technology have seen the applications of UV light diversify. For instance, it is now used in improving indoor air quality. Most indoor air quality products now feature UV light that is utilized in purifying and cleaning air to eliminate potential health concerns.
What You Should Know About UV Light Purifiers
UV air quality products are products that feature UV integrated purifiers that help enhance indoor air quality. The purifiers featured utilize the short-wave ultraviolet light, commonly known as the UV-C light, to kill disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Of importance to note is that UV light purifiers have the same function as other air purifiers; their main purpose is eliminating indoor air pollutants.
The technology that involves the use of UV light to purify indoor air is also known as UV germicidal irradiation that is shortened as UVGI air purifiers.
Types of UV Light Purifiers
Homeowners that need commercial or residential UV light purifiers have two options. Either buy the units as freestanding devices that function as stand-alone systems or as systems that have been pre-installed in HVAC systems. As the air is pushed through the air conditioner, it is passed through UV lamps that work to disinfect it through the germicidal irradiation process. This process ensures that microbes such as bacterial, viruses, and microorganisms that are in the air are killed hence improving the indoor air quality.
UV-C Light Purifiers
UV-C light air purifiers are rarely stand-alone units. Rather, they depend on other additional systems for their functionality. Most UV-C light purifiers are bought as part of the High-efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) air purification systems. According to the EPA, UV-C air purifiers are less effective when used as stand-alone air purification units since they cannot trap or remove contaminants from the air.
How Do UV Light Purifiers Function?
The functioning of the UV-C light purifiers is simple. They feature UV lamps that disinfect the air when it is passed through them. The UV lamp can destroy or kill microbes by altering their DNA. The color of the UV-C light depends on the material of the emitter. If the emitter is made of quartz or phosphorus, the light might appear blueish or invisible to the human eye. Many residential buildings use emitters that are made of mercury with the UV-C light emitted at a wavelength of 254 nanometers as per the EPA guidelines.
UV light purifiers work in combination with other filters such as HEPA filters to clean the indoor air. This means that the UV purifiers also utilize other filtration processes to remove air pollutants and enhance their effectiveness. When the purifiers are on, indoor air is pushed through the unit and then directed to the chamber that has UV-light emitting bulbs to remove air pollutants. The location of the UV lamps is often downstream of the filter that is found in portable air purifiers.
5 Factors That Determine the Effectiveness of UV-C Light Purifiers
UV light purifiers are highly effective in removing pollutants from the air, although this can be affected based on the brand and type of unit that one is using. When using a portable air purifier, the effectiveness of a UV light purifier depends on a number of factors. This is the reason why experts recommend the use of many UV-C light purifiers to anyone looking to eliminate mold allergens and dust mites from any living space.
Some of the factors that determine the effectiveness of UV-C light purifiers are:
1. If the air contaminants get in contact with UV light.
For the UV light purifiers to be effective, the air contaminants must be in contact with the UV light. If the contaminants are not exposed to UV light, they will not be killed; hence the effectiveness of the purifier will be compromised.
2. Whether the UV light’s effectiveness is affected by the cooling effect resulting from airflow.
When the air is forced into the unit, the resultant cooling effect might compromise the effectiveness of the UV light by cooling it. If the UV light is cooled due to the airflow, it might not meet the required dosage to kill some air contaminants.
3. The highest amount of UV light is required in killing the contaminants.
The amount of UV light required to remove microbes from the air varies depending on the nature of the targeted microbes. The effectiveness of the UV light purifiers depends on the bulb’s capacity to produce the required light dosage.
4. The duration of the contaminants’ exposure to the UV light.
The effectiveness of UV light in killing microbes, such as viruses and bacteria, depends on how long these pollutants are exposed to the light. The longer they are exposed to the light, the higher the chances that they will be removed. If the exposure is too short, the UV light might not get rid of the air pollutants effectively.
5. What material is the bulb emitting the UV light made of?
The UV light-emitting bulbs are made of different materials. Materials that emit UV light determine the dosage of their emission, which means that their effectiveness differs significantly.
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