Ultraviolet light Air Purification is a technological breakthrough that substantially improves air quality by removing microorganisms like mold, mildew, bacteria and viri (viruses) from the air we breathe. UV “filters” destroy these microbial particles not with conventional filters, but through the use of UV rays which incinerate them as they pass through. If you have been considering using a UV filter but want to know more about how they work so you can make a more informed buying decision, read on.
Benefits of UV Filters
Ultraviolet air filters have a number of advantages over older, more conventional technologies. For starters, they are capable of cleaning the air in a considerably large area. They are also quieter than other types of filters. Best of all, UV filters do not have a negative environmental impact; they are perfectly safe to ozone and target only the microbial contaminants within their range.
How UV Light Works
Ultraviolet operates at a shorter wavelength than violet light making it invisible to the naked eye. There are three categories to the Ultraviolet spectrum:
• UVA – operating at 380-315 nm
• UVB – operating at 315-280 nm
• UVC – operating uder 280 nm
There are a number of other factors that weigh in to a UV light’s ability to destroy or neutralize different types of microorganisms. Various calculations are needed to achieve the correct balance. The lamp’s overall intensity, the distance between the bulb and the microorganism and the duration of exposure all factor in. Different manufacturers make different claims regarding the effectiveness of their products based on these calculations. Those claims are based in large part on testing, research and existing knowledge regarding the technology.
Choosing a UV Filter or Filtration System
The most effective UV filters use a conventional filter to trap as many contaminants as possible as a front-line defense. Too many particles in one place result in a sort of shield that allows some microbes to pass through. This effect is called “shadowing” and it works as one would expect: by creating a hedge of protection that allows some spores from exposure. The lower the concentration of microbes passing through, the more efficiently and completely a UV filter can destroy them.
A high-quality UV light will perform optimally for about three years or 25,000 hours before starting to degrade. Lesser-quality lights have a considerably shorter lifespan, some only lasting 10,000 hours or fewer. When selecting a UV filter, be mindful of the manufacturer’s specifications for replacing the bulb and keep up with regular maintenance on your unit.
Things to Consider
It is important to realize that, for most applications, the presence of a UV bulb in and of itself will not equate to effective air cleaning of the air around you. The most efficient UV filters are part of a larger system and are implemented as a last line of defense. UV light alone does not equate to “clean air” within a given radius. There is also an ongoing cost to maintain a UV air filtration system. As mentioned, the bulbs do degrade and eventually fail, requiring replacement.
Call Mike Crothers – 239-597-7873