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A Guide to UVC Light Disinfection and Air Quality

Between the current wildfires, respiratory virus, and flu season, a recent spike in air quality interest is natural for Sacramento homes and businesses. This interest has also raised some questions and concerns about popular air cleaning methods—particularly UVC light installations. The air quality experts at Bonney are here to help. Bonney has been installing germicidal UVC lamps in the Sacramento area for years. Our professionals began offering this service only after careful consideration, extensive research, and professional training. We have decided to share our insight to help debunk misinformation circulating about UVC lamps and air quality.

How do Germicidal UVC Lamps Improve Air Quality?

Germicidal UVC lamps can be installed in ductwork or plenum to improve air quality. As explained by the IES Committee, these installations work by destroying the proteins inside of harmful microorganisms. UVC light is composed of short, high-energy wavelengths. These photons target the DNA and RNA in microbes. In a photochemical reaction, UVC light breaks down the composition of viruses and bacteria, rendering them non-infectious. This process helps clean the air by neutralizing these harmful airborne particles.

Are Germicidal UVC Lamps Safe?

Many homes and businesses want to provide reliable clean air, but not at the expense of harmful UV exposure. So are germicidal UVC lamps safe? The short answer is yes—when installed and used properly, germicidal UVC lamps are completely safe. Not only are they safe to use, but they also promote health and safety by killing harmful germs and bacteria. However, direct and extended human exposure to UVC lights can be harmful. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced professional install your germicidal UVC lamp. This safety consideration is also why installing them directly into HVAC distribution systems is so practical—these lights actively and effectively clean the air while remaining far from direct human contact. 

Are All UV Lights Effective?

With the recent popularity of UV light sanitation, some consumers have fallen victim to misleading sales involving fake or ineffective UV lights. 

Why can online retailers get away with selling ineffective UV lights? While you may be technically buying UV lighting, it does not necessarily mean that it will provide effective sanitation—not all UV lights work the same. Ultraviolet (UV) light exists on a spectrum that includes UVA, UVB, and UVC lighting.

  • UVA Lights: On the UVA end of the spectrum, you will find blacklight bulbs and tanning bed bulbs. These bulbs can provide very mild levels of sanitation. According to the FDA, UVA bulbs are roughly 1000x less effective than any other light on the UV spectrum when it comes to killing certain viruses. Extended exposure to these lights is also linked to negative health impacts, such as skin aging and skin cancer.
  • UVB Lights: UVB bulbs are moderately effective in sanitation—but less so than UVC lights. Additionally, the FDA reports that UVB light waves can be harmful to humans. UVB radiation can penetrate deeper into the skin and eyes than UVC lights, which can be damaging to DNA, contribute to skin cancer, and contribute to cataracts. 
  • UVC Lights: UVC lighting is the safest and most effective method of cleaning. When used irresponsibly, these lights can be harmful; however, they are completely safe when used properly. Especially when they are installed directly into HVAC systems. This prevents human exposure to radiation, unlike handheld indoor sanitation devices. 

How Do I Know My UVC Light is Effective?

So once you have decided on UVC light for air quality, how do you know that you are getting the real deal? There are a few different ways to ensure that your UVC light is effectively cleaning the air. 

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Reliable and Experienced Air Quality Professionals

First, make sure that you choose an established air quality professional—like Bonney—who partners with only high-quality, trusted UVC light brands. These experts will also test their UVC lights to ensure that they meet the highest industry standards. 

At-Home Air Quality Tests

After your installation, it may take some for your filter to fully circulate through the air in your home. However, after it has a chance to work, you can use an air quality monitor to see the results. If you have not had your UVC light installed yet, it is best to order your air quality monitor now so that you can gauge your starting point. Then, watch your air quality improve as your it continues to circulate over the germicidal UVC light. 

Noticeable Air Quality Difference

Many customers know that their UVC light installation is effective because they can notice a difference. Does your household or workplace seem to rapidly spread germs? Have other sanitary measures seemed useless? You may notice a health boost in your life as your UVC light works to kill these airborne germs and viruses. 

UVC Light and COVID-19

Studies are still in progress to provide conclusive results about the 2019 coronavirus. However, air quality improvements are a primary point of consideration because this virus is airborne and attacks the respiratory system. This has many wondering, “Can UVC lights kill COVID-19?” Researchers say yes. In a recent study by researchers at Columbia University—Far-UVC light (222nm) efficiently and safely inactivates airborne human coronaviruses—experts found that UVC lamps were, in fact, effective against airborne coronaviruses.

How Can I Get a Germicidal UVC Light Installed in Sacramento?

When you are ready to have a germicidal UVC lamp installed in your Sacramento-area home or business, contact the experts at Bonney. Unlike other HVAC businesses, Bonney is not scrambling to learn the ins and outs of air quality amid its rising popularity. We have been providing UVC light installations and other air quality services for years. Our professionals are familiar with these systems, their installation needs, and the care they require. Bonney proudly serves the air quality needs of homes and businesses in the larger Sacramento area, including Orangevale, Folsom, Vacaville, Davis, Fairfield, Placerville, Newcastle, Rancho Cordova, and beyond. For trusted, experienced UVC light installation and air quality support, make an appointment with the professionals at Bonney today.