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Treating Environmental Air With Ultraviolet Light

As the world focuses more and more on cleanliness, indoor air quality has become an increasingly important topic. Ultraviolet (UV) light is one of a few effective, toxin-free ways to clean the air and reduce the amount of mold, bacteria and viruses in the indoor air using light.  Others include specific wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum. With this technology, todays’ homes and businesses can create a healthier overall environment, all without the need for toxic chemical cleaners.

Why Indoor Air Cleaning Is Necessary

As building designers press for more energy-efficient structures, building envelopes become increasingly airtight. While this helps reduce energy loss, it also means that dirty, stagnant air is trapped inside properties. This can lead to increased problems with allergies and respiratory issues as mold, bacteria and viruses keep circulating through the indoor air.

Just how serious is this issue? According to the EPA, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Unfortunately, indoor air has pollutant levels 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor air. This dirty air makes it easier for people to get sick or struggle with allergy and asthma problems.

Opening a window is a great way to ventilate the air inside and reduce levels of these pollutants, but unfortunately, this hurts energy efficiency. Treating environmental air with ultraviolet light is a solution that helps reduce these pollutants without sacrificing the efficiency of the building.

How Ultraviolet Light Cleans the Air

According to Berkeley Labs, environmental air is easily cleaned through ultraviolet germicidal lights. These lights produce short wavelength light that damages viruses, bacteria and mold on the genetic level. This process either kills the cells or prevents them from replicating so they cannot spread. The end result is cleaner air with fewer risks for the occupants of the building.

Using Ultraviolet Light to Clean Environmental Air

UV light is highly effective at cleaning the air, but it can be damaging to skin and eyes. So how can these systems be used to clean the air inside a building without harming its occupants? Some common options include:

  • Installing UV germicidal lights near the ceiling of the room to clean the air as it rises, without shining the light on the people in the room.
  • Installing UV germicidal lights within the HVAC system
  • Adding UV air purifiers as stand-alone units in the building

The key to using these systems safely is finding a place where they will interact with the indoor air without causing problems for the buildings’ occupants. The more air that flows through the UV system, the more effective it will be at improving the indoor air quality.

Common Places Where UV Light Is Used

Ultraviolet air cleaning can work in just about any indoor setting. Some common places where it is being used includes:

  • Hospitals

  • Schools

  • Offices

  • Restaurants

  • Dormitories

  • Homes

Any indoor environment that has a tightly sealed building envelope can benefit from this technology to provide a cleaner, safer building.

Improve Your Building’s Efficiency and Protect the Environment with Envocore

At Envocore, we believe that you can improve the efficiency of your building without sacrificing the overall indoor air quality of your space. Our Lighting and Building Envelope teams include engineers and designers who take a look at the big picture. We can provide solutions to seal up your building’s envelope while incorporating ultraviolet air cleaning to improve the health and safety of your space. Reach out to Envocore to learn more about how you can improve the quality of the air inside your property while also improving the overall indoor air quality.

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