Understanding UV Disinfection: Five Things to Know
If you are considering UV disinfection lights for your home or workplace, there are five things you need to know. Before you purchase, designate what you want to disinfect to figure out which type of unit works best for your space. The light’s exposure rate, dose, and duration will impact the unit’s effectiveness. Finally, you should know about the regulation of UV lights.
1. UV Light Disinfects Air, Water, and Surfaces
The first thing you need to consider when choosing UV light for disinfection is what you want to disinfect. Use UV light systems to sanitize the air, water, and surfaces.
You can disinfect the air in your home or office with UV lights. There are different unit types used to accomplish this goal. Some UV light systems can disinfect the air before the air enters a room. Other UV light systems are capable of disinfecting the air when a room is unoccupied.
Use UV lights to disinfect water without the use of chemicals or additives like chlorine. Filtered water must be used when disinfecting with a UV light system. Many restaurants and hospitals use UV lights to disinfect their water.
With UV lights, you can disinfect hard surfaces, like workstations, electronics, medical equipment, and more. Units can disinfect small or large areas. Sanitize clean surfaces only. Dirt, dust, and debris can interfere with the effectiveness of UV light. Schools, medical facilities, and office buildings can benefit from UV light disinfection.
2. Different Types of UV Light Sanitization Units
Different areas or surfaces you want to disinfect will require different UV light sanitization units. Some units are versatile, while others are specifically designed for one type of use.
UV Lights for HVAC Systems
There are different types of UV light sanitization units that will disinfect the air. Here are three types of UV lights for air disinfection:
- In-Duct System – a technician installs UV light systems within your business’s air ducts. The air gets continuously disinfected before it enters a room without using chemicals.
- Coil and Moving Air Unit – quickly connect UV lights in fan coils, ventilators, and large AHUs. Units are flexible and scalable to fit virtually any coil size.
- Air Purifier – use a wall mount or portable UV light unit to disinfect the air. Purifiers are safe in occupied spaces and can run continuously.
UV Light Water System
If you want to use UV lights to disinfect your freshwater, install a special UV light water system. The UV light sanitizes water as it flows through the unit before leaving your faucet or water line.
Upper-Room UV Light Unit
Install an upper-room UV light unit high on a wall to disinfect from the top of the room down. The unit will disinfect a specific area. Units run when a room is unoccupied to prevent unwanted UV light exposure.
Fixed UV Lights
Fixed UV lights are slightly different from upper-room UV light units. Upper-room units operate from a wall, whereas fixed UV lights are installed within the ceiling. Units range in size from whole room units to micro-units.
Mobile UV Lights
Mobile UV lights can sanitize multiple locations by rolling from space to space. The unit’s lamp height is adjustable. You have the ability to disinfect a whole room or a targeted area with a mobile UV light.
Lockers and Trailers
Lockers and trailers are specialized types of mobile UV lights. Locker units target items placed inside and operate only when the lid is closed. Trailer units can disinfect equipment that cannot fit into a smaller locker and change location frequently.
3. Effectiveness of UV Disinfection
Using UV lights to disinfect the air, water, and hard surfaces has different effectiveness levels based on the type of UV the device emits. There are different types of UV light, including UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-C light can disinfect up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
4. Exposure, Dose, and Duration
Direct exposure to UV light is required to disinfect hard surfaces. If the surface is covered or soiled, the area might not disinfect properly.
Check your unit’s dose and duration recommendations. The strength of the UV light will impact how you have to use the unit. Low-dose UV disinfection lights will require a longer run time in comparison to higher-dose lights.
5. UV Light Regulation
Radiation-emitting electronics, including UV light systems, are regulated by the FDA. Manufacturers of UV light systems must be in compliance with regulations set forth by the FDA.
Some UV light units are medical devices. Medical devices require testing and approval prior to use. Regulation of the units and medical devices helps to ensure proper use and consumer safety.
Get Help Choosing Your UV Light System
When you need help with a UV disinfection service, contact a professional UV light provider. They will be able to assess your needs and make a recommendation for which UV light system is best for your space.