There is mold and bacterial growth in all air conditioning systems. These organisms thrive in warmth and humidity, exactly what exists in the moist environment of your air conditioning unit. One technology used to kill mold and bacteria on the indoor coils is the use of HVAC UV lamps.
Health Effects of Mold and Bacteria
Molds exist everywhere and grow naturally outdoors. They are easily brought into buildings through ventilation and air conditioning systems. The condensation created by air moving through the vents, inner coils and ducts of an air conditioner provides the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
If you can smell a musty odor or see mold growth, you know you have a serious problem. Adults and children with allergies are especially sensitive to airborne mold and bacteria. Some individuals may experience severe reactions that need immediate medical attention.
The more vulnerable populations include children and infants, asthmatics, and the elderly. People with a weakened immune system because of chemotherapy treatment or HIV/AIDS, or those with existing respiratory conditions will experience even more serious problems. Symptoms of sensitivity are non-specific, and can include:
• eye irritation
• nasal stuffiness
• skin irritation
• wheezing and shortness of breath
• asthmatic episodes
• possible lung mold infections
Those experiencing adverse health effects should consult with a doctor for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.
Using UV Lamps for Mold Control
The traditional way to control indoor mold and bacteria growth is to clean indoor coils and control moisture regularly. Totally eliminating moisture in an air conditioning unit is not possible, so another approach is used. Treating conditioned air with HVAC UV lamps has been found to reduce and even eliminate air borne contaminants like molds and bacteria, and produce a much healthier air for people to breathe.
This technology has been in use for over 70 years around the world, with installations in all types of buildings, from hospitals, offices, processing and manufacturing plants, and individual residences. With proper exposure times, UV radiation will inactivate and kill mold and bacteria microorganisms. There are other benefits as well:
• UV treatment reduces the need for constant cleaning of indoor coils on the air conditioning unit
• the HVAC system will operate more efficiently and last longer
• UV units are easy to maintain
• lamps are easy to install and replace
• energy and maintenance costs are reduced
Installing a UV lamp fixture to control bacteria and mold in an HVAC installation often pays for itself in months.