The Effects of UV Light on Bacteria and Viruses

With COVID-19 in the news, millions of Americans have been searching for ways to stay healthy while still enjoying some semblance of a “normal” life. Among the misinformation and rumors floating around is that you can go out into the sun to kill the coronavirus—the UV light will kill the virus and you’ll be safe. Right?

Wrong. Although it is true that the effects of ultraviolet light in Alexandria, VA are known to kill pathogens, the science is more complex than just getting a dose of vitamin D. UV light has to be used carefully, and it’s not a substitute for social distancing, wearing masks and thorough handwashing. Here’s how UV light works—and how you can safely use it to your advantage.

UV light can kill bacteria and viruses

Ultraviolet light is just one type of light on the light spectrum, with its own subtypes. One of these types is UV-C radiation, which is extremely effective in killing bacteria and viruses. The light can kill cells by disrupting their DNA—it damages the thymine base by creating a reaction between molecules. This leaves them unable to carry out their normal cellular functions, and they die as a result.

Germicidal lights are used in medical facilities, wastewater treatment and more to kill pathogens without the need for chemicals. In fact, germicidal lights are becoming increasingly popular in home HVAC systems, as they can kill airborne germs like viruses and bacteria.

Avoid exposing yourself directly to UV-C radiation

The same type of UV light that kills bacteria and viruses, UV-C, is carcinogenic—so you don’t want to expose yourself directly to that kind of radiation. You also can’t go outside and expect that the sunlight alone will kill the virus in the air. (However, better ventilation does reduce your chances of catching COVID-19 from breathing the same air as an infected person.)

Instead, consider adding germicidal UV lights to your HVAC system. This protects you and your family from contact with UV-C radiation while improving the air quality in your home. Scientists have found that UV-C radiation is effective in killing airborne coronavirus, with a few caveats—the longer the air is exposed to the light, the more germs it will kill, and you still need a high-quality air filter to help remove these microorganisms from the air.

UV lights are used to kill germs in places they often collect within HVAC systems, like drain pans and the coils. They also help prevent buildup within the system and ductwork, ensuring that your blower doesn’t simply redistribute pathogens around your home. They’re completely safe to use, and can be a lifesaver for people with respiratory illnesses like asthma, allergies and more.

If you’re considering experiencing the effects of ultraviolet light in Alexandria, VA for yourself, talk to the team at A Action Home Services. Call us to set up an appointment to install your germicidal light. We look forward to helping you breathe more freely while you’re spending more time indoors!

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