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Thread: Whole house iv air scrubber: worth it?

  1. #1
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    Whole house iv air scrubber: worth it?

    My HVAC company is recommending that I purchase a UV air scrubber. I know UV-C kills stuff but how would it get inert things like smoke or really small dust? That part sounds like snake oil to me. I asked if thereís an electrostatic component to it but the guy didnít know. Iím guessing that he wasnít prepared for the technical questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    My HVAC company is recommending that I purchase a UV air scrubber. I know UV-C kills stuff but how would it get inert things like smoke or really small dust? That part sounds like snake oil to me. I asked if there’s an electrostatic component to it but the guy didn’t know. I’m guessing that he wasn’t prepared for the technical questions.
    You will be better off with a 4 inch pleated filter IF you do not already have. My furnace has a ECM motor that adjusts automatically to keep the air flow constant. No I think the whole house UV filter is a waste.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Cloudray Galvo Fiber , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    You will be better off with a 4 inch pleated filter IF you do not already have. My furnace has a ECM motor that adjusts automatically to keep the air flow constant. No I think the whole house UV filter is a waste.
    I upgraded to a MERV 13 1Ē filter. I donít have room for the 4Ē.

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    My 4 inch filter a Honeywell was installed when I replaced the furnace in 2007
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Cloudray Galvo Fiber , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  5. #5
    I'm sure Bill knows better but I believe you are supposed to change the bulb/s annually as well.
    Just another expense to consider should you go that route.
    Depending on the model of unit they can be expensive.

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    We installed three LED-UV sanitizers at church to help deal with the Covid issue two years ago. They were not filters but acted as a catalyst to generate and inject a sanitizer (hydrogen peroxide) into the airstream to kill viruses. LED lamps last much longer than traditional lamps. But there is a filter in the rig that does need to be changed. https://rgf.com/products/food/reme-h...-air-purifier/
    NOW you tell me...

  7. #7
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    We had our furnace replaced last December and added a uv filter to the system. It has the uv light plus a charcoal filter. It is amazing how well the charcoal filter removes cooking and other odors. It may take an hour or so to do that, but I am really satisfied it was a good improvement for us. Does it kills germs? Good question.

  8. #8
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    I was reading articles at various locations regarding UV lights in home HVAC systems. Basically what I found was that they will kill bacteria on the nearby surfaces that the light reaches for extended periods of time. With regard to the air flowing past them there are several problems. First the air doesn't remain in the light long enough to kill any spores or virus that might be in the air. Second, they aren't nearly strong enough to do the job even if the air flow was a bit lower. Third, the UV output of the bulbs (leds) drops off rather quickly and overall life is very short, like 90 days. If you read the literature from the manufacturers and HVAC retailers they are the best thing since sliced bread. If you read the government and medical studies they don't do much unless they are hospital grade using much more power and longer duration exposures. None that I could find were FDA certified.

    Don't take my word for it, do some checking yourself. My money will stay in my wallet for that particular accessory to a HVAC system.
    Lee Schierer
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  9. #9
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    Lee,
    Thats what I have read also although I didn’t find much yesterday.

    I’m reminded of my fathers story. When he was in the 8th grade in Montana in 1923 they saw an ad for a 100% guaranteed bug killer. The class saved their pennies and put in the order. What arrived was two wooden blocks marked A and B. The instructions said, “Place bug on block A and strike sharply with block B.” Their claim was truthful but misleading.

    UV, as you stated (and as I remember) is effective in sterilization bu only with prolonged exposure. I think I would need more convincing.
    Last edited by Roger Feeley; 03-24-2023 at 8:37 AM.

  10. #10
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    Its a sales pitch not anything that really works. Repeating myself, you would be better off with a 4 inch pleated filter, If your HVAC guy does not want to do find someone else!!
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Cloudray Galvo Fiber , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

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    Our furnace had room for only a one inch filter. After looking at replacing the plenum and other metal work we decided on a uv filter. I have asthma and allergies and since the installation of that our air quality in the house has improved greatly.

  12. #12
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    Well, UV is natures sanitizer, but containing that in a light in a duct system which then typically gets forgotten, not the best idea. Do they work? Yes, sorta, definitely, maybe but I’m with Bill on the 4” pleat, if your system can handle it. If you have respiratory issues, it is likely worth the mod. UV lights degrade pretty quickly as they “solarize”. We run Winix (Costco) console air filters at the house and we are satisfied with their performance. ONe of my issues with UV lights is there is no method to know how quickly they are degrading. Also, be careful on increasing the MERV rating of your filters. To high a rating on a system not designed to handle it can stall your air flow as it increases the static pressure in your duct system..

  13. #13
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    It will keep things from growing on the surfaces it illuminates. If you are concerned about mold on the inside of your blower unit, perhaps on the coils, it might be worthwhile, installed in the right place. The cost of changing the bulbs is significant and they should be changed whether they are still glowing (which they will be) or not.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Fritz View Post
    Our furnace had room for only a one inch filter. After looking at replacing the plenum and other metal work we decided on a uv filter. I have asthma and allergies and since the installation of that our air quality in the house has improved greatly.
    Your UV light does nothing to remove dust and pollen particles from the air. UV light can not sanitize fast moving air. It when the bulbs are new will keep mold and mildew off your AC coil and the section of ductwork that light can reach otherwise its useless.
    Last edited by Bill George; 03-24-2023 at 1:30 PM.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , Cloudray Galvo Fiber , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

  15. #15
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    So what exactly is the problem that you're trying to solve? The whole surface if the earth including its atmosphere is not sterile. I'd suggest it too if I was selling them.
    Hobbyist

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