In recent years, concerns about indoor air quality have skyrocketed, with many people looking for ways to protect their health and the health of their families from airborne contaminants such as mold, bacteria, and viruses. One effective solution is the use of ultraviolet (UV) sanitation systems within HVAC systems. In this article, I’ll discuss my experience with OdorStop UV systems and GermGuardian filters, the benefits of using UV sanitation in HVAC systems, and the importance of a properly rated furnace filter. I’ll also delve into the MERV rating system and share how installing a UV sanitation system in 2018 significantly improved my asthma symptoms.
OdorStop UV Systems and GermGuardian Filters
I installed an OdorStop 36-watt system with a 16″ bulb (https://amzn.to/41ifQJi) in my HVAC system in 2018 to help combat mold and improve my asthma. This system uses UV-C light to sanitize the air passing through the HVAC system, effectively killing mold, bacteria, and viruses, including the COVID-19 virus. As a result, UV sanitation systems became a popular choice for homes and businesses during the pandemic to prevent further spread of the virus. OdorStop offers a range of models suitable for various sized HVAC units and house sizes.
In addition to my OdorStop system, I also use MERV 11 filters to ensure optimal air quality. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating system measures the effectiveness of air filters in capturing particles. The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 20, with higher ratings indicating better filtration performance. Filters with lower MERV ratings (1-4) are typically designed to capture larger particles like dust and pollen, while higher-rated filters (13-20) can capture smaller particles such as tobacco smoke, bacteria, and viruses. MERV 11 filters fall in the mid-range and are particularly effective at capturing mold spores, pet dander, and pollen.
However, it’s essential to choose a filter with a MERV rating appropriate for your HVAC system, as higher MERV ratings result in greater air restriction. Using a filter with a rating that’s too high for your system can cause issues such as reduced airflow, increased energy consumption, and even damage to the HVAC system itself. Always consult your HVAC system’s manufacturer guidelines to determine the recommended MERV rating for your specific system.
For those who may want to consider standalone air filters with UV sanitation and HEPA filters, I recommend the GermGuardian brand. I use two GermGuardian models in my home:
- GermGuardian AC4825E for smaller rooms: https://amzn.to/3zMszbu
- GermGuardian AC5900WCA for larger rooms: https://amzn.to/41dhv2Q
Maintaining UV Sanitation Systems
To ensure the continued effectiveness of your UV sanitation system, it’s essential to replace the UV bulbs regularly. At the very least, UV bulbs should be replaced yearly. However, I have noticed that both GermGuardian and OdorStop bulbs may need replacement after 4-6 months, as they can burn out within this time frame.
In conclusion, UV sanitation systems, such as those offered by OdorStop, combined with high-quality furnace filters like MERV 11 filters, can significantly improve indoor air quality. This is especially important for individuals with respiratory conditions like asthma and for protecting against the spread of airborne viruses. Additionally, standalone air filters with UV sanitation and HEPA filters, like those from GermGuardian, can provide an extra layer of protection in individual rooms. To ensure the continued effectiveness of these systems, remember to replace UV bulbs as needed, typically every 4-6 months. Moreover, it’s crucial to choose the appropriate MERV-rated filter for your HVAC system to prevent potential airflow issues or system damage. By combining UV sanitation and the right furnace filters, you can create a healthier living environment for yourself and your family.