Improving Indoor Air Quality With UV-C

Restoration and cleaning professionals are no strangers to poor indoor air quality. Unfortunately, restoration measures can even worsen indoor air quality for a period of time, putting workers and building inhabitants at risk of the health effects caused by contaminants. By providing an extra layer of protection against harmful air pollutants, UV-C light can serve as a valuable sidekick for your next restoration project.

Understanding UV-C Light

UV-C is scientifically proven to possess potent antimicrobial and disinfectant properties. When viruses or bacteria are exposed to UV-C light, the energy from UV-C penetrates the DNA and RNA of the organism’s cells, causing damage to its DNA. In this way, UV-C effectively inactivates organisms by destroying their ability to reproduce and be dangerous to others. 

How Can UV-C Improve IAQ?

A key application of UV-C technology in improving indoor air quality is its ability to inactivate microorganisms. Unlike UV-A and UV-B, which are known for causing skin damage, UV-C light is absorbed by the DNA and RNA of microorganisms, destroying their ability to reproduce and cause infections.

For restoration and cleaning jobs, UV-C light can be combined with air filters to inactivate and remove contaminants from the air. By targeting microorganisms, UV-C can help eliminate the threat of specific pathogens, providing an added layer of protection during projects.

Moreover, UV-C light offers several benefits in improving IAQ, including: 

  1. Odor Elimination: Many VOCs have up to 10x higher concentrations indoors, leading to adverse health effects and foul odors. When VOCs are exposed to UV-C light, they undergo photodegradation, transforming into less volatile VOCs with reduced or no odor. However, not all ranges of UV-C are strong enough to break apart the chemical bonds of VOCs. To eliminate VOCs, UV-C light that produces VUV must be used.
  1. Allergen Reduction: UV-C light exposure can neutralize allergens, effectively reducing allergens in the indoor environment, including mold, pet dander, and dust. 
  2. Microbial Elimination: UV-C light disrupts the reproductive abilities of microorganisms, hindering their ability to infect and spread. By targeting these harmful agents, UV-C helps create a healthier and safer indoor space. 

Other Considerations

While UV-C light effectively inactivates microorganisms, it is essential to note that it does not remove the particles from the air without an air filter or scrubber. Employing additional removal means, such as air filters or cleaning methods, is essential to achieve a comprehensive indoor air quality environment.  

Additionally, some UV-C devices produce low ozone levels, which can affect indoor air quality. For this reason, it is essential to follow the operating instructions and warning labels and monitor ozone levels when used in occupied areas. 


By harnessing the power of UV-C light, restoration and cleaning professionals can significantly enhance indoor air quality for their clients and themselves when working on a job. With its efficacy in inactivating microorganisms, eliminating odors, reducing allergens, and microbial inactivation, UV-C light helps improve indoor air quality.

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