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COVID-19 killer? Homes and businesses installing virus-fighters

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The pandemic has businesses and homeowners finding new ways to protect their space. Low wavelength ultraviolet light, or UV-C light, is gaining attention as a COVID-19 killer.

Matt Ostovich, mechanical engineer for JM Brennan, says that before the pandemic, these lights were mainly installed in the heating and cooling systems in hospitals. "What it does is kill off any bacteria or fungi that's on the cooling coil," he said.

But now that UV-C light is known to be effective against the coronavirus, JM Brennan is installing the lights across the area. "Currently this is one of the hot products right now," Ostovich said.

JM Brennan put a UV-C light in the Milwaukee Public Library, says other businesses are looking into it, and has also installed it in area homes. But it doesn't come cheap for homeowners. "This unit is about $500. To furnish install, get an electrical connection, you are probably looking at $1000 to $1500," Ostovich said.

And UV-C light is harmful to people, it can severely damage skin and eyes.

Lisa Schiller with Better Business Bureau Wisconsin warns that any installation should be done by a reputable contractor. "See if the company is accredited by the BBB, because we've done the research for you," she said.

Nothing seems too foolproof against the virus, but one more line of defense is giving people some peace of mind.

There are a lot of products out there that claim to use UV light. Many of them aren't regulated. This device in your heating system seems to be the most proven and accepted by the experts.

There are some caveats with these UV-C lights.To fully purify air, the light needs to contact it for some time, possibly several seconds.

There are also a couple of cheaper alternatives. Some swear by ionic air purifiers

You could also increase your defense against the virus by simply installing a humidifier.

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