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Heating & Air News

How UV Lights Prevent Biological Growth on HVAC Units

Posted by Howell's Heating & Air on March 13, 2020

The concern about the rise of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (or the novel coronavirus) around the world has brought many inquiries to us in recent days with questions about the use of Ultravation air and surface disinfection products to help reduce the populations of this micro-organism in indoor environments.

COVID-19 picUltravation® has been engineering UVC products for both the residential, institutional and commercial applications for over 20 years. A primary focus of our company is to provide devices that reduce or eliminate unwanted biological growth on air conditioning components such as AC coils and blower wheels as well as HVAC airstream purification via sterilization using UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation). Some products are enhanced with photocatalytic oxidation (PCO), and/or bi-polar ionization that reduce other forms if indoor air pollution and are germicidal as well.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), which is “. . . a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment” has recently released their “proactive guidance to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)” (https://www.ashrae.org/about/news/2020/ashrae-resources-available-to-address-covid-19-concerns) as it relates to heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems.

The ASHRAE publication refers to the use of UVGI for 1) airstream purification and 2) upper room disinfection for the purpose of reducing via sterilization potential airborne pathogens.

Ultravation® manufactures both HVAC airstream disinfection (https://commercial.ultravation.com/products/uvmatrix-as-uv-commercial-hvac-systems/) and convection driven upper room (https://commercial.ultravation.com/products/uvmatrix-fs-series-upper-level-convection-germicidal-uv-room-air-disinfection/) products as noted by ASHRAE. They emit pure 254 NM UVC (UVGI) with no production of ozone. Ultravation engineering can assist as needed with determining model configuration or “sizing” products by determining the amount of UVC energy necessary to sterilize target organisms as well as by analysis or HVAC or room characteristics for recommendation for proper placement and operating instructions to ensure projected performance.

None of our products have been tested specifically regarding the reduction or elimination of COVID-19. It is considered possible to model potential disinfection rates based on the UV resistance and dosage requirements of pathogens with a similar composition. In general, viruses have less resistance to UVC energy than bacteria while microscopic molds and algae have the highest resistance.

Topics: UV Lights

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