Restrictions are starting to soften across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses are back to normal. Others are easing in to a new routine. But how are you going to let people know your building is safe for return?
Germicidal UV fixtures for HVAC equipment is one of the most effective ways to eliminate pathogens in your building, including viruses.
Because each industrial HVAC system is unique, each application will be also be unique. Don't let that deter you. Most reliable manufacturers can configure an option that's right for your building.
Pros and cons of germicidal UV for HVAC
A recent report from the Illuminating Engineering Society mentioned one flaw in using germicidal UV HVAC fixtures. While the products disinfect air, they do little to stop person-to-person transmission.
But the benefits of using germicidal UV are two-pronged: clean, healthier air in your building and a cleaner, healthier HVAC system (which means less maintenance, odors, and an overall longer-lasting system).
Here's an overall look at the pros and cons of using germicidal UV fixtures on your HVAC equipment.
Pros for using germicidal UV for HVAC:
1. Energy savings. Germicidal UV fixtures not only clean your system, they improve the heat exchange efficiency. That means your energy costs are going down.
2. Reduced maintenance. Germicidal UV acts as a source of constant maintenance for your HVAC system. Instead of having to constantly pressure wash or clean equipment, germicidal UV constantly cleans disinfects, leading to less mold build-up.
3. No harsh chemicals. You can stop using those bleach tablets in your drain pans. Germicidal UV can replace or reduce the use of harsh chemicals. Plus, you can enter a room immediately after the products are turned off. No need to wait for harsh chemicals to dissipate.
4. Improved indoor air quality. Germicidal UV can help disinfect at the source of germs, which is typically coils or drain pans. It can greatly reduce the threat of pathogens entering the building through the HVAC system.
Cons for using germicidal UV for HVAC:
1. Safety requirements. Germicidal UV for HVAC applications is not dangerous when it is used correctly, but maintenance workers need to use extra caution. The proper safety equipment should be worn at all times. We advise strictly following manufacturer guidelines.
2. Access to equipment. Access to HVAC equipment may be limited if your germicidal UV equipment is constantly running. Also, access to the germicidal UV equipment itself may be limited based on where it is installed.
Germicidal UV applications for HVAC equipment
1. Coil-mounted germicidal UV fixtures
Coil-mounted germicidal UV fixtures are targeted at the coils and drain pans of the HVAC system.
These are often used on larger systems, where there is more room to mount a fixture or a series of fixtures.
PURO HVAC germicidal UV fixture
PURO™ Lighting is taking a new approach to germicidal UV HVAC solutions. Instead of mounting a system directly to coils, the company suggests using its Helo F1 fixture aimed at coils.
|PURO™ Lighting Helo F1|
The fixture should be mounted six feet away. The Helo F1 will emit broad-spectrum UV to the HVAC coils in one to two hour cycles.
Instead of running constantly, the Helo F1 runs for two hours or less. A single unit uses 45 watts of energy. That can save thousands of dollars a year for large industrial buildings.
If the Helo F1 is running when someone walks into the room, it will automatically shut off. The occupancy sensor detects motion. This could help create a safer work environment for maintenance staff.
American Ultraviolet HVAC coil-mounted fixtures
American Ultraviolet® offers a more traditional approach to disinfecting industrial HVAC systems.
|American Ultraviolet® CC Series||External box for CK Series|
The CC series and the CK series fixtures can be mounted individually or stacked in racks depending on the size of your system. With the CK series, the ballasts for the lamps can be mounted in an enclosed box outside of the room where the germicidal UV lamps are running. This allows maintenance teams to make sure the product is working from outside the room.
American Ultraviolet® recommends using high output UV lamps in these fixtures, which can last up to two years. By constantly cleaning cooling coils or drain pans, the UV lamps reduce the need for maintenance and create an overall healthier system.
Regardless of your approach, coil-focused solutions can be highly configurable to meet the needs of your industrial system. Contact us for a custom solution.
2. Duct-mounted germicidal UV fixtures
In-duct germicidal UV fixtures are an option when air handling units are smaller and there isn't enough room to set up a coil-mounted system.
The goal is to protect and disinfect the air passing through the system.
American Ultraviolet HVAC duct-mounted fixtures
American Ultraviolet® offers three options for duct-mounted fixtures.
|American Ultraviolet® DC Series|
The DC series fixture easily mounts on ducts to disinfect air passing through the HVAC system. The fixture is available in different insertion depths, but provides easy access to lamps for maintenance.
|American Ultraviolet® NC Series|
The NC series fixture is ideal for outdoor units. They're equipped with a weather-resistant housing. The ballast and lamp harness are mounted in an external box, making it easy to ensure the lamp is working.
|American Ultraviolet® ICR Series|
The ICR series fixture is ideal in areas where a high level of disinfection is required, like in hospitals. They can be mounted to ducts to disinfect the airstream, protecting people inside the building from pathogens traveling in the air.
Germicidal UV HVAC solutions
Every germicidal UV solution is unique based on the industrial HVAC system in each commercial building.
To find the best solution for you, contact us to speak with one of our lighting specialists.
Using germicidal UV on your HVAC system is a great place to start with disinfection, but it should not replace other cleaning and protective measures.
Germicidal UV products can also be used together to make sure you have the best line of defense against bacteria and viruses in your building.