UV light helping extend life of HVAC units

Poor indoor air quality in an office can stymie production.

In a hospital setting, it can kill.

So a growing number of medical centers are using the intensity of ultraviolet light – the same rays that can burn and permanently damage skin – to thwart pesky bacteria.

For years, UV light has been used in health services facilities as part of their disinfection regimens to quickly kill any contaminants. Nowadays, the technology is incorporated into the coil systems of HVAC units to help prevent germs from becoming airborne.

Over time, the moistness of an HVAC coil becomes a breeding grown for mold and bacteria. Those organisms penetrate the metal, wearing it down and diminishing efficiency.

The buildup diminishes the coil’s pressure and ability to transfer heat from the air. UV killing the mold and bacteria reverses the transfer rate and boosts pressure.

“It’s an energy savings product,” Dan Jones, president of UV Resources, said while showcasing the company’s technology at AHR Expo 2018 in Chicago.

UV emerged in the HVAC industry in the mid-1990s and targeted indoor air quality. At the turn of the century, focus shifted to coils and how UV could positively impact a unit’s efficiency and lifespan and minimize bad odors.

Besides preventing microbial buildup in HVAC/R cooling coils, UV light keeps drain pans, air filters and duct surfaces clean. Its proper application, officials say, results in improved heat-transfer efficiency and reduced odor, maintenance and energy use.

These effects also can lower the incidence of airborne allergies, colds and flu, resulting in reduced absenteeism among workers.

Hospitals remain major users of HVAC equipment containing UV technology, and many new units include the solution. Use of UV has expanded these days to schools, government buildings and even marijuana grow facilities.

Residences in areas with high humidity, such as Florida, also have become users of the UV products.

Jones said the technology is a viable option for new construction and retrofits and can even breathe new life into waning units.

“We can go into older machines, where their performance has degraded, put UV on and actually bring back that performance … and save that facility a lot of money,” Jones said.

 

 


Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, Environmental Firms, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthcare - Hospitals & Medical Facilities, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Interiors, Office Buildings, Technology, Ventilation

Companies: ASHRAE


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