INDOOR AIR QUALITY IS MORE VITAL THAN EVER for ensuring general healthiness and safeguarding households from airborne viruses. Air purification will most likely evolve very quickly into an important safety feature of a home’s HVAC and ventilation system. TD Magazine has published several articles on the importance of planning the installation of customized air and water purification systems. With growing concerns about the spread of viruses and the need to eliminate them in a home, we'd like to share the relative ease and options in adding a UV Germicidal Lamp solution to existing HVAC ductwork. While UV Germicidal Lamps are not new for air and water purification and elimination of pathogens, we do see an opportunity for installers who will see consumers buying into these peace-of-mind solutions.
UV light 101
So, what exactly is ultraviolet light? Despite those little tags on sunglasses identifying the protection against UV rays and the various sun block products, the commercial and indoor grow enthusiasts use of UV Lighting doesn’t seem to be a concern. Some UV is good, and some UV isn’t good. Those aware of the issues surrounding the thinning of the ozone layer of the atmosphere are likely to understand there are different UV light energy bands.
Ultraviolet light is part of the light spectrum, which is classified into three wavelength ranges:
- UV-C, from 100 nanometers (nm) to 280 nm
- UV-B, from 280 nm to 315 nm
- UV-A, from 315 nm to 400 nm
why UV-C light is germicidal
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to talk about UV-C light, which is considered a short-wave UV or UV-C light. The wavelength of UV-C falls in the range of 100 to 280 nanometers. It is this range that is considered germicidal and specifically used for air and water purification to eliminate the threats to health in this application.
The UV-C wavelength effectively deactivates the DNA (or RNA in the case of COVID19) of bacteria, virus and other pathogens resulting in their ability to multiply and cause disease. UV-C light in this respect causes damage to the nucleic acid of microorganisms by forming covalent bonds between certain adjacent bases in the DNA. The formation of such bonds prevents the DNA from being unzipped for replication, and the organism is unable to reproduce. In fact, when the organism tries to replicate, it dies.
what are the benefits of germicidal ultraviolet?
Because ultraviolet technology is non-chemical, this method of disinfection adds nothing materially — so it is simple, inexpensive and requires very little maintenance. Ultraviolet purifiers utilize germicidal lamps that are designed and calculated to produce a certain dosage of ultraviolet (usually at least 16,000 microwatt seconds per square centimeter, but many units have a much higher dosage.) The principle of its design is based on a product of time and intensity — successful designs are engineered with a balance of both to meet a specific application for addressing air-flow rate and volume.
how do ultraviolet air purifiers work?
Germicidal lamps are shortwave, low pressure tubes that produce ultraviolet wavelengths lethal to microorganisms. Approximately 95 percent of the ultraviolet energy emitted from germicidal lamps is at the 254-nanometer range, the region of germicidal effectiveness most destructive to bacteria, mold and virus. Air that passes through the chamber is exposed to the germicidal light UV and results in the deactivation of the genetic material of the microorganism. This prevents the virus’s reproduction and renders them harmless.
in-duct UV lamp products
- Units may be mounted into new or existing air duct systems
- Constructed of corrosion-resistant Stainless Steel
- Air is subjected to rays from Germicidal Ultraviolet lamp or lamps
- Observation Port/Sight Glass Assembly allows for visual inspection of the lamp
- Continuous disinfection without special attention
- Efficient lightweight electronic ballast
- Numerous models available to handle various applications
Fresh-Air Duct Purification
Reduces and/or removes the following:
- Tobacco Smoke
- Pet Odors
- Cooking Smells
- Building Materials
- Flooring & Carpets
- Paints & Solvents
- Cleaning Chemicals
- Gas & Oil Fumes
UV light benefits
TD Magazine will be providing more insights on best addressing air and water purification to include UV Germicidal Lamp Solutions. Next month, we’ll report on standalone air purification options for applications where a forced air heating and HVAC system doesn’t exist.