UV-C FAQ'S

UV-C Air Sanitizer

What is UV-C?

UV-C is a type of ultraviolet (UV-C) energy in the 260-nanometer frequency. The “C” wavelength is the most germicidal in the UV-C spectrum.

 

Why do I need a Bio-Shield UV-C Air Sanitizer?

Studies have shown that inadequate ventilation in homes causes indoor air to be up to 2-5x more polluted than outdoor air. With up to 65 million North Americans suffering from asthma (8 million children), allergies or other respiratory issues, these conditions can be triggered by molds, dust and other aggregates. (Studies have also shown that one gram of duct dust can contain up to 50,000 bacteria).

 

Isn’t my expensive air filter cleaning the air enough?

UV-C Lights kill viruses and super small bacteria that don’t get trapped by the thickest of furnace/AC filters. Even HEPA filters can’t catch them. Viruses are as small as 0.003 microns and bacteria down to 0.2 microns. HEPA filters, if you’re lucky, claim to catch 0.3 microns, but good luck getting any airflow.Thick filter = minimum air flow, great filtration. Thin filter = maximum air flow, little filtration. Optimum filter (MERV 9-11 rating) = good filtration and good air flow.

 

How can UV-C Lights help me?

Studies (Health Magazine) show one out of six people who suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship to fungi and bacteria in air duct systems. If you or your family is one of these sufferers, studies show these conditions can be triggered by molds, dust and other indoor contaminants (Institute of Medicine). UV-C Light can alleviate your symptoms by attacking your triggers such as dust mites, molds and bacteria. By reducing the impact of these triggers, UV-C Light can alleviate the following:
Asthma, Allergies, Hay Fever, Fatigue, Insomnia, Dizziness, Depression, Headaches, shortness-of-breath, coughing and wheezing.
Also, when someone in your house catches a virus (cold, flu) the virus will be killed off sooner. Before centralized HVAC existed, ill family members would often get isolated in a dedicated room, so that no one else in the family would get sick. However in modern times, there is no longer a “sick room” because the air in all the rooms is pulled back into the main duct system and re-distributed everywhere in the house. With a Bio-Shield UV-C Air Sanitizer system, you can now create that “sick room” once again. The viruses lurking in that room where a family member is ill will eventually get pulled back into the duct system and be killed by the UV-C light, keeping everyone else in the house at a lower risk of getting sick.

How does it affect HVAC biofilm?

The “C” wavelength targets the DNA of microorganisms, causing cell death or making replication impossible. The UV-C energy kills or inactivates microbes, eradicating surface biofilm.

 

 

Does it work?

Yes, Bio-Shield UV-C Emitters continuously clean coils, drain pans, plenums and ducts; improves product quality, shelf-life and yield in food processing plants.

UV-C Air Sanitizer

Does UV-C relate to UVGI?

The two terms are basically synonymous. Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is a term used by Federal Agencies such OSHA, NIOSH and the CDC when referring to UV-C.

 

 

What is UVV?

UVV light refers to another wavelength in the ultraviolet spectrum. Some UV-C devices also produce light in this wavelength. The manufacturers of these devices promote UVV as an added tool for IAQ control, saying that UVV attacks microorganisms, chemicals, and odors. While this may be true, it is important to understand that UVV (unlike UV-C) will also “attack” occupants in treated spaces by adversely effecting human lungs!

The reason for this is that the shorter (185 nanometers) wavelength of UVV light actually generates ozone. This occurs because UVV light reacts with oxygen to break it into atomic oxygen, a highly unstable atom that combines with oxygen to form O3 (ozone). The American Lung Association states that “exposure to ozone causes a variety of adverse health effects, even at levels below the current standard.” And the U.S. Food & Drug Administration says: “In order for ozone to be effective as a germicide, it must be present in a concentration far greater than that which can be safely tolerated by man and animals.” The longer (254 nanometers) wavelength of UV-C light, by contrast, provides highly effective air, surface, and water disinfection without producing any harmful ozone.

The materials and methods of UV-C lamp construction determine whether a given UV-C device will produce both UV-C and UVV light or only the safer UV-C wavelength. Bio-Shield UV-C devices do not produce any UVV.

 

 

Can UV-C save energy?

Yes. Bio-Shield UV-C Air Sanitizer devices degrade organic buildup in coils, keeping coils continuously clean. This lowers HVAC energy costs by improving heat transfer and increasing net cooling capacity. Bio-Shield UV-C has a Life Cycle Cost program that provides an excellent way to predict energy and operational savings.

 

Will UV-C kill mold in ducts?

Yes, applying UV-C at the coil dramatically reduces the overall activity in the rest of the A/C system as well as the space. There is scientific evidence of this by Dr.’s Richard Shaughnessy and Estelle Leviten, Tulsa University. View Scientific Study

 

 

Does it produce ozone?

No, Bio-Shield UV-C devices do not produce ozone or other secondary contaminants.

 

How will I save money with UV-C?

In commercial, industrial or institutional buildings, a Bio-Shield UV-C installation offers the most rapid payback in the industry. A typical installation can pay for in less than two years and save thousands of dollars thereafter in energy and maintenance costs. This is possible because the devices continually clean coils, drain pans, plenums and ducts, reducing or eliminating costly cleaning programs. HVAC energy costs are lowered by improving heat transfer and increasing net cooling capacity. General IAQ is improved for better productivity and less absenteeism. Product quality, shelf life and yield in processing plants are improved as well.

 

Does it replace filters?

No, a UV-C fixture is an air conditioning component that is used in addition to other system parts. These include the coil, heating core, fan, dampers, humidifiers, filters, etc. All are designed to do some form of work within the air handler or on the air.

The UV-C Air Sanitizer should be used in conjunction with standard and high-end filters. HVAC filters trap airborne particles based on their size, allowing most microorganisms to pass through undeterred. The UV light attacks microorganisms. It is recommended to install the UV-C Air Sanitizer downstream of the air filter.

 

Do I need UV-C if I use antimicrobial filters?

UV-C is not a replacement for filters. UV-C addresses the problem of coil “biofilm” which is usually downstream of the filters. Antimicrobial treated filters rely on direct contact to kill the microbes. As the filter builds a layer of dirt on it, this direct contact is eliminated and the microorganisms will not be affected by the chemical treatment. Therefore, treated filters will not accomplish the task of eliminating the growth on the coil.

 

Where is it installed?

Bio-Shield UV-C Air Sanitizer fixtures are designed specifically for installation in HVACR applications. On existing systems, infestations always exist. Therefore, the best results are obtained when the light is located downstream of and facing the coil. In this location the user can expect the highest efficacy in eliminating surface (coil and plenum), drain pan and airborne microbes. On new systems, it can be placed either up or downstream of the coil and aimed at the coil.

 

Is it hard to install?

No, installation instructions are available. Depending on the fixture size and style, installation time can average about 15-20 minutes per fixture. The factory must always be involved for infectious disease applications.

 

How do you size it?

For IAQ, improved heat transfer, reduced maintenance and odor, the rule of thumb calls for about 24″ of UV-C Emitter length for every 4 square feet of coil face area. The factory should always size applications involving infectious disease applications.

 

Do you clean the coil first?

No. UV-C will degrade all of the organic material on and within a coil, usually within 30 days or less. Prior cleaning of the coil is not necessary, and may delay the benefits of UV-C.

 

What are the limits of temperature, humidity and velocity?

Limit rules of thumb are 32-170° F, 99% RH and 1000 fpm, respectively.

 

Can UV-C products be used at 50Hz?

Yes, all of our voltage options can be used at 50Hz.

 

How does the UV-C Air Sanitizer work?

The UV-C Air Sanitizer installs inside the plenum of a forced air heating or air conditioning system. The powerful UV-C rays reduce airborne contamination, as air passes the bulb.

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Does the UV-C Air Sanitizer kill mold?

Yes. the UV-C Air Sanitizer uses powerful UV light to help reduce and kill mold, bacteria, viruses, dust-mites and other airborne invaders.

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Is the UV-C Air Sanitizer harmful in any way?

If properly installed inside the duct, air health is a safe and practical product. However, direct exposure to UV light is not recommended, as it may cause damage to skin and eyes. UV light does not pass through solid materials such as plastic, glass or metal ductwork.

 

How long has UV been used in air purification?

UV has been used to purify air since 1936. It was first used to sanitize air in a surgical operating room. UV has been used in schools to reduce the development of epidemics. Restaurants, veterinary clinics, barber shops, incubation rooms, and hospitals also use ultraviolet light applications.

 

What is the importance of UV light products?

Over 90% of people’s time is spent indoors. Concentrations of microorganisms will increase indoors, with little or no ventilation. With a larger number of death cases being caused by various bacteria, controlling the development and spread of pathogens is of chief concern in indoor environments. According to indoor air quality experts, controlling airborne microorganisms is the next major challenge of the HVAC industry.

 

Why use a UV light product?

The two primary benefits to using UV light are disinfecting air and preventing growth of mold. The UV light radiates a surface to keep mold from growing in that area and disinfects the air stream as it passes through the HVAC system. In one pass over the UV bulb, a high disinfection rate is not normally accomplished in the air stream. With repeated circulation of air through the system, a major disinfection rate is accomplished, making use of UV light very positive.

 

Is the product suitable for people with severe allergy or asthma problems?

Yes. By reducing airborne contamination, air health can offer relief to many allergy and asthma sufferers. The device is not solely for people with respiratory disorders. Your whole household can benefit from breathing “healthified” air.

 

Why does the unit remain on at all times?

Microorganisms collect in moist, dark places. When the light remains on, the reproduction of these organisms may be reduced. The method also simplifies the installation. Complex wiring into the fan circuit is eliminated. Isolation relays, sail switches, and pressure switches are not required for installation. The unit plugs into a standard 120-VAC outlet. It is also more energy efficient to leave the bulb on constantly. Similar to fluorescent lights, the energy necessary to switch on the UV bulb is high, while functioning energy is low.

 

What is the best location for the UV-C Air Sanitizer?

Install the UV-C Air Sanitizer in either the supply or return plenum of the warm air heating system. With A/C systems, the best location is over the air conditioning coil.

 

Why does the bulb require a yearly replacement?

After 375 days of operation, 9,000 hours, the bulb starts to become “solarized”. The UV-C output is condensed to around 80% of its original intensity, which steadily weakens thereafter. The bulb will still be illuminated, producing visible light, however, the UV-C light will diminish reducing effectiveness.

 

How long is the warranty?

The warranty of the UV-C Air Sanitizer is one year from the date of purchase for the unit and 30 days for the bulb.

 

How does the UV-C Air Sanitizer differ from other UV devices?

UV energy has been successfully used for many applications including water treatment, hospitals, etc. the UV-C Air Sanitizer was designed specifically for use in HVAC systems. It creates a consistent, high output of UV energy. the UV-C Air Sanitizer’s intensity output maximizes microorganism disinfection and guarantees cleaner indoor air.

 

What is UV-C light and how does it kill bacteria?

UV-C is the invisible, ultraviolet, C-band radiation that makes up part of the sun’s light spectrum. By altering the DNA and RNA and effectively sterilizing the organisms, the UV-C light prevents growth and germination of microorganisms. Once sterilized, they cannot reproduce and with their short life cycles, they are successfully killed.

 

What kind of maintenance is required?

It is suggested to regularly inspect air health’s operation through the view port to make certain the bulb is on. It is also essential to change the UV bulb yearly, as the intensity of the bulb’s output diminishes over time. Studies indicate that after 12 months, ultraviolet output will fall below minimum requirements for protection. Even though a bulb may appear to be operating satisfactorily, output intensity may be significantly reduced. The changing of the UV bulb should be done during yearly furnace or A/C Inspection.

 

 

Can the UV-C Air Sanitizer be installed in the return air?

Yes! The return air plenum is an optional location. We recommend the unit be positioned upstream or before the humidifier. This should prevent the bulb from getting water spots. Water spots will reduce UV output.

 

How long does installation take?

Installation can take 10 minutes. We suggest allotting 30 minutes to play it safe.

 

Why use eye protection?

A quick look from a distance may not be a problem, but looking at a UV-C bulb close up for 5-10 seconds could injure the eyes. UV-C light will injure human tissue following continuous exposure and can severely burn the eyes. Shielding the eyes with plastic protective goggles is highly recommended. UV light cannot be seen. When you look at a UV bulb, you are seeing the visible light, not UV light. There are numerous bands in the UV light spectrum. UV-C is used to control mold and microorganisms.

 

Does the bulb require cleaning?

Yes. The bulb may need to be cleaned every 3 to 6 months depending on its functioning environment. Dirt and oil on the surface of the bulb reduce output intensity. Upon installation, the bulb should be wiped down with the alcohol swab provided. Simply remove the bulb and clean with alcohol. Avoid touching the bulb with bare hands. The oils in your hands can reduce UV output.

 

What is the meaning of microwatts per centimeter at 1 meter?

Microwatts per centimeter at 1 meter is an intensity rating: the amount of UV-C energy exposed onto one square centimeter of surface area on a target placed 1 meter from the bulb.

 

Why install the UV-C Air Sanitizer above the air conditioning coil?

Moisture collects on the air conditioning coil, creating a damp surface for growth of mold and microorganisms. With the UV bulb over the A/C coil, the bulb will continuously infuse the coil with its rays, successfully disinfecting the air as well as keeping the coil clean.

 

Is the technology proven?

Yes! the UV-C Air Sanitizer and other UV products have been installed in all types of buildings including: homes, hospitals, offices, public buildings, food preparation plants, electric utilities companies, and more. Consumers constantly report improvements in air quality and reduced respiratory illnesses.

 

Is it affordable?

Compared to high costs of medical treatment and missed work as a result of poor indoor air quality, the UV-C Air Sanitizer pays for itself quickly. the UV-C Air Sanitizer costs only pennies a day to operate, consuming about the same amount of energy as a 30-watt light bulb.

 

Should the HVAC appliance fan or blower run continuously?

No. This is not necessary. During normal operation of the heating or air conditioning, the blower will circulate the air over the UV bulb from 50-75 times a day, which is sufficient. During moderate weather, when neither the A/C or heat is on, it is recommended to open the windows to allow for fresh air infiltration and/or to operate the blower continuously (turn on the fan) to circulate air over the UV light.

 

Does the UV-C Air Sanitizer produce a fresh-air smell?

Many smells are not addressed by the UV-C Air Sanitizer, however, some unpleasant smells emanate from the development of microorganisms. the UV-C Air Sanitizer works to reduce mold and other common household germs, which in turn can create a fresher smelling environment.

 

Does home health products’ the UV-C Air Sanitizer produce ozone?

No! home health products does not endorse the use of ozone in spaces that are occupied. Ozone has been linked to respiratory problems and is a known carcinogen. Because the UV-C Air Sanitizer does not produce ozone, the unit can remain turned on at all times. This feature allows the UV-C Air Sanitizer to continuously attack the microorganisms in the system.

 

How much electricity does the light use?

Roughly, the light will use 30 watts of power for one bulb.

 

What precautions should be taken before opening or servicing the ductwork where a UV-C bulb is in use?

Prior to any service of the HVAC system or ductwork, the UV-C Air Sanitizer should be unplugged and turned off. Read all warning labels and service procedures located in the installation manual.

 

What effects will UV-C have on plastics such as coil pans?

UV-C can cause a breakdown of the material over time, if the plastic is not UV resistant. Lab tests reveal no measurable breakdown of plastic material will occur if you position the bulb 30 inches or more away from plastic surfaces.