How Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Can Help You Breathe Easier
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is a powerful tool for improving your indoor air quality. Clean indoor air is crucial to the health and safety of people who spend most of their days working, collaborating, and playing indoors. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to provide your greatest assets with a healthy and safe indoor environment.
Efforts like social distancing and wearing masks are great for reducing the spread of viruses, but they do little to address the issue of indoor air quality (IAQ).
Fortunately, there’s another way to keep the people in your building(s) safe from harmful airborne contaminants. Understanding how UVGI disinfection works and what it does for your business can help you decide which IAQ strategies are right for you.
This article will help you make an informed decision about using UVGI to provide good indoor air quality (IAQ). We’ll walk you through what UVGI air disinfection is, how it works, and the many benefits it can bring to your business.
What is Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation?
UVGI technology in HVAC systems has grown in popularity as people have become more aware of the potential health risks associated with poor air quality, but what is it, exactly?
UVGI (Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation) is a disinfection method that uses ultraviolet light to eliminate microorganisms like mold, bacteria, or viruses. It has been used for decades in research laboratories, hospitals, and other areas where infection control is critical. In addition to helping reduce harmful bacteria in the air, UVGI can also help mitigate musty odors and improve indoor air quality.
How Does Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Work?
UVGI systems typically use a bulb that emits UVC light (the most effective wavelength for killing germs), continuously shining over an area to inactivate living organisms in places such as air handling units and ductwork.
UVC light is a type of UV light with a wavelength between 200 and 280 nanometers (nm), which can destroy the genetic material within viruses and microorganisms, limiting their ability to reproduce and effectively destroying them in the process. A wavelength of 253.7 nm is particularly effective at killing harmful microorganisms.
The Health Benefits of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation
Some of the benefits you can expect from UVGI air disinfection include:
- Improved IAQ as measured by lower levels of microorganisms and biofilm on surfaces
- Reduction in viruses, including the flu virus and coronavirus
- Reduction in allergy and asthma symptoms
- Reduction in odors caused by mold or mildew
- Cleaner, healthier air for you and your occupants
The Fiscal Benefits of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation
UVGI air disinfection offers many fiscal benefits, including cost savings and lower maintenance costs for HVAC systems:
Reduced Maintenance Costs
By implementing a UVGI system, businesses and organizations can save money on reduced maintenance costs. UVGI systems require little maintenance, and the bulbs typically only need to be replaced every 18 to 24 months, depending on the manufacturer recommendations.
Reduced Labor Costs
Automated UVGI systems require little to no labor costs because they are designed to run continuously. Other methods may require routine monitoring and cleaning, which incur costs for labor.
Reduced Energy Consumption
The HVAC systems of buildings that use UVGI are more efficient because they are not fighting against a buildup of fouling in air handling units, which can cause a system to work harder than it should.
Savings From Tax Deductions
EPACT 179D is an energy-efficiency tax deduction of $1.80 per square foot for building owners who install heating, cooling, or ventilation systems that reduce the energy and power cost of HVAC systems by 50% or more in comparison to a building meeting minimum requirements set by ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
EPACT 179D represents an opportunity to lower your operating costs and build healthier environments for your employees and customers.
Who Needs Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation?
UVGI air disinfection systems are a great fit for businesses, schools, and government entities looking to disinfect their air regularly. Whether you’re trying to combat concerns over the spread of viruses or simply looking to improve your indoor air quality, UVGI can help all of the people inside of your building(s) breathe easier.
UVGI air disinfection is particularly useful in medical facilities, where many patients who carry pathogens can cough or sneeze and spread them through the air. But it can also be helpful in schools and offices, where people can spread germs through sneezing, coughing, breathing, and even talking.
UVGI is an excellent way for businesses to keep their employees healthier as they return to work post-COVID. It’s also a perfect option for hospitals and other medical facilities where the risk of bacterial contamination is high.
Want to Know More About Providing Clean Indoor Air?
Indoor air can pose health risks, but UVGI air disinfection can help solve such problems. The current COVID-19 pandemic is a top-of-mind concern for everyone, and while there’s no way to guarantee that it will prevent the spread of airborne illness completely, using UV-C light in your business can help reduce the risk.
However, it’s important to note that UVGI air disinfection should never be used as the sole method for providing good indoor air quality, and it is equally important to know whether it is working correctly once installed. For UVGI systems to be the most effective, it is critical to measure parameters such as irradiance, temperature, and humidity, as all can influence the effectiveness of the lamps.
When was the last time you verified that your HVAC safety measures were working correctly?
With SAST iAQ Pro™, you can know the status of your indoor air quality and HVAC systems at all times, and you can communicate your indoor air quality to the public via forward-facing dashboards.
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