Improve Indoor Air Quality and Reduce HVAC Operating Costs with UVC Lights

May 23rd, 2012

 
Did you know that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your building can be a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, viruses and microbial growth – and the conveyer of contaminated air throughout the building? Even the best maintained building develops indoor air contamination problems within a few years, resulting in poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Property managers and building owners can improve their facility’s IAQ by equipping air handling units with high-output ultraviolet-C (UVC) germicidal lights, which not only kill the mold and bacteria that grow and circulate in the HVAC systems, but also improve the energy efficiency with better heat transfer.

Poor indoor air quality can be harmful to building occupants. Indoor air pollutants, contaminants and toxins can cause a wide range of health issues, ranging from asthma, allergies, dizziness, lack of concentration, ear, nose, eye and throat irritations and headaches. Contaminated systems have been linked to sick building syndrome (SBS). By improving the IAQ, you will be improving the health, productivity and profitability of your indoor environment.

Dirt and mold that accumulate around the cooling coils and drain pans cannot be completely removed using chemicals and traditional coil cleaning methods. Chemicals can clean the exterior of the coils, but are not effective in penetrating the coil’s interior, leaving the coils alive with multiplying organisms that live and grow in the cooling coils. The mold, dirt and bacteria act as insulators on the coils, impeding heat transfer, increasing the pressure across the coils and reducing air flow.

High-output UVC lights are an effective strategy to control mold and microbial and virus transmission. They rely on UVC energy, the most germicidal wavelength in the ultraviolet spectrum, to eradicate both surface and airborne micro-organisms quickly and effectively. The UVC energy attacks the organism’s DNA and either kills it immediately or prevents it from reproducing. With continual exposure, the carcasses and other organic material degrade through evaporation (without heat), cleaning the coil to “as new” specifications.

UVC lights keep coils, drain pans and other components free of mold and organic build-up. UVC continuously cleans the coils, reducing or eliminating the need for coil cleaning as a scheduled maintenance task. They keep the coils clean even down through the center, despite fins that can trap and hold moisture and dirt, which can reduce air flow significantly. Fins increase the efficiency of the coils by providing more heat transfer surface. The cleaner coils improve energy efficiency, allowing more heat transfer and air volume.

High-output UVC devices also help reduce energy consumption, by lowering the electrical energy needed to run air handlers. By keeping coils clean and free of organic build-up, UVC reduces pressure drop across the coils and increases net cooling capacity. Overall benefits include:

-Improves air quality

-No mildew or chemical odor

-Conserves water

-Saves maintenance and labor costs

-No equipment downtime to clean coils

-Eliminates manual coil cleaning and the need for chemicals

-Lowers energy costs by up to 15%

-Improves HVAC system efficiency and performance

-Reduces AHU operating costs

-Improves energy efficiency and capacity with more heat transfer and air volume

-Prolongs the life of HVAC equipment

In summary, UVA devices result in healthier, more energy-efficient and productive indoor environments by killing microorganisms that grow, disseminate and circulate in air handling systems.

About Crockett Facilities Services, Inc.

Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI), a woman-owned, MDOT MBE contractor, delivers building operations and maintenance, mechanical contracting, heating and air conditioning services to commercial and government clients. CFSI’s Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) STAR and GreenSTAR certified technicians maximize operational efficiency and ensure continuous systems operations, helping building owners and property managers control capital expenditures and reduce energy consumption. CFSI President Cynthia Crockett recently received the 2012 Minority Business Leader Award from the Washington Business Journal and was named a Smart100 member by Baltimore SmartCEO magazine in 2011. Listed as a top 10 mechanical contractor in the Washington Business Journal and certified by WBENC and MD/DC MSDC, CFSI’s awards include the Blue Ribbon, Small Business Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Contractor of the Year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.

Crockett Facilities Services is your complete solution for integrated facility operations,24/7 HVAC and maintenance services.

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Sources:

Improving IAQ with UVC

Do You Know Your IEQ?

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