Why UVC ?
UVC Germicidal Fixtures increase the value of all air conditioning and air-circulating systems by:
Maximizing system efficiency
Prolonging blower life
Providing healthier air to breathe
Treating air that passes through an HVAC unit with ultraviolet light will reduce, or eliminate, DNA-based airborne contaminants (bacteria, viruses, mold spores, yeast, protozoa), and provide much healthier air to breathe. UVC Germicidal Fixtures are a labor-free solution that will not harm occupants, equipment or furnishings because they produce no ozone or secondary contaminants. For more than 70 years, tens of thousands have been safely installed in hospitals, clinics, processing plants, commercial offices, manufacturing sites and other commercial facilities and multi-and single-family residences around the world.
Basics of UVC
For HVAC applications, just as with all other UVC sterilization applications, direct exposure to 254nm UVC radiation, given appropriate exposure time, will inactivate the DNA and RNA of microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses, mold spores, yeast, and protozoa), rendering them "sterile" (unable to reproduce), which, in biological terms, results in a "dead" microorganism.
An acceptable kill rate is determined by the total amount of UVC energy a microorganism "sees." This is a "dosage." Dosage is a product of the intensity of UVC radiation (expressed in microwatts per square centimeter) and exposure time to that radiation. You can find the necessary dosage for most common mold spores in the following table. Mold spores are generally much more difficult to kill than microorganisms and viruses and, thus, require a much higher dosage of ultraviolet light. The values shown under the percentage kill are in microwatts per square centimeter of UVC energy.
Germicidal Lamp Technology
When researching UVC Germicidal Fixtures, you may come across several different types of lamp technologies and configurations.
All UVC lamps essentially consist of a quartz envelope containing mercury and other gases and electrodes. When the lamp is struck, the energy between the electrodes excites the mercury into a vapor, which produces C-band ultraviolet energy. Almost all germicidal lamps currently being used in mainstream HVAC applications have been low-pressure lamps; American Ultraviolet recommends using High Output lamps. Following is information about some of the more common UVC lamps:
Hot Cathode low-pressure lamps - this older technology, which is not very common today, uses a soft glass envelope (which devitrifies faster) and small electrodes (which put out less intensity and doesn't last as long as other lamps). They are rather inexpensive when compared to Slimline or High Output lamps.
Slimline low-pressure lamps- these have been the most commonly used germicidal ultraviolet lamps. They utilize a much harder quartz envelope and bigger electrodes than hot cathode lamps. They can have a useful life of up to 15,000 hours and produce almost two times the intensity of a hot cathode lamp of the same size.
High-output lamps- essentially Slimline lamps, these high-output lamps use a heavy-duty electrode and slightly different gas mixture to produce 100% more UV intensity than an equal length Slimline lamp, while still maintaining an effective life of up to 15,000 hours. The majority of American Ultraviolet UVC Germicidal Fixtures for HVAC applications use an even more efficient High Output ultraviolet lamp, and have an effective life of up to 17,000 hours (two years).
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