Grow Your Business With Ultraviolet Technology

Maintenance | Benefits | Miscellaneous

Grow Your Business With Ultraviolet Technology

If you aren’t using UV-C equipment in your customers HVACR systems, you should change that right now. Virtually all HVACR systems are potential candidates for UV-C because of the key benefits it offers, including: (a) destruction of surface and airborne microorganisms; (b) the restoration and preservation of heat transfer and airflow capacities to “as-built” conditions; (c) greatly improved indoor air quality; and (d) reduced maintenance.

And, for a global marketplace (residential, industrial and commercial) expected to reach $116 billion by 2019, contractors are wise to educate themselves on a technology that has been shown to significantly improve airflow and heat-transfer efficiency levels and lower their associated costs.

In a recent article, published by HVACR Business Magazine, Forrest Fencl, president of UV Resources and ASHRAE Fellow, examines the hidden value of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) energy in HVAC applications and the opportunities for contractors to use this technology to grow their business.

For the most part, HVACR contractors control these markets just as they do with other ancillary products shown to be of benefit to their customer base. Just as no one would operate an HVAC system without air filters — the time is coming when no one will operate HVACR systems without UV-C installed.

That said, UV-C technology is often misunderstood and therefore under-utilized by HVAC contractors.

Energy Savings

The UV-C wavelength (254nm) was promoted in the mid-1990s primarily to improve indoor air quality by preventing microbial buildup on HVAC cooling coils, air filters, and duct surfaces, and in drain pans. It performed very well.

However, it is generally agreed that as AC/R equipment ages, its ability to remove heat is compromised. This results from the buildup of contaminants on heat exchangers. A fouled coil is not always obvious by appearance alone, especially recently cleaned coils, but if a system no longer handles the load, the coil is likely fouled.

Checking airflow and comparing it to the original design is helpful in this determination. When combined with the air entering and leaving wet bulb temperatures, it shows that dirty coils negatively impact temperature differentials (TD or Δt) across the coil. This often results in higher air leaving wet bulb temperatures and less water being removed from the air. Less airflow and higher space humidity will usually bring about poor IAQ levels and occupant complaints.

It has been learned that adding UV-C to existing HVACR systems can reduce energy consumption on average up to 35 percent, while improving airflow and comfort levels.

Fencl emphasizes that UV-C by itself doesn’t save energy; rather, it restores coil and/or airflow performance to its original capacity.

The energy wasted to compensate for lost capacity is returned in the form of lower power consumption, and the potential dollar savings can be significant (ASHRAE).

Users report that UV-C installations are very cost effective. In fact, Fencl points out that most customers see paybacks in less than six months on energy use alone.

When coil cleaning, other reductions in maintenance, occupant complaints and call-backs are factored in, payback times are reduced further. They also report that UV installations cost no more, and sometimes less, than a professionally executed coil cleaning.

Keeping Performance Sustainable

Keeping buildings operating at their most efficient level and sustaining that performance over the life of a building is one of today’s key challenges for HVACR contractors.

Sustainability refers to the efficient use of energy, water and other resources throughout a building’s life-cycle. Sustainable technologies should also:

  • Be simple to maintain;
  • Conserve HVAC energy;
  • Maintain Indoor Air Quality;
  • Reduce water-use, chemical-use and their disposal

Part of ASHRAE’s mission is to use today’s technologies to minimize, or eliminate the use of non-green products-chemicals, sustain energy consumption and eliminate wasteful water use. UV-C directly addresses these goals, as noted in ASHRAE handbooks.

The UV-C market is expanding because contractors are finding that it solves many of the issues affecting their customers, whether its capacity problems, maintenance costs or indoor air quality issues.

Fencl calls UV-C a needed and growing market “must have” that builds goodwill and profitable relationships with customers.”

To read the full article at (click on image):