May 07, 2020 “UV-C Specifications In HVAC Systems Growing At Fastest Rate In History!”
For Fewer Callbacks, Greater HVAC Efficiency and Improved IAQ, Specify UV-C
We are in the midst of an HVAC revolution as the number of mechanical engineers specifying UV-C in all building types is mushrooming at historic levels.
The ultraviolet-C (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, duct surfaces and drain pans. UV-C removes and prevents microbial buildup and growth, which serves as an obstacle to the heat-transfer efficiency of HVAC systems. ASHRAE has known about these benefits for many years, designating upper air UV-C as having the “Highest” priority for research in most all building categories.
Why should you specify UV? As coil performance degrades, the ability to maintain temperature set points is compromised, due to a decrease of heat transfer and air flow levels that are brought about from increased coil pressure drop. This also creates unwanted building pressure differentials that lead to unplanned cross-contaminating air flows. When UV-C energy is specified, the system maintains as-built performance and there are fewer callbacks.
System efficiency: Most HVAC systems will suffer up to a 25 percent reduction in capacity in as little as 5 years of service due to a lack of, or an incomplete mechanical cleaning of coils. Incomplete cleaning can often be attributed to newer, harder-to-clean coil designs, the inherent limitations of pressure washing, outlawed cleaning chemicals and lack of personnel/labor.
Applied in new systems, UV-C lamps prevent the buildup of such organic material on coils, drain pans, and interior air-handler surfaces, thus maintaining the original heat-transfer capacity lowering the amount of energy needed to provide the necessary amount of cooling and ventilation, over time.
Comfort and IAQ:Oftentimes, building occupants suffer from chronic allergies or other health problems that can be exacerbated by poor air quality. UV-C rids the air handler of the microorganisms that propagate foul odors, allergens and pathogens in the airways, translating to better IAQ, improved occupant productivity, and lower incidences of sick days.
Environmental impacts: UV-C can be considered a “green” product because it eliminates the need for water, chemicals and the corresponding waste disposal issues necessary with mechanical cleaning methods. The air handling unit’s carbon footprint is thus reduced.
Economic impact: Reducing energy costs, occupant sick calls, service calls and system maintenance downtime all translate into noteworthy cost savings for building owners. Also, buildings with highly functioning HVAC systems are shown to increase the value of building tenant leases and lower HVAC-related costs and building occupant turnover.
The growth of UV-C specifications in all building categories has seen strong growth patterns primarily due to the technology’s ability to sustain HVAC equipment performance while decreasing the manpower historically devoted to equipment maintenance.
The above was based on the original article “UV-C Specifications in HVAC Systems Growing at Fastest Rate in History!”