Leveraging HVAC Technology Against COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated interest in smart building technologies, especially for building automation, monitoring HVAC systems, and tracking density within spaces while offering remote access.
Indoor air quality is now high on employees’ lists of concerns as businesses look to bring staff back into buildings. In addition to thorough cleaning of surfaces, quality ventilation is an effective strategy for reducing the spread of pathogens in indoor spaces. This means increasing the frequency of changing building air filters. New technology can help monitor those systems (even off-site) and provide warnings and reminders to building managers.
More important than just upgrading to higher quality air filters is the installation of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) which uses short-wave ultraviolet (UVC) energy to inactivate viral, bacterial, and fungal organisms so they are unable to replicate and potentially cause disease.
There are various types of UVC that are all designed specifically for commercial HVAC applications. They can be mounted in various configurations to irradiate cooling coils and drain pans and for optimum pass-by-air decontamination. Individual fixtures can be mounted to plenum walls or multiple fixtures can mount to frame assemblies that span supply ducts or cooling coils.
These systems are designed to improve indoor air quality by reducing bacteria, viruses, mold, and spores that either grow or pass through the air handling systems. In addition, they continuously clean the coils, drain pans, plenums, and ducts, eliminating costly cleaning programs and the use of harmful chemicals and disinfectants. They do not produce ozone or any other secondary contaminants.
More than 99.9% of seasonal coronaviruses present in airborne droplets were killed when exposed to a particular wavelength of ultraviolet light that is safe to use around humans, a new study at Columbia University Irving Medical Center has found. Based on their results, the researchers estimate that continuous exposure to far-UVC light at the current regulatory limit would kill 99.9% in about 25 minutes.
While we are now faced with new uncertainties, technology like UVC can combat viruses that we have never dealt with before while maintaining some level of normalcy in buildings. To learn the cost and applicability for your system, let us help you work with our GCP members, Air Force One and Pearl Wind, who can manage this process for you effectively.