You are here

Ultraviolet Light for Fan Coil Unit Applications

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, or UVGI, has been used for about 100 years to disinfect water, surfaces and air, but traditionally, it has not been used in A/C systems, especially ductless fan coils. UVC energy can “escape” fan coil return and/or supply air openings to potentially do harm to eyes and skin. Our system is uniquely designed to prevent this, making UVC use in ductless systems safe. We are first to accomplish this design goal. UVC kills or inactivates microorganisms, and degrades most organic material to eliminate the mold, mildew, and slime along with their nutrients that accumulate on coils and in drain pans. This so-called bio-film binds (surface attachment) airborne contaminants to a coils surface through a complex aggregation of microbes and their excretion of a protective and adhesive type of matrix material. Degrading the matrix allows it to wash away with condensate runoff and residual drain pan water. This results in higher operating efficiencies through optimum heat exchange efficiency, reduced coil pressure drop and fewer clogged drains. Health benefits have been claimed as UVC reduces space specific concentrations of airborne virus and other infectious agents that circulate through any air conveyance system.

What is Ultraviolet (UV) Light?

UV energy can be found in the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by the sun, between visible light and x-rays, and it’s invisible to the human eye. The most germicidal frequency is approximately 260 nm. Man made germicidal UV is extremely close at 254 nm and is referred to as UVC. It’s a safe, well tested technology produced by lamps that are similar to fluorescent lights. To kill bacteria, virus and mold spores, UVC energy only needs to penetrate the microbe’s outer cell membrane to reach the DNA, where it severely damages this genetic material. It’s very easy for UVC and the best part is that no chemicals or any other residual materials need be used. The microbe is killed or is unable to reproduce so when UVC is combined with the right filter, the two become the optimal strategy for cost effective recirculation of the same air, over and over again.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Typically, A/C systems are damp, dark and full of nutrients; the perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. As they run, these inherent materials along with airborne infectious particles (virus) are circulated throughout the space. Research shows that occupants exposed to these contaminants can develop various health issues, including sinus congestion, headaches, allergies and asthma, as well as upper respiratory ailments, colds and flu. According to the World Health Organization, these ailments account for a substantial portion of absences from school and work, leading to lower productivity. As a result, UVC energy is required by the GSA for any government facility it funds. Other agencies and organizations recommending its use are the CDC, ASHRAE, Homeland Security and the DOE and more! UVGI can destroy several contaminants in HVAC systems to protect the coil, air distribution system, and occupant space and technicians alike.

Lower Operating Costs

The cooling coil is the most critical part of an A/C system. Because of moisture and dirt, coils can act as a "Petri dish" growing a myriad of microbes. These contaminate (allergens) like fungi, molds and bacteria also reduce a coils mechanical efficiency. It then either costs more to run or it simply no longer gets the job done. This common occurrence forms the basis of coil cleaning, a routinely “required” safeguard. But it’s costly, only effective for a short term and requires the use of chemicals. For fan coil units, coil access may not even be possible; just another reason why Engineered Comfort includes UVC. UVC can play a critical role in keeping coils clean. Our calculated intensity and positioning of UVC lamps allows us to deliver what’s needed, to all but eliminate traditional coil cleaning. System performance is maintained, harmful chemicals are not used and occupants and technicians alike are more comfortable, productive and safe. At Engineered Comfort, we’re about total comfort through secure and productive environments.
Ultraviolet Lights for Fan Coil Unit Applications