Ultraviolet Solutions: 3 Best Practices to Disinfect Your Air

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) often referred to as ‘UV light’ should serve as the foundation of any workplace safety plan because of how pathogens spread illness and impact employee health through the air.

A core ultraviolet solution, UVGI light is deadly to bacteria, fungi, and viruses which can lurk within your air ducts or air conditioners. These pathogens or microorganisms are pushed throughout facilities, increasing the odds of illnesses spreading quickly and widely throughout facilities.

There are three best practices for disinfecting the air in an enclosed space, which are critical when you are trying to create a safe and healthy workspace for your employees. Any successful air disinfection strategy employing UVGI is going to have one to three components – air handling units, air ducts or upper-room installation – depending on the facility.

Here’s a high-level overview of how they work.

Ultraviolet solutions for disinfecting air

The above photos shows air conditioner coils before and after sterile-air UVC

Ultraviolet Solutions Eliminate Mold, Bacteria and Fungus in Air Handling Units

Air handling units such as air conditioners can harbor a lot of things you don’t want to breath. Cooling coils and drain pans inside the units are often wet leading to mold and bacteria growth.

Over time, these substances build up and eventually shed particles into the air that subsequently enter the occupied spaces, posing risks, such as non-infectious respiratory health effects. Irradiating the cooling coils and drain pans with UV light can dramatically reduce mold and bacteria growth or destroy the microbial films that previously accumulated on the surfaces, keeping the air coming out of the air handling unit clean.

UVGI in Air Ducts Treats Moving Air Streams

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems installed in air ducts treat moving air streams in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to inactivate and eliminate airborne microorganisms. UVGI system performance and costs to implement and operate the system depend greatly on the output of the UV lamps and the exposure time, which are affected by the temperature and the velocity of the air passing through the UVGI device.

UVGI in Upper Rooms Helps in Crowded Spaces

Upper-room UVGI with a wavelength range of 100–280 nm (UV-C) has been verified to efficiently disinfect airborne microbial organisms by inhibiting their ability to replicate. For upper room spaces, which are above head level at 7 feet or higher), UVGI can help purify air, particularly in more crowded areas such as a large conference room or cafeteria where it is tougher for air handling units to circulate air. These lamps face the ceiling purifying the air above and around it and complement UV lamps installed in air ducts or air handling units.

Learn more from an Expert Lighting Group team member on how to book an in depth study of your facility. See how a custom UV solution can be part of your safety plan to disinfect the air.