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Application of UV Light Systems into Central Air Handlers

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There are two schools of thought on the use of UV light for control of environmental contaminants in a central air handling Mold Sporessystem. They are: air-stream disinfection and surface disinfection.
Air-Stream disinfection entails targeting the UV Light in the air-stream at a point in the system that allows for sufficient exposure time for adequate exposure to the airborne pathogens. In this case, when you have limited time of exposure due to the velocity of the moving air-stream, more than one UV light unit may be required to achieve adequate exposure time. In commercial applications, this is feasible because there are many places in commercial systems that allow the room to install multiple units, such as at the mixing box between the filter bank and coils. However, in residential applications, this may not be practical due to small ductwork and limited access, and the installation of a single or dual lamp unit may not provide sufficient UV exposure. In reality, control of airborne pathogens in residential applications is not as crucial as in a commercial application such as a hospital or doctors office.

Surface disinfection tends to be a more practical method for typical air handler applications and is the popular application method at present. It is well known that in most cases the contamination of the air handler system stems from the infiltration and growth of organic contaminants in and around the coiling coil and drain pans of the system, which then grow and spread the contamination down the ductwork and into the living spaces. The use of high quality filters can help reduce the opportunity for growth, however strict filter change regimes must be followed or the filters can become clogged causing system damage or allowing contaminates to “cross-over” to the damp components of the air handler where they can flourish.
 
Incorporating a UV Light system for surface disinfection entails placing the UV light source in an accessible area in the air handler for optimum UV exposure to the coil, drain pans, and other components of the air handler. If properly installed, the UV light system can prevent any growth from occurring within the air handler. And when used in conjunction with other proven IAQ techniques such as filtration, absorption, or dehumidification, can help to drastically reduce the potential for IAQ related illnesses.

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