UVC and Ionization

UVC is an electromagnetic wave with a wavelength of 253.7 nanometers which ionizes the target molecule, rather than surrounding it with ions created from an emissive material such as carbon in an ionization system. Atoms of organic molecules are converted to ions by radiation from UVC energy. This is why UVC energy is referred to as “ionizing radiation”. UVC energy degrades any organic substance (making the molecules smaller, not larger), degrades many VOC/s using the same principle (reducing odor) and kills microorganisms (infectious disease and allergens) by either destroying the DNA or breaking the organism apart. Therefore, like the sun outdoors, UVC's restorative and regenerative value on any respirable atmosphere can be likened to the freshest day outdoors, only it's much faster.

Additionally, the Steril-Aire™ UVC Emitter™ was designed specifically for HVAC environments. The advantage here is that it does not suffer the usual loss of output as found with conventional UVC products do to cold and/or moving air. The increased benefit here is that the Steril-Aire™ products can be located just downstream of the coil where microbial activity is highest. Here it can kill the mold and bacteria on the coil and in the drain pan as well as killing microbes as they fly by. The other advantage is that it breaks down organic material as mentioned earlier thereby cleaning the coil to “as built.” This returns the coils heat exchange efficiency to what it was when the unit was new and keeps it that way for the life of the system. The energy savings alone can often pay for the lights in less than four months. When you add in coil cleaning cost, the cost for drain pan tablets and for biocidal agents, the pay back can be faster yet. In other words, the benefits of UVC over an Ion generator are significant and many.

Here is another way to look at it. One true test of product efficacy and value is whether our US military and other US government agencies have found it to be useful. If so, then it usually has some commercial value. Neither the US military, NASA, or any other government agency uses ionizers to affect the quality of air. In contrast, UVC light is used in these agencies as well as at the US Centers for Disease Control.

Click here to read about specific Steril-Aire products.

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