What to keep in mind if you’re retrofitting UVC lamps into your HVAC system.

Right now, there’s a lot more attention being placed on air quality. A series of events have made us more conscious about the air we breathe, from the coronavirus pandemic to the climate crisis. People everywhere are more aware of how air quality can impact our health, whether it be from viruses or harmful particles. As a result, lots of businesses are looking to upgrade their ventilation systems.

Installing air purifiers is, of course, the obvious solution. In a space of 60m2, a UVC air purifier like that built by Rejuvenair can eliminate 99.9% of pathogens. However, for some buildings, one purifier per room or area might not be viable. Therefore, they’ll be looking to retrofit purifying components in their existing HVAC systems. 

This might sound like a neat and tidy solution, however, it is essential to stay on top of the operation of the components. Here, we explain why.

UVC is powerful – keep it that way

UVC light was traditionally used to purify water. Now, advances in engineering have applied the same theory to air purification. UVC radiation is particularly effective for disinfection as the waves disrupt the DNA and RNA of viruses, rendering them unable to reproduce. Studies show that with a UVC air purifier, virtually all harmful particles will go down to sub-micron levels within a 30-40 minute period.

That said, this is only if the lamp is operating at full capacity. On average, a UVC lamp will have a lifespan of between 8,000 – 10,000 hours, or approximately a year. However, this is completely dependent on usage. The lamp could certainly deteriorate faster if used intensively, so it’s essential building managers perform regular tests.

When to be wary of this power

Shortwave-length UVC (in the range of 100-280nm) is considered the most damaging. According to a fact sheet by the US-based International Ultraviolet Association, UVC light is much more powerful than the UV rays we’re exposed to by the sun. If human skin is exposed to these rays, it can cause a severe sunburn-like reaction. This is why the waves are so effective at eliminating other types of biological and particulate matter.

This potency means that UVC light can affect other materials. For example, if a HEPA filter is exposed to UVC rays, it can degrade the material and impact its effectiveness. Therefore, the correct placement of a UVC lamp relative to other components is incredibly important in retrofits; if placed incorrectly, the strength of the radiation could impact the functioning of other parts.

Stay ahead of maintenance

The proper functioning of a UVC lamp is critical to the efficacy of an air purifying system. If you do choose to go down the retrofit route, make sure a qualified engineer supervises the fitout. That way, you can ensure the UVC lamp is in the right position. From here, it’s essential to perform regular checks to ensure you don’t get caught out by the usage/efficacy conundrum. 

This is why Rejuvenair deploys IoT technology to monitor the performance of our units, ensuring that our air purifiers are always in peak condition. This means you can stay ahead of UVC lamp replacements, ensuring maintenance is taken care of at the optimum moment. Click here to learn more.