Energy costs have risen steadily over the last decade and are expected to continue to increase as worldwide demand grows. The cost of energy is an increasingly important issue, and it is especially true for businesses. According to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, 40% to 60% of the energy used in industrial and commercial facilities is consumed through HVAC systems. Hence improving the efficiency of the HVAC system is important to cut energy costs.
One typical problem in HVAC maintenance is poor heat transfer between the evaporator coil and air due to a layer of biofilm (microbes) and dust on the coil. This slows down heat transfer and leads to greater energy consumption. The conventional solution used to resolve this problem is periodic physical and chemical cleaning of the evaporator coil but these have their own problems:
Reduces life of the coil: Cleaning, scrubbing and pressure washing of the coil damages the fins and reduces its life.
Uneven cleaning: Often there is not enough space for the worker to clean each coil properly, hence many spots remain untouched. Microorganisms on such spots grow rapidly again.
Downtime: Physical maintenance requires shut down.
Safety: Workers who clean the HVAC system are exposed to microorganisms and strong chemicals.
Hence there is a need for a system which can maintain the evaporator coils in a like new condition at minimum cost. UVGI air disinfection systems have a proven track record of fulfilling these needs successfully.
UVGI System (Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation System) is a proven way of disinfection of air using UV light (254 nm) to kill microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, yeast, mould and fungus by disrupting their DNA. It is a non-chemical technology with non-residuals or by-products.
Microorganisms stick to the surface of the evaporator coil using a starchy substance which they produce. Due to a hospitable high humidity environment, they grow rapidly and form a thick layer on the surface of the evaporator coil called “biofilm”.
Installing a proper UVGI air disinfection system in front of the evaporator coil kills such microorganisms, and hence it does not allow a biofilm to grow.
The layer of fungi, bacteria, algae and dust on the evaporator coil can grow to several millimeters. This thick layer acts as an insulator and reduces heat exchange by 10 to 40 percent. This reduction in heat exchange increases energy consumption by 10-15 percent.
The UVGI air disinfection system maximizes energy efficiency by maintaining ideal heat transfer. This lowers the operating cost of the HVAC system. Apart from the reduction in energy cost, a UVGI air disinfection system also has other benefits as listed below:
Reduction in energy cost: UVGI maintains the coil in a like new condition which ensures savings in energy cost.
Improves indoor air quality: UVGI air disinfection system is highly effective in improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). It prevents “blow off” of mold and other microbial growth into the HVAC system which transmits allergens, contaminants, and odors throughout the building’s envelope.
Reduction in HVAC maintenance cost: UVGI system eliminates the process of regular manual coil cleaning which reduces maintenance cost and also helps in maintaining the HVAC system in good condition for a longer period
Blog by Alfaa UV – experts in air and water disinfection.
Alfaa’s UVGI air disinfection systems have been awarded the ASHRAE ACREX Award of Excellence in the category of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) both in 2016 and 2017.
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