Do Air Purifiers Work for Wildfire Smoke?

Wildfire Smoke

Each year in Canada we experiences roughly 8,000 wildfires annually, which burn a total of 2.5 million hectares per year. Wildfires pose a serious threat to human health and well-being, not only because of the flames themselves encroaching on inhabited areas, but due to the suffocating smoke that emanates from them.

With the ambient air quality adversely affected, it’s important to find ways to maintain your health and well-being during wildfire season. Find out whether air purifiers can help mitigate the effects of wildfire smoke in this article!

Worsening wildfires

Wildfires are growing in size and frequency due to climate change. The average wildfire season is three and a half months longer than it was a few decades ago. The snow is melting earlier and the summers are hotter and drier, making vegetation more susceptible to burning.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the number of large fires that occur annually in the West has tripled in the last few decades, burning twice as many hectares. This trend will continue to worsen as climate change progresses.

Hazardous components of wildfire smoke

Wildfire smoke contains a variety of air pollutants that can have significant health consequences not only for those in the immediate vicinity of the fire, but also for people in areas downwind of the blaze. Hazardous pollutants include particulate matter, carbon monoxide and various volatile organic compounds, several of which are known to be carcinogenic.

Particulate matter from smoke is small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and affect the heart and bloodstream. There’s no question that particulate pollution has a negative impact on health, and air purifiers are designed to trap the vast majority of these particles and improve air quality for this very reason.

Health consequences of wildfire smoke

While some people may be able to withstand a certain amount of wildfire smoke exposure without suffering serious consequences, vulnerable populations may be severely affected. These include seniors, pregnant people, infants and young children, people who are active outdoors and those with lung and heart conditions, cancer, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Breathing in wildfire smoke can cause mild symptoms such as sinus irritation, coughing and headaches, more serious symptoms such as asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes and death.

The denser the smoke and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk to those affected—but wildfires can affect those living further away as well. The Canadian government conducted an assessment that found that while the health impacts are greatest in provinces that experience wildfires, the impact is felt across other provinces as well. This indicates that air pollution caused by wildfires travels long distances and a large number of Canadians are exposed to it.

The effects of air purifiers on wildfire smoke

According to the Government of Canada, air purifiers can help decrease the amount of fine particulate pollution from wildfire smoke in a room. In fact, there are air purifiers designed specifically for smoke reduction that can make a real difference in air quality for those living and working in wildfire-prone areas.

The best air purifiers for wildfire smoke

The most effective air purifiers for wildfire smoke are equipped with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters. In order to be HEPA certified, the filters must be able to trap at least 99.97%, a size that is particularly difficult to filter mechanically. Since wildfire smoke particles tend to be of a similar size, they will be trapped just as effectively.

An air purifier reduces 3 types of contaminants: tobacco smoke, dust and pollen. Wildfire smoke is most similar to tobacco smoke, so it’s best to look for an air purifier with a high tobacco smoke efficency.

Improve your air quality with Sanuvox!

In addition to high-quality filters that effectively trap particulates, Sanuvox air purifiers are equipped with proprietary UV technology that breaks down the hazardous pollutants contained in wildfire smoke through a process called chemical oxidation. The oxidation process reduces the number of VOCs in the air as well as the smell of smoke, which might otherwise linger indefinitely.

Sanuvox offers both residential UV air purifiers and commercial UV air purification systems to improve the quality of the air you breathe. Contact us today for first-rate air purification solutions!

Do Air Purifiers Work for Paint Fumes?

Woman Paint Fumes

Rooms need a new coat of paint every once in a while, to keep them looking fresh and clean. While it can really help spruce things up, new paint can be hazardous for people in close proximity to it.

Find out what risks pant fumes pose for human health and what can be done to mitigate them!

The components of paint fumes and their effects on human health

Paint is essentially pigment dissolved in a liquid called a solvent. Some types of paint have water as their primary solvent, and some use other types of liquids. As paint dries, the solvent evaporates, releasing chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These chemicals are responsible for the distinctive smell of paint fumes, and they can be detrimental to air quality and harmful to human health.

The dangers of volatile organic compounds

Volatile organic compounds have been found to cause a wide variety of adverse health effects. Their severity depends on the amount of chemicals present in the air, the length of exposure and the vulnerability of the person exposed.

Immediate symptoms of VOC exposure can include headaches, eye, throat and lung irritation, dizziness, breathing difficulties and vision problems. Chronic exposure (e.g. painting professions) can lead to nervous system, liver and kidney damage, as well as certain types of cancer.

Vulnerable groups such as pregnant people, babies and children, seniors and those with breathing problems may be at higher risk for negative outcomes of VOC exposure.

Which types of air purifiers work for paint fumes?

Air purifiers can be used to help mitigate the effects of paint fumes, but it’s important to note that not all types of air purifiers are effective against VOCs. The most popular type of air purifier on the market uses HEPA filters, which work extremely well when it comes to physically trapping fine particles, but are powerless against the effects of chemical off-gassing.

Activated carbon filters

Activated carbon filters remove pollutants from the air through a process called adsorption. As air moves through the filter, gas molecules stick to the carbon, which has been activated to create tiny pores that increase its surface area.

Air purifiers with activated carbon filters are very effective at trapping VOCs and odours from paint fumes and other sources such as cigarette smoke, but the filter will eventually become saturated and need to be replaced for the device to maintain its effectiveness.

UV light

UV light air purifiers use a process called photo-oxidation to break down volatile organic compounds and render them harmless. The devices are equipped with specialized lamps that emit UVV rays in order to degrade chemicals and odours. There are smoke removal air purifiers on the market that are specifically designed to reduce VOCs as well as other airborne pollutants.

Other paint fume mitigation strategies

In addition to certain types of air purifiers, there are other methods you can use to reduce your risk of VOC exposure while painting. Water-based paint tends to release fewer chemicals than oil-based paint, so it’s worth keeping that in mind when selecting which product, you want to use.

Furthermore, no-VOC and low-VOC varieties of paint and other products that are usually prone to chemical off-gassing are now being released. Reading product labels carefully and selecting these varieties wherever possible can help protect both you and your loved ones.

Improve your air quality and safety with Sanuvox!

Sanuvox is a leading provider of residential air purifiers and commercial air purifiers. Our proprietary UV-J lamps emit high-intensity UV wavelengths that effectively sanitize the moving air stream. Contact us today to improve your indoor air quality and lower your risk of VOC exposure!

Do Air Purifiers Reduce Allergies?

air purifier allergens

Every year, as the snows melt and we look forward to warmer weather and longer days, many people dread the months of runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing that lie ahead. Seasonal allergies are a common problem that seems to worsen with each passing year as the climate warms.

While seasonal allergies are rarely dangerous, they can cause sufferers severe discomfort that can be difficult to alleviate. In this article, find out more about seasonal and environmental allergens and discover whether air purifiers can mitigate their effects.

What are environmental allergens?

An allergen is a substance that a person’s immune system overreacts to and classifies as dangerous, even though it is normally harmless. The immune system reacts by releasing histamines, which cause allergy symptoms such as swelling of the eyes, nose and throat and sneezing in an attempt expel the allergen from the body.

Also, allergens are particles that travel through the air and cause an immune response when inhaled, as opposed to substances that are ingested. Unfortunately, this makes them harder to avoid.

Pollen

Trees, grasses and weeds reproduce by generating pollen, which is spread on the wind or via insects. Pollen spread by the wind is the main cause of seasonal allergy symptoms. Different types of plants emit pollen at different times of year, so the season during which you experience allergies will depend on what kind of pollen you’re allergic to.

Pollen levels also vary depending on location and weather conditions, but generally speaking, warmer, windier weather means worse symptoms for allergy sufferers.

Dust, mold and pet hair

Environmental allergens such as dust, mold and pet hair may be present in a home regardless of the season. Dust are a permanent fixture of houses regardless of how diligently they are cleaned, and pet hair can remain a problem for months after the animal has left.

For those who suffer from allergies, it’s important to take steps to avoid and eliminate allergens wherever possible.

Can air purifiers help with allergies?

Air purification systems are designed to clean the air in a room by trapping or deactivating particulates and pushing the filtered or sanitized air back into the space. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are particularly effective at trapping airborne particles 0.3 microns in size, which are the hardest to trap and the most easily drawn into the lungs.

Best air purifier for allergies

Studies have shown that air purifiers with HEPA filters successfully capture substantial amounts of airborne allergens, significantly improving the respiratory function of asthmatic allergy sufferers. With fewer allergens circulating in the air, people experience fewer symptoms, easier breathing and a better night’s sleep.

Note that for a residential air purifier to be effective at getting rid of allergens in the home, it must have a CADR (clean air delivery rate) that matches the size of the room it’s in, and the HEPA filter needs to be cleaned and replaced regularly.

Other ways to mitigate allergies

  • Seal exterior windows and foundation cracks to keep pollen and mold from infiltrating your home.
  • Opt for flooring and furniture that can be easily mopped, vacuumed or dusted.
  • Avoid having carpets in the home—they are reservoirs of allergens that are difficult to clean adequately. Furthermore, the particles they contain are released into the air every time the carpet is disturbed.
  • Wash bed sheets once a week in hot water.
  • Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines can be used to alleviate symptoms, and doctors may prescribe medication for more severe reactions.

Breathe easy with Sanuvox!

Regardless of how diligently you try to avoid them, a certain amount of allergens will always find their way into the house. Using an air purifier to clean the air you breathe can go a long way towards alleviating those troublesome symptoms and improving your quality of life.

Purchasing an air purifier is an investment in your health. HEPA filters are very effective at trapping airborne allergens, and air purifiers with UV technology destroy mold spores, viruses and bacteria that are also found in the air and can pose significant health risks.

Sanuvox is a global leader in air purification solutions. Contact us today to face allergy season with equanimity!

How to Get Rid of Cigarette Smoke Smell

cigarette smoke smell

Cigarette smoke smell can be tenacious. Despite our best efforts, it often lingers in indoor spaces long after the smoking has occurred. In addition to being unpleasant, the chemicals it contains can be harmful to our health.

Of course, the best option is to prevent cigarette smoke from permeating the space in the first place, but that isn’t always possible. If smoking does occur, there are ways to mitigate the smell and the hazards associated with it.

In this article, the experts at Sanuvox explain why cigarette smoke smell is so persistent, what dangers it poses and how to eliminate it from your home.

Sources and risks of cigarette smoke smell

Tobacco contains a plethora of chemicals that are released into the air when someone smokes. These chemicals linger in the air, stick to surfaces and accumulate in house dust. Indoors, 70% to 90% of nicotine and NNK (a carcinogen specific to tobacco) remain in the environment and can linger for months to years after the smoking has taken place.

These lingering chemicals are called thirdhand smoke. Almost any surface can absorb them: carpets, walls, furniture, curtains, etc. People are then exposed to the chemicals by touching the surfaces or inhaling the off-gassing.

Thirdhand smoke contains a variety of toxic compounds, many of which are harmful to human health. They can directly damage DNA, change the way reproductive cells function, damage the respiratory system and lead to a higher risk of cancer. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to eliminate thirdhand smoke.

Ways to get rid of cigarette smoke smell

There are a variety of strategies you can use to try to get rid of cigarette smoke smell. Note that the longer the smoking has been going on, the deeper the chemicals will have penetrated into the household surfaces, making the smell harder to eliminate.

Cleaning

Cleaning is an essential step when it comes to getting cigarette smoke smell out of your house. Wash your clothes and any other fabrics that can easily be put through the washing machine. For hard surfaces, try scrubbing them with a solution of 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water to dissolve the greasy residue left by the cigarette smoke.

Deodorizers

Baking soda is a great deodorizer, because it neutralizes odours but has no strong smell itself (as opposed to vinegar, for example). You can sprinkle baking soda on upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets etc. let it sit for several hours or overnight, then vacuum.

Coffee grounds and activated charcoal are also effective at absorbing odours. You can try placing bowls of them at strategic points around your house to get rid of the cigarette smoke smell.

You can also boil lemon peel in water on the stove for around 20 minutes. The fragrant steam will help deodorize the house.

Ventilation

One of the most important things you can do to eliminate cigarette smoke smell is to make sure that clean air is circulating in your house. Weather permitting, open all the windows to let fresh air in from the outside. You can use box fans, standing fans and even the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to help the air circulate.

The chemical dust and particles that give off cigarette smoke smell can easily accumulate in your air ducts and HVAC system, so it’s important to clean the ducts and replace your filters regularly.

Air purifiers

Air purifiers are invaluable tools for getting rid of cigarette smoke smell. They can be used while the smoking is going on to eliminate the chemicals before they have a chance to settle on surfaces, and afterwards to mitigate the effects of harmful off-gassing and remove the lingering smell from the air.

When it comes to combating cigarette smoke smell, not all residential air purifiers are created equal. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are able to filter out cigarette smoke ashes particles, but they have no effect on volatile organic compounds, which include the chemicals released in cigarette smoke that are harmful to human health. Activated carbon filters are more effective at trapping these chemicals.

Air purifiers with UV technology are able to neutralize the chemicals and odours associated with cigarette smoke. Air is pulled through a UV chamber and subjected to photo-oxidation, which degrades the chemicals in addition to destroying micro-organisms such as mold, viruses and bacteria. Stimulated by the high energy of the UV light, large organic compounds are broken down into smaller molecules by oxidation.  This is in essence what is being accomplished inside the Sanuvox ultraviolet air purifier. Carcinogenic organic compounds emitted by cigarettes are decomposed by a high intensity UV source and get destroyed by photo-oxidation at an accelerated rate.

Eliminate cigarette smoke smell with Sanuvox

Smoking cigarettes releases harmful chemicals that linger in the air and on surfaces long afterwards. These chemicals and their unpleasant smell can be difficult to remove from your home. While deodorizers can help mask the smell, deep cleaning and certain types of air purifiers are the most effective ways to eliminate the chemicals emitted during smoking.

Sanuvox is a global leader in smoke removal air purifiers. Our patented high-intensity UV lamps deliver the maximum UV dosage to the moving air stream to degrade chemicals and eliminate odours with our BIOPÜR unique product complemented with HEPA and activated carbon filter to eliminate cigarette smoke odours. Contact us today for air purification solutions that will eliminate cigarette smoke smell and ensure the cleanliness of the air you breathe.

How to Clean and Sanitize Your HVAC System

Whether you’re at work or at home, your HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning) has a major impact on the air you breathe. A well-maintained HVAC system controls the temperature indoors, the humidity, and brings clean air in from outside, but one that’s neglected can be a vector of unwanted pollutants and health hazards.

What does HVAC system maintenance involve? Is it enough to clean the system, or does it need to be sanitized and disinfected as well? Can you do it yourself, or is it best left to the professionals?

Find out in this article!

The importance of a clean HVAC system

HVAC systems are essential for good air quality indoors, but they are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Dust accumulates in the ducts, clogging filters and vents and contaminating the air. Any condensation or leakage can lead to the proliferation of mould and fungi. If HVAC systems are not properly sanitized, viruses and bacteria can circulate and develop freely to a point that can generate health problem to your family.

In addition to lowering the air quality and increasing the presence of allergens and other health hazards, the pollutants clogging the system can also affect its performance, drive up energy costs and shorten its lifespan.

How to clean an HVAC system

Manual cleaning removes solid particles from the ducts. If you undertake the task yourself, it’s important to wear a recommended mask and gloves to avoid inhaling or coming into direct contact with the pollutants as you clean. Please see all the recommendation related BEFORE to work on your unit. It seems simple, but you must be really careful not to damage your equipment performance or reliability.

The procedure for cleaning an HVAC system is as follows:

  • Read all instruction manual for maintenance unit and procedure. Please, keep away children and animal during the maintenance process and cleaning.
  • Clean the vents, grilles and registers by wiping them down thoroughly.
  • Cover the supply vents to prevent dust and debris from blowing out while you’re cleaning other parts of the HVAC system.
  • Loosen any build-up of dust and debris in the ducts If you have a “fan on” option on your thermostat, turning it on can help move the dust.
  • Clean the air ducts by vacuuming as far into them as you can reach, then wiping them down with a damp cloth.
  • For more in-depth cleaning, vacuum the blower compartment, return air boot and furnace fan. You’ll need to remove the panels to access the compartment. Don’t forget to shut off the fan and furnace before this step!
  • Clean or replace the filters. The filters should be rinsed thoroughly every month and replaced every three months or follow recommend maintenance process from the manufacturer. Look at your instruction manual.

Cleaning an HVAC system is a complex task that often requires some disassembly and specialized equipment to access the hard-to-reach areas. Professionals generally have the equipment and expertise needed to do a thorough job. During regular HVAC maintenance, the technician will clean the system and inspect it for problems such as leaks. Cleaning and maintenance are very important, but they don’t truly sanitize the HVAC system.

How to sanitize an HVAC system

Sanitization goes a step further, eradicating the microorganisms that are too small to be affected by manual cleaning. Without it, dirt and debris may be eliminated but viruses, bacteria, mould and fungi will be able to proliferate unchecked.

Chemicals

There are professional fogging services you can get to sanitize and disinfect your HVAC system. They will use chemicals such as sporicidal disinfectant to kill the microorganisms in the system and purify the air.

While these chemicals are effective, they can present problems of their own. The temperature and humidity variations intrinsic to HVAC systems can interact with the chemicals and cause harmful off-gassing, which is then circulated through the building and breathed in by its occupants.

If you choose chemical sanitizing for your HVAC system, it should generally be done once every six months.

UV light

UV lights can be installed inside the HVAC system to continuously disinfect the air without the use of hazardous chemicals. UV light penetrates microorganisms and disrupts their molecular structure, rendering them inactive or killing them outright.

Commercial HVAC coil cleaners equipped with high-intensity UV lamps can be installed near the evaporator coils to sanitize the HVAC system, and UV air disinfection units can be placed directly in the ducts to eliminate contaminants. Air purifiers with UV technology can also be used in residential and commercial settings to improve the quality of the air.

HVAC sanitizing solutions from Sanuvox

If you want to breathe clean air that’s free of pollutants and keep your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency, then it’s important to have it properly sanitized. There are steps you can take to clean the system yourself, but they won’t be as effective as professional products and services. Chemical treatments are effective at eradicating viruses, bacteria and mould, but they can create their own health hazards and they aren’t permanent solutions.

Sanuvox’s patented high-intensity UV lamps are a safe and effective way of sanitizing both air and surfaces. Whether they are installed in the HVAC system or working as a component of an air purifier, they improve the quality of the air so that you can breathe freely. Contact us to find out more about our air purification solutions today!

How to Test Air Quality in an Office Space

Indoor air quality is becoming more and more of an issue in modern times. Buildings are being made more airtight, the use of synthetic materials is increasing, and energy conservation measures that reduce the supply of outside air are popular—all factors that negatively affect air quality.

Canadian occupational health and safety legislation states that employers must provide a safe and healthy workplace, and that includes clean, good quality air. Furthermore, improving air quality can boost employee productivity and well-being. It is in employers’ best interests to test the air quality in the office and take steps to ensure that their work environment is safe and clean for all occupants.

Office Air Pollutants

The following pollutants have a wide variety of sources commonly found in the office:

  • Formaldehyde from particleboard, foam insulation, fabrics, glue, carpets and furnishings
  • VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from copying and printing machines, computers, carpets, furnishings, cleaning materials, paints, adhesives, caulking, perfume, hairspray and solvents
  • Ozone from photocopiers
  • Carbon dioxide from the occupants of the building and fossil fuel combustion
  • Carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust
  • Allergens such as dust mites, animal dander and pollen
  • Fungi and mould caused by humidity or water damage
  • Bacteria and viruses

These pollutants can cause people in the office to experience dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, allergies, congestion, coughing and sneezing, dizziness and nausea, among other things. The term “sick building syndrome” has been coined for symptoms that appear related to time spent in the office.

 

How to Test Indoor Air Quality

To assess your office’s air quality, you must first conduct a visual inspection of the building. Look for possible sources of contamination or water damage, and make sure chemicals and cleaning products are properly sealed and stored. Check outside the building for any pollutants that may be drawn in through the ventilation system. The HVAC system should be inspected by a professional to make sure it is working properly.

Then, the building’s occupants should be questioned, particularly any who are experiencing symptoms. Air sampling to test for pollutants should only be done after these measures have been taken, and the sampling strategy used should be based on the information gleaned.

Equipment Used to Test Indoor Air Quality

Air sampling can be used to compare indoor and outdoor air quality, identify problem areas, and test hypotheses about the source of the problem. There are many different types of equipment that can be used to test the air, such as samplers, analyzers, and direct-reading devices. Some measure the air quality continuously, while others take one sample at a time. Some require lab analysis and specialized training, while others are simple to employ.

Simple, preliminary measurements such as temperature, humidity, air movement and CO2 levels may be done by anyone using portable devices, but these are limited in terms of their accuracy and ability to analyze the data. It’s best to have a qualified professional test the air quality in your office to identify the problem and work on a solution.

For more information on how to test air quality in the office, consult Health Canada’s guide to indoor air quality in office buildings.

 

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Control Pollutants at the Source

It’s important to control the causes of airborne pollutants in the building wherever possible. Too much humidity can lead to the proliferation of mould and other biological contaminants, so spills and leaks should be addressed promptly. The building should be cleaned frequently with non-toxic cleaning products. Consider investing in low-VOC carpets and have them vacuumed on a regular basis. You may also want to add plants to mitigate CO2 levels.

Improve Ventilation

Most office buildings rely on a ventilation system that pulls air in from the outside to improve the air quality indoors. However, if the ventilation system is clogged, faulty or has been hampered in order to cut heating and cooling costs, the air quality will inevitably suffer.

Purify the Air

Commercial air purification systems and UV air disinfection products make all the difference when it comes to office air quality. SANUVOX commercial air purification system can help you to eliminate or purify airborne pollutants, protect your employees and even help decrease HVAC energy consumption by keeping your coils clean !

 

Improve Office Air Quality with Sanuvox

Sanuvox is a North American leader in air purification and disinfection in the workplace. Our patented UV technology destroys contaminants and degrades chemicals and odours, significantly improving the air quality indoors.

If you would like to provide a safe work environment and boost your employees’ productivity and well-being, contact Sanuvox today! We’re a breath of fresh air.

Using Sanuvox UVC technology to reduce the propagation of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Using Sanuvox UVC technology to reduce the propagation of SARS-CoV-2 virus

  • UVC irradiation (254 nm) is known for its germicidal properties. By disrupting their nucleic acids (DNA/RNA), it inactivates the reproductive capability of biological pathogens (molds, viruses, bacteria).1, 2

  • Sanuvox in-duct units have been demonstrated to be up to 99,97% effective at inactivating viruses and bacteria in the air in a study conducted by the EPA and Homeland Security 3. Bacteria and virus tested in the study (B.atrophaeus, S.marescens, MS2) are known to be more resistant to UVC than SARS-CoV-2 virus. 4,5
  • Many engineering and health agencies (ASHRAE, REHVA, CDC) now recognize that airborne transmission plays a major role in the propagation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. These agencies also recommend using UVGI as an effective method to mitigate the spread of the virus in indoor spaces. 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Because Sanuvox units are specified according to HVAC systems parameters, adequate UV output power is calculated using our proprietary software. As such, patented Biowall units can achieve the recommended 99% disinfection per pass regardless of air velocity.
 

1 https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/uv-lights-and-lamps-ultraviolet-c-radiation-disinfection-and-coronavirus

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789813/

3 https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_report.cfm?Lab=NHSRC&address=nhsrc/&dirEntryId=154947

https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783642019982

5 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339887436_2020_COVID-19_Coronavirus_Ultraviolet_Susceptibility

https://www.ashrae.org/about/news/2021/ashrae-epidemic-task-force-releases-updated-airborne-transmission-guidance

7 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/scientific-brief-sars-cov-2.html

https://www.rehva.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/REHVA_COVID-19_guidance_document_V4_09122020.pdf

9 https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/filtration-disinfection

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Reducing Odors in Waste Rooms

Reducing Odors in Waste Rooms

Facilities, apartments and condominiums often suffer from odors from the garbage rooms that migrate from the holding area to the garage or on the floors through the chute system.

Different stand-alone systems can be used to eliminate these problems by destroying bacteria and removing chemical and biological odors. The objective is to rapidly recirculate the air in the room in front of UV-C to break down bacteria’s DNA, and in front of UV-V to oxidize the chemical decay molecules while minimizing the residual ozone.

MANUAL SETTING EQUIPMENT

The Sanuvair® S600:
This stand-alone UV air purifier incorporates a variable blower of 300 to 600 cfm, an aluminum mesh washable prefilter to capture particulates and 3 full UV-V oxidizing lamps. According to the customer’s needs, one, two or three UV-V 6.5’’ U shaped  lamps are lighted up.

Room size:  up to 8,000 cubic feet

Suggested installation Sanuvair® S600:

AUTOMATIC SETTING EQUIPMENT

The Sanuvair® S300 OZD:
This stand-alone UV air purifier incorporates a two-speed blower of 220/300 cfm, a 2” pleated prefilter to capture particulates, 1 UVC/UVV lamp and 1 full UV-V oxidizing lamp tied with 20 ft of wiring to an ozone controller set at 0.025 ppm. The controller will sample the air every minute and trigger off the UV-V lamp if more than the set point of ozone is detected. It also comes with 2 extra prefilters.

Room size:  up to 3,000 cubic feet

Suggested installation Sanuvair® S300 OZD:

The Sanuvair® S1000 OZD:
This stand-alone UV air purifier incorporates a blower of 1,000 cfm, 2 x 1” pleated prefilter to capture particulates, 1 UVC/UVV “J” shaped 16” lamp and 1 full UV-V “J” shaped 16” oxidizing lamp tied with 20 ft of wiring to an ozone controller set at 0.025 ppm. The controller will sample the air every minute and trigger off the UV-V lamp if more than the set point of ozone is detected. It also comes with 2 extra prefilters.

Room size:  up to 10,000 cubic feet

Suggested installation Sanuvair® S1000 OZD:

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Formicary Corrosion & Biofilm Fouling of Cooling Coils

Formicary Corrosion and Biofilm Fouling of Cooling Coils

By Normand Brais, P.Eng., M.A.Sc., Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION

Air conditioning is responsible for substantial electricity consumption and peak demand in most of the United States. Over the past decade, energy conservation researchers have studied air conditioning more and more. Much of this research has focused on the impact of air flow, duct leakage, and refrigerant charge level on cooling performance.

One area, which has been neglected by researchers, is fouling of evaporator and formicary corrosion. Known commonly as ant’s nest corrosion, champagne leaks, or just simply as formicary, the issue presents as a hard to detect leak within the fin pack of an evaporator coil. This tiny leak or set of leaks results in loss of system refrigerant over time. While the incidence of formicary corrosion is low nationwide, it is more prevalent in warm, humid climates found in southern portions of the United States where slimy biofilms coat the coil fins.

 WHAT CAUSES IT

The tunneling action that leads to corrosion is caused by the presence of organic acids mixed with moisture on the copper tube within the fin pack. Two common acids known to cause formicary corrosion are formic and acetic acids. Certain manufacturing oils and lubricants can contain compounds that form these organic acids, but common household items can also breakdown to form formic and acetic acids. These can include building materials like formaldehyde adhesives, foam insulation, and laminates, as well as personal hygiene products like cosmetics, disinfectants, deodorizers, and cleaning solvents. To initiate corrosion, the presence of water is necessary. The corrosion rate is aggravated by the presence of mold biofilm that keeps the fins wet.

 HOW TO REDUCE IT

Every technician will tell you that every time they look at these coils, they are dirty with mold biofilm. A standard part of routine A/C maintenance and residential commissioning is to clean the evaporator coil with a wire brush and detergent or other cleaning chemistry, and to clean the outdoor coil of leaves and other debris. Over the last 20 years, the simple use of appropriate germicidal UV light can prevent this and keep the coil clean and free of any biofilm buildup.

The presence of mold biofilm on cooling coil acts like a water sponge that keeps the fins constantly wet and sticky, which capture and retain particulates and chemical contaminants, thus enhancing the formic acid corrosion rate. When the biofilm is eliminated with an efficient germicidal UV system, the coil is not permanently wet, does not trap and retains as much contaminants, and consequently its corrosion rate is greatly reduced.

                                                                                     Buildup of mold biofilm in lower right hand corner completely blocks air flow

Coils normally foul due to bioaerosols and other biologically active materials, which are ubiquitous in hot climates. This usually also lead to significant indoor air quality problems that can trigger respiratory allergic responses of building occupants.

                                                                        Fungal biofilm growth on a residential (Left) and commercial (Right) cooling coil

The biofilm that causes evaporator fouling and its accelerated corrosion also impacts on the cooling performance and energy efficiency. Large commercial heating and cooling coils have the same problems and are prone to the same type of fouling and consequential corrosion issues. Their lifespan can also be increased notably by using an appropriate UV germicidal system that prevents mold buildup in hot and humid climate.

The first step to take to reduce the formicary corrosion due is to prevent the formation of a biofilm of molds and fungi with an adequate germicidal UV system. Biofilm-free fins will be less susceptible to retain dusts and potentially corrosive compounds, as well as the moisture that activates the corrosion effect.

References

Siegel, Jeffrey, I. Walker & M. Sherman. 2002. “Dirty Air Conditioners: Energy Implications of Coil Fouling” Submitted to the 2002 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

Siegel, Jeffrey A. and W.W. Nazaroff. 2002. “Modeling Particle Deposition on HVAC Heat Exchangers.” Submitted to the Indoor Air 2002 conference.

Siegel, Jeffrey and I.S. Walker. 2001. “Deposition of Biological Aerosols on HVAC Heat Exchangers.”

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