Coil Cleaning in Museums & Archives

Coil Cleaning in Museums and Archives

Air quality can severely impact and deteriorate irreplaceable paintings, documents, drawings, books and journals within a vault, storage area, library and exposition hall. Preserving these fine treasures from the ravages of mold, spores and bacteria are a priority for libraries, archives, museums and collectors. UV systems are designed to destroy airborne mold spores and their associated odors, as well as bacteria that can very well destroy treasures from the past.

Sanuvox UV IL-CoilClean systems are designed to destroy mold and other bio-contaminants on the evaporator coil, which results in spores as well as off-gassing being « blown-off » the evaporator coil and distributed through the facility.

Sanuvox in-duct UV BioWall systems effectively destroy thousands of airborne bio-contaminants, such as mold, bacteria, viruses, chemicals, VOCs and odors.


The Sanuvox IL-Coil Clean system for HVAC coils utilizes a patented technology to focus the maximum UV energy on any surface. The patented anodized aluminum parabolic reflector serves two purposes:
1. Redirects the maximum amount of UV energy produced by the lamp onto the coil surface, requiring less or shorter lamps and fixtures.
2. Protects the UV lamp from fouling.


Prolonged exposure to UV radiation will keep the air conditioning coil clean and free of bio-contaminants, including viruses, fungi, bacteria and bio-film that may grow on the coil. Maintaining a coil free of microbial growth will maximize the efficiency of coil heat transfer and reduce the hours of operation of the compressors, resulting in lower energy costs.


The UV-C wavelength is well documented for its germicidal properties. The effects of ultraviolet radiation on biological contaminants have also been included in the latest ASHRAE Handbooks. Generally, this relationship is similar to the absorption curve of nucleic acid (DNA) the basis of all living organisms. The germicidal destruction rate for any specified bio-contaminant can be greater than 99.9% as the maximum UV intensity produced by the UV lamp is directed onto the coil and each application is sized according to its requirements.


Many buildings and facilities can be installed with either the IL-CoilClean or the BioWall, like libraroes, museums, archives, record rooms, evidence rooms, private collections, or galleries.

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Sterilizing Air in Facilities

Sterilizing Air in Facilities

New buildings are built tighter to save energy, while older buildings are implementing new measures to reduce heating and cooling loss. Reduced fresh air also prevents dilution of contaminated air resulting in an increase of contaminants as they are now trapped inside and are continually recirculated throughout the space.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) applications in hospitals, schools, commercial buildings and offices vary. From Hospital Acquired Infection (HAls), sick building syndrome, absenteeism and work place productivity, Indoor Air Quality influences these facilities in many differents ways.

When the objective is to eliminate up to 99.9999% of airborne bio-contaminants, including viruses and bacteria that circulate through the ventilation system without increasing the pressure drop resulting from high efficiency filtration, Sanuvox offers the right solution with its high efficiency patented air purification system.


The BioWall air purification unit is installed in the ventilation duct parallel to the airflow, allowing sufficient contact time that is required for airborne sterilization. The UV-C intensity of each lamp can be measured in “realtime” with an optional UV-C sensor, ensuring the required inactivation intensity will be delivered to the contaminant.


To create the sterilization chamber in the existing duct (up to 5 feet deep per unit), the walls are covered with an aluminum reflective material. The proprietary sterilization sizing calculations take into account: air velocity, dimensions of the duct, the UV lethal dose needed to sterilize the microorganism for the desired inactivation rate. The sizing calculations will determine the number and length of the BioWall unit(s) required. The optional UV-C sensor will guarantee that the UV-C emitted from the lamp will exceed the amount of UV-C that is required at all times.


The 254nm UV-C germicidal wavelength has been used for decades for sterilization and its effect on microorganisms is well documented. UV germicidal process inactivates microorganisms by damaging their DNA structure, making it incapable of reproducing. The germicidal efficiency can deliver virtually a 100% disinfection rate. The system can achieve exceptionally high disinfection rates as a result of the BioWall unit being mounted parallel to the airflow and the desired intensity is sized for each particular application.


Many buildings and facilities can be equipped with the BioWall unit, like hospitals, private clinics, veterinary clinics, as well as fertility centers. It can also be installed in schools, universities, offices towers and commercial buildings.

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Disinfecting Locker Rooms & Bathroom Odors

Disinfecting Locker Rooms and Bathroom Odors

Lockers room odors are the result of perspiration which is excreted by the sweat glands in our skin. Sweat itself is not the source of the odor, but rather the off-gassing of the bacteria which feeds on sweat. The source of this unpleasant off-gassing can be found on occupants, clothes, towels and equipment as well as other soft materials.

The Sanuvair® S300 air purification system with HEPA filter is the ideal solution to reduce and elimitate unpleasant odors, such as in locker room and bathrooms. The proprietary Sanuvox process sterilizes and oxidizes bacteria, viruses, chemicals and odors, dramatically improving the air quality.

As stand-alone units, the P900 is equipped with a blower of 80 cfm, the Sanuvair®S300 with a blower of 300 cfm, and the Sanuvair® S1000 with a blower of 1000 cfm. Filters (except on the P900) capture particulates (pet hair, etc.) while the dual zone UV-C/UV-V “adjustable” lamp disinfects the air.

The Sanuvair® S300 unit can be used as a stand-alone with optional intake and exhaust louvers or ducted using an 8-inch flexible duct with optional collars.


Untreated air is drawn into the inlet of the unit, purified with the germicidal / oxidation UV lamp, filtered and then exhausted. Recirculating the air in the room continuously reduces bacteria and odors, improving overall air quality.


Approximately 6 to 8 air changes per hour are required.

A P900 unit (80 cfm) with a dual zone UV-C/UV-V lamp will be required for a 1,200 cu.ft. room (15’ X 10’ X 8’).

A Sanuvair® S300 unit (300 cfm) with a dual zone UV-C/UV-V lamp will be required for a 4,500 cu.ft. room (25’ X 20’ X 10’). Collars can be ordered to duct the unit using an 8-inch diameter duct, or an intake and exhaust louver grill(s), if the unit will be used as a stand-alone system.

A Sanuvair® S1000 unit (1000 cfm) with a dual zone UV-C/UV-V lamp will be required for a 15,000 cu.ft. room (50’ X 20’ X 15’). The system uses 2 x 8 inch inlets and 2 x 8 inch exhaust outlets (collars).

The unit should be positioned near the center of the room to be as effective as possible. Excluding the P900 unit, the two other units can be installed in the plenum above the ceiling or in an adjoining room and ducted with 8-inch round duct.

All Sanuvox air purification systems are equipped with a dual zone “J” UV-C/UV-V lamp. All dual zone lamps have a maximum oxidizing UV-V section in order to minimize residual ozone. In situations where odors are more concentrated, it is possible to outfit the units (except in the P900 unit) with special lamps incorporating a larger section of oxidation, with the installer making the final odor adjustments on site.

Many buildings and facilities can be equipped with one of the stand-alone units, like team sport locker rooms, dressing rooms, fitness centers, laundry rooms and storage, or basements.

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Purifying Air & Destroying Airborne Bio-Contaminants

Purifying Air and Destroying Airborne Bio-Contaminants

It is not uncommon for outside contaminants, including odors and allergens, to find their way migrating into a building. Restaurant odors, manufacturing off-gassing, diesel fumes from idling trucks, and even jet fuel from helipads can be pulled into the make-up air and distributed throughout the HVAC system and building.

Sanuvox Technologies line of in-duct UV air purification systems are the ideal solution for these often troublesome issues. Sanuvox offers exceptionally cost-effective systems that can address IAQ issues that filters and absorption media cannot. The proprietary system eradicates biological contaminants such as mold, bacteria, viruses, germs and allergens; reduces chemicals, VOCs and biological odors. Installed PARALLEL to the air-stream results in greater « dwell time » between the air and the UV lamps.


The duct-mounted units are installed in the return or supply side of the HVAC system parallel to the airflow, and are supplied with multiple germicidal UV-C lamps, each with a section of oxidizing UV-V that can be adjusted (covered or removed) depending on the concentration of odors.

Typical installation on the HVAC return side:


The UV lamps disinfect the recirculating air in two ways:
1. The oxidizing UV-V section of the lamp reduces the chemical components in the air through photo-oxidation. The selected units are designed to be “dosed” on site according to the need.
2. The germicidal UV-C section destroys airborne biological contaminants (viruses, bacteria, mold).


The ultraviolet photon energy (170-220nm) is emitted from a high-intensity source to decompose (break-down) oxygen molecules into activated monoatomic oxygen. The rate of production or effectiveness of this process depends on the wavelength and intensity of its source.

The activated oxygen atoms (O*) are then mixed in the airstream; the process will react with any compound containing carbon-hydrogen or sulfur, reducing them by successive oxidation to odorless and harmless by-products. If airborne contaminants are outnumbered by the activated oxygen atoms, then there will be formation of residual ozone (O3), which will occur following the oxidation of normal oxygen molecules (02).

3- NEUTRALISATION PHASE: (also germicidal)  O3+UV(C) –> O2+O*: O+O –> O2


Formaldehyde CH2O + OH* –> CO2 + H2O

Ammonia NH3 + OH* –> N2 + H2O

Styrene C8H8 + OH* –> CO2 + H2O

Mercaptans H2S + OH* –> SO2+ H2O


Many buildings and facilities can be equipped with these in-duct units, like buildings near airports and helipads, buildings with adjoining warehouse (diesel), printing shops, restaurants, mechanical workshops, and crematoriums.

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The Myth of HEPA Filtration

The Myth of HEPA Filtration

By Vigilair,

High Efficiency Particulate Air filters (HEPA) are commonly used to achieve a significant dust and particulate control. Hospitals and companies operating clean room fabrication labs use these types of filters to reduce the particulate contamination to acceptable levels. Properly installed and maintained HEPA filters undoubtedly reduce airborne contaminants. But this fact has spawned the myth that environments serviced by HEPA filters are free from contamination.

Like all filters, HEPA filters have an efficiency curve with a minimum in the range of 0.1- 0.3 μm. The particle removal efficiency for 0.3 μm particulate is 99.99%. However, reports1,2,3 show that as many as 50% of installed HEPA filters operate well below their theoretical efficiency due to:

• incorrect installation resulting in air bypassing the filter bank

• damage during the installation or service of the air handler, especially in settings where maintenance staff lack the specific training needed to maintain HEPA filters.

• trapped viable organic matter (e.g. fungi, bacteria, mold) that has grown through the filters In many cases a combination of the above factors compromises the efficiency level of HEPA filters.

Another way to look at HEPA filter protection is to determine the particulate allowed to pass through the filter because of its inherent 0.01% inefficiency. Assume that conservatively the HEPA will be challenged with 10,000 particles in the size range of 0.1-0.3 micron per cubic foot of air every minute (cfm) and that this HEPA filter is rated at 1,000 cfm. This HEPA will allow 10,000 particles to pass through every minute or 14,400,000 every 24 hours of operation.

While it is possible to reduce or eliminate damage during filter installation with the implementation of training and good operational procedures, it is more difficult to deal with the problems presented by viable organic contamination. With the exception of high end cleanroom fabrication labs, many facilities using HEPA filters are not staffed with technicians who have the knowledge necessary to maintain the environment that HEPA filtration is designed to provide.

Air handlers equipped with HEPA filtration usually have both pre-filters and secondary filters upstream to protect the HEPA filters. This minimizes the load and improves the life of the more expensive HEPA filters. With this design larger particles entering the air handler are therefore removed before they reach the HEPA filter.

This filtration scenario works well until viable organic matter starts the growth process within the HVAC system. Conditioning coils, particularly the cooling coils, are ideal for culturing microorganisms. The constant temperatures, moisture and an abundant food source equate to laboratory conditions for growing and sustaining a multi-species microbial population4. Eventually these organisms will travel downstream and become entrapped by the HEPA filter.

Filters treated with an antibacterial preservative typically show less tendency to develop microbial growth5. Under ideal conditions for microbial growth the treatment will, at the best, delay the process.

It is one thing to stop a small inorganic dust particle but a completely different thing to stop a small living organism. The situation becomes even more cumbersome if moisture is finding its way to the filter. This establishes conditions on the filter media that are similarly ideal to the ones on the coil. Again, studies show that when filters are loaded with microbial growth and moisture, it is very likely that the same organisms can be found on the supply side of the filters7.

The picture shows a typical final filter located downstream from the cooling coil at a hospital. The organic growth on the upstream side of the filter is clearly visible as white and dark areas (see arrows). Condensation water coming off the coil virtually saturated the filter. Besides creating an ideal environment for organism growth, the water also increased the delta pressure across the filter adding 1″ (W.G.). It is quite clear that this filter has lost much of its protective properties and instead assumed a roll as an incubator of contamination. Unfortunately this situation is not rare and can be found in many air handlers varied environmental settings.

Severe contamination of the cooling coil and drain pans are the root cause of this condition. The contamination causes water and organisms to come off the coil surface and travel down to the final filter. Fouled and clogged drain pans act as a secondary reservoir for microbial growth.

Contaminated air handlers not only yield reduced filtration efficiency, they also may increase indoor air pollution. Studies of office buildings suggest that once filters are colonized with fungi, they produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are offgassed, adding to indoor air quality problems6,7, especially for building occupants that are immune compromised or suffer from allergies.

Building owners who install VIGILAIR® Air Handler Protection Systems experience clean coils and drain pans. Coils are returned to their ‘as designed’ efficiency and drain pans work as intended instead of exacerbating the problem. Filters remain dry and free from viable organisms. Microorganisms captured by the dry filter will find it difficult to survive and reproduce.

In summation, the HEPA filter is the highest efficiency filter available for HVAC systems. Like all filters there exists a determinable inefficiency that belies the myth of the HEPA as an ‘absolute’ solution to airborne contamination removal. The presence of microbial matter within HVAC systems raises the bar for contamination control of conditioned environments.

VIGILAIR® is a proven, highly effective system that provides an uncontaminated air handler environment. High efficiency Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) ensures that cooling coils are completely free from organic growth. VIGILAIR® UVGI compatible filters allow UVGI exposure of the filter surfaces which ensures inactivation of any organisms trapped on the filter surface.


1. Michele R. Evans, David K. Henderson, Infection Control in the Healthcare industry in the 21st Century, Hospital Engineering & Facilities Management 2005, Issue 2 pp. 58-62

2. Colin Perllman, Are Hospitals Getting Left Behind?, Cleanroom Technology, October 17, 2005

3. Andrew Streifel, Control Factors in Hospital Building Maintenance and Operations, Hospital Engineering & Facilities Management 2005, Issue 1 pp. 55- 58

4. R.B. Simmons, D.L. Price, J.A. Noble, S.A. Crow, D.G. Ahearn, Fungal Colonization of Air Filters from Hospitals, AIHA Journal (58) December 1997

5. D.L. Price, R.S. Simmons, S.A. Crow, D.G. Ahearn, Mold Colonization during Use of Preservative-Treated and Untreated Air Filters, Including HEPA Filters from Hospitals and Common Locations over an 8-year Period(1996-2003), Journal of Industrial Microbiology Vol. 32: 319-321

6. M. Möritz, H. Peters, B. Nipko, H. Rüden, Capability of Air Filters to Retain Airborne Bacteria and Molds in Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditionng (HVAC) Systems, Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health 203, 401-409 (2001)

7. D.G. Ahearn, S.A. Crow, R.B. Simmons, D.L. Price, S.K. Mishra, D.I. Pierson, Fungal Colonization of Air Filters and Insulation in a Multi-Story Office Building: Production of Volatile Organics, Current Microbiology, Vol. 35 (1997)