The days when learning about cutting-edge air purification techniques was reserved for research scientists, healthcare workers and infectious disease specialists are long gone.
Today, we all need to know as much as we possibly can about how to make sure our air is clean and safe to breathe.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not just because of the coronavirus, although that is certainly the most urgent reason.
Today, our indoor air is up to five times more toxic than our outdoor air. This keeps our immune systems overburdened nearly 24/7, which means when a serious health emergency occurs, we often don’t have access to the full might of our body’s protective response to help us stay healthy.
In this post, we go into detail about the former so that you can understand exactly why and how it works to keep you safer.
P.S. Be sure to read to the end of this post for a special offer to help you add UV air purification to your home or workplace!
What Is Ultraviolet Light Air Purification?
When you first saw the title of this post, you may have had the thought, “Ultraviolet light? But isn’t that supposed to be harmful? Doesn’t it cause skin cancer?”
The answer is “yes,” if you stand in front of it for multiple hours each day.
This is why we are strongly advised to cover up during the hottest parts of the day and to wear sunscreen and protective clothing and eyewear that blocks UV rays when we go outside.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI, which is the technical name for ultraviolet purification, doesn’t require you to bask in UV light though. Instead, the UV light is concentrated on the air.
Our sun produces three bands of ultraviolet light: A, B and C. Of these three, UV-C is by far the most powerful.
When we go outside, it is actually only UV-A and UV-B that we are protecting ourselves from. UV-C is blocked from reaching us by the ozone layer that surrounds earth (which is also why it is so important to pay attention to ozone alert days and to stay indoors on these days).
Short-wave UV-C, or short band UV-C, is the type of ultraviolet light used for UVGI.
How Does Ultraviolet Light Air Purification Work?
UVGI harnesses the power of UV-C light for concentrated disinfection. UVGI units focus the UV-C directly on one of two places:
1. The air stream itself.
2. The HVAC system coils.
For applications where the air stream itself is to be irradiated, the space is typically unoccupied or divided into upper room and lower room, where only the upper room airstream is irradiated to keep the lower room airstream safe for occupants.
For most residential or commercial spaces, the UV-C light is concentrated on the HVAC system coils instead. As the air passes over the coils, it gets exposed to the UV-C light.
This exposure is what destroys any dangerous liquid or gaseous bio-organic toxins, viruses, bacteria, fungi, microbes and/or micro-organisms that may cause health problems for people.
Why Does Ultraviolet Light Air Purification Work?
When harmful bio-organic matter is exposed to concentrated UV-C light, the light causes irreversible damage.
While this is a drastic over-simplification of how this process works, you can kind of think of it like taking a tiny toxic microbe and tossing it into a skillet. Even if it was dangerous going in, it sure won’t be coming out!
Ultraviolet light’s “skillet effect” is caused because the light band damages the organic nature of the toxin and disrupts its normal function.
So, for example, take a COVID-19 airborne droplet:
The droplet is composed of a thin protective outer membrane made of organic matter. Inside that membrane is the droplet’s RNA, the virus sequence that is set to replicate and cause COVID-19 in its host (AKA you).
When the UV-C light band hits that droplet, it destroys the outer protective organic membrane, exposing and damaging the RNA inside so it cannot replicate. This is how UV-C works to protect you from getting sick with COVID-19 even if there are infectious droplets in your air.
Of course, here, the trick is making sure that the air gets exposed to the UV-C light before you get exposed to the air!
How to Use Ultraviolet Light Purification to Protect Yourself
There are two main ways you can use ultraviolet light to protect yourself, your family and your workers from catching the new novel coronavirus.
1. Install a central (ducted) UV air purifier.
If you have a ducted HVAC system, you can add a UV air purifier that will irradiate your coils and neutralize any incoming toxic particles.
You will also need to seal and weatherstrip your home to block any air leaks or cracks.
2. Add a portable UV air purifier to your space.
For non-ducted spaces, you can still get the protective benefit of UV air purification by adding a portable UV unit to your space. Portable UV purifiers pull the air in, irradiate it and then push it back out again.
You may need more than one portable unit if you have a multi-room space.
Get $50 Off A Whole-Home U.V. Filtration System
Right now, get $50 off your purchase of a whole-home UV system.
If you want to combine this with an indoor air duct cleaning (highly recommended to remove bio-organic toxins trapped in your air ducts that the UV system won’t be able to reach), you can also get 10 percent off this service now.
Contact Clean Air Solutions
We are open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
Give us a call at 1-905-549-2470 or visit us online.