UV technology is presented as an effective and efficient solution in combination with air purification systems when it comes to guaranteeing the disinfection of spaces in the presence of people.
To understand what we do not yet know about HEPA filters and their use in air purification devices, it is necessary to understand the role that aerosols play in SARS-CoV-2 infection. A document developed by GAeF summarizes a large number of studies conducted on the formation of virus-laden aerosol particles and their spread.
Based on them, it can be concluded that such exhaled aerosol particles can play a prominent role in the spread of the virus. To combat it, ultraviolet technology becomes the best complement for the disinfection of these spaces.
Understanding the role of aerosol particles in SARS-CoV-2 infection
An aerosol is a heterogeneous mixture of particles together with the surrounding gas or gas mixture. Airborne particles can be solid as well as liquid droplets. In a stable aerosol, the liquid or solid components are homogeneously distributed as suspended particles.
SARS-CoV-2 is 0,06 to 0,14 microns in size, but the exhaled liquid aerosol particles are larger. These can also be reduced by evaporation, depending on the environmental conditions. We could say that the largest aerosol particles fall to the ground, while the smallest can remain in the air for a long time.
The stated separation efficiency of HEPA filters does not account for this significant size reduction. That is why air purifiers are not enough by themselves if we want to guarantee a safe air circulation free of infectious particles.
Use of air purifiers for the disinfection of SARS-CoV-2?
Air purifiers make a difference in interior spaces at the level of bacteria and allergen particles among others. But the use of the H13 and H14 filters does not have any technical advantage if we compare it, for example, with an E11 filter. That is, the same "cleaning performance" of H13 can be achieved with an E11 filter with its separation efficiency of 95% (vs. 99; 95%), if the air flow rate is only 5% higher.
The key is that any filter will minimize air flow, which will decrease the ability to "purify" the air. Therefore, a sufficiently safe air circulation is not guaranteed since that would imply that we would need many units of purifiers to be able to disinfect a room.
The combined action of this type of system together with UVC technology allows that with fewer device units it is possible to increase the flow of clean air in closed spaces. This is due to the fact that those particles that pass through the filter would be struck down by the ultraviolet light before leaving the device itself. This type of combined systems are effective and safe in the presence of living beings, which is why it is presented as an efficient and effective solution for its application in classrooms, gyms and a multitude of spaces.
Advantages and disadvantages of using air purifiers in enclosed spaces
The advantages of air purifiers compared to ventilation is that no heat escapes from the room. In addition, its effectiveness is independent of the concentration of particles in the outside air. For this reason, air purifiers are considered an additional component to minimize the risk of allergens or bacteria. This is especially the case in rooms where regular ventilation is not possible.
The disadvantages are the possible additional costs of acquisition, the power consumption and the noise emissions of the fan if we are looking for high efficiency. In addition, they make the air only circulate and not be exchanged. In short, they do not guarantee the disinfection of the same as UV technology does.
Purifiers VS Ultraviolet Air Disinfection
For decades, it has been known that UV-C irradiation of viruses leads to their inactivation. But that's not all, in addition, the effectiveness of UV irradiation to inactivate COVID-19 has already been demonstrated.
Air purifiers can help reduce the concentration of particles and bacteria in an enclosed space. They minimize, but do not eliminate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on their own. In addition, you have to take into account the airflow and not just the pure efficiency of the filter itself. In terms of energy consumption and costs, the use of high-efficiency filters can even be counterproductive. To avoid infection, it is advisable that they operate with 100% fresh air whenever possible.
In principle, no single measure could work. Air purifiers are equipped with a fan that draws in the air from the room, passes it through the filters, and returns it to the room. According to numerous studies, the interaction of several measures is the best way to minimize the risk of infection. In case of having an air purifier, we should make sure that it is based on UV-C radiation and that it is properly dimensioned. Without forgetting to check if it is a safe system to use in the room where we want to place it, in order to significantly reduce the load of particles and viruses.
UV technology solutions
Solutions such as UVAir from GoldenSeaUV, distributed in Spain by Stonex, offer air purification together with the help of UV radiation that allows the inactivation of the virus. In this way, a disinfected and not just purified space is offered.
In addition, since HEPA filters increase resistance to flow and therefore pressure loss, there are other devices such as the UVAir300F. This allows the disinfection of the air of any type of virus and bacteria through ultraviolet technology but without the filtration of HEPA filter. UVAir300F allows the disinfection of larger spaces and is capable of disinfecting a larger volume of air.
Currently, we are at a time where UV technology air disinfection devices become necessary for the present that we live. However, this type of technology is here to stay since it allows us to convert all our spaces into safe areas against any contagion. Both offices and schools, as well as public spaces become the main users of a new technology that requires training and knowledge.
From Stonex, dedicated to professional lighting for more than 40 years, we offer solutions focused on the disinfection of spaces through UV technology. From advice to training, through installation. A comprehensive service with which the client can feel informed and accompanied at all times.
STONEX is dedicated to integrating professional lighting and control solutions. 40 years of experience in the professional lighting sector, more than 500 projects and the trust of more than 1.500 clients guarantee the professionalism of a team in constant training and development. Our know-how in the demanding world of professional lighting has allowed us to develop in transversal lines such as UV-C lighting, emergency lighting and mechanics in scenic spaces.
Leading company in high-tech lighting design and manufacturing, Golden Sea Professional. The great team of experts that make up this brand guarantees that the quality, safety and performance of the products are of the highest level. All GSUV products are CE, ETL and FCC compliant.