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Steril-Aire Fequently Asked Questions


What is UVC?
What is UVGI?
What does it do?
Does it work?
Will it stop allergies?
How do you determine the size of the UVC fixture?
Is it hard to install?
Where do I install it?
Does it replace filters?
Don't filters remove microorganisms?
Is UVC harmful?
Does UVC produce ozone?
How does the residential unit differ?
Where do I install the commercial units, and how?
What proof do you have that it works?
Are your products UL approved?
What is the warranty?
How do you dispose of the used tubes?
How do you know when to change the emitters?
Do the emitters need cleaning?
If I can't see UVC energy, what do I see?




What is UVC?
UVC is an electromagnetic wave. Like all electromagnetic waves, its frequency is unique as to its potential effects. It was learned that the natural spectral line of mercury was 253.7 nm, very close to 260. When mercury was eventually vaporized in plasma, the germicidal lamp was born. Westinghous light division was the first to commercialize it in the early 1930's. It was then used extensively through the 1950's.
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What is UVGI?
UV Germicidal Irradiation -- the same as UVC, but this term is more frequently used in the Medical Industry.
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What does it do?
In simplest terms, UVC destroys the DNA of microorganisms, causing cell death or making replication impossible.
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Does it work?
Yes. Thousands of references to its efficacy can be found in the literature. The most recent of these can be found in our catalog. NIOSH and the University of Cincinnati cooperatively conducted the testing. UVC is used worldwide; more in other countries, per capita, than in the US. Its largest use worldwide is the disinfection of water.
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Will it stop allergies?
Microorganism based allergies have shown abatement or complete remission with UVC. Even simply stuffy noses have been cleared.
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How do you determine the size of the UVC fixture?
For mold, Indoor Air Quality and Maintenance, our Patent Pending application calls for one 24" fixture for every 4 square feet of coil surface area. Air and Water Technology, Inc., should always calculate any infectious disease applications.
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Is it hard to install?
No. Installation drawings are available for every model. Depending on the size of the unit and the style of the fixture, installation time averages 15-20 minutes per unit.
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Where do I install it?
Whenever possible, the light should be located downstream of and facing the coil. In this location the user can expect the highest efficacy in eliminating both surface and airborne microorganisms.
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Does it replace filters?
No. A UVC fixture is an air conditioning component that can be likened to several other of its parts. These include the coil, heating core, fan, dampers, humidification, filters, etc. All are designed to do some form of work within the air handles or on the air.
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Don't filters remove microorganisms?
Yes. One criterion in an infectious disease install is the efficiency and location of the filter. Exlcuding TB, the goal is to provide a reduction in overall numbers. With TB, ihe idea is to approach elimination. Thus the filters can be taken into account when calculating the overall effect on the concentration of microbes. However, it should be noted that viruses can be as small as .02 micron in size; therefore, the target organism needs to be known to calculate a properly functioning install. Most importantly, filters do nothing to abate microbial growth on coils and in drain parts.
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Is UVC harmful?
No. UVC does not have the penetrating power that UV-A and UV-B do. It can make your skini red and your eyes feel grainy or burn, but this usually recedes in 24 hours and does no lasting damage. We have a relavent paper available on this topic. Please feel free to contact us for a copy.
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Does UVC produce ozone?
No. Many UVC devices do produce ozone, but the Steril-Aire unit does not. A special compound blended into the quartz itself eliminates all frequencies produced below 200nm, thus eliminating the possibility of ozone production.
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How does the residential unit differ?
Steril-Aire started in the commercial/industrial market and by popular request, decided to make a residential product. In order to get the job done and make it affordable, several things had to be decided. First, the entire coil needed to see light. Second, it had to be done inexpensively. Steril-Aire took the output of one commercial unit and spread it over two lamps, providing full coil coverage. As a result, the tubes and power supply cost much less.
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Where do I install the commercial units, and how?
Steril-Aire fixtures were designed specifically for the HVAC industry and with simple forms of installation in mind. To achieve the maximum benefit in a mold, maintenance and Indoor Air Quality install, they should be located downstream of the coil. Simple installation instruction are included with each fixture and field install sheets are available for DE installations. CAD layout drawings for a specific install can be provided when we are informed of the dimenstional specifics. For infectious disease applications, the factory must always be involved.
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What proof do you have that it works?
Lots and lots of successful Beta sites, but the best clinical proof currently on record is the Extended Abstract resulting from a joint effort between NIOSH and the University of Cincinnati wherein UVC was tested on the heartiest of microorganisms known. Contact us for a copy.
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Are your products UL approved?
Yes. All Steril-Aire fixtures are both UL and CSA listed and labeled, including outdoor use and damp locations.
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What is the warranty?
The fixtures are warranted for 1 year, and the tubes for 90 days.
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How do you dispose of the used tubes?
The same as you would dispose of any glass type trash. Following EPA guidelines, Steril-Aire products either contain no hazardous materials or not enough to be considered as hazardous waste.
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How do you know when to change the emitters?
For infectious disease applications, change-out should be determined by measuring the output of the emitters with a radiometer. (A suitable unit is available from Steril-Aire.) In general, emitters should be replaced when the UVC output drops by 40%. For small installs or residential applications, new emitters should be installed at least annually.
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Do the emitters need cleaning?
Conventional UVC lamps must be cleaned every 90 days to maintain maximum output. Steril-Aire UVC emitters produce so much output they degrade any impinged organic material. Therefore, they don't require periodic cleaning. Look at a used lamp!
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If I can't see UVC energy, what do I see?
Greater than 95% of the energy generated by a Steril-Aire emitter is UVC energy. The remainder is some visible light (blue hue) and a little bit of heat (infrared). Seeing the brightness of this 3% visible light gives one a clear idea of the amount of UVC energy a Steril-Aire product produces.
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