by Scott Milne (Article originally published in fnPrime) — April 13, 2022 — As another coronavirus variant rages across the United States, indoor air quality and infection control procedures are still critical for operating safe facilities. However, even after this pandemic finally ends, these measures will still be necessary to curb the spread of influenza and other viruses.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of new technology was fast-tracked onto facility managers’ radars and some even into their facilities. Scott Milne, founder of Rocky Mountain Efficiency Group LLC, a company that specializes in advanced conservation technologies, discusses four such innovations:
- UV lighting systems that can be installed in ductwork, overhead or under cabinets, and that is endorsed by ASHRAE;
- Negative ionization that will reverse the minute polar charge of interior space, allowing allergens to cluster, land and get caught in filtration;
- Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO), which is a process that creates hydrogen peroxide from elements in the air and is safe to use in public; and
- Ozone that when used in unoccupied spaces has been proven to be effective against viruses.
Here’s a preview:
UV-C has become very popular, probably for a single reason: ASHRAE.
ASHRAE has not commented on any of these technologies except UV light. And for a reason: ASHRAE doesn’t want to be a medical recommender. They don’t know how to kill viruses. They don’t want to know how to kill viruses. But they did do a whole paper on where to put UV-C in their system, how to use UV-C, where it might be placed, best practices for UV-C light. People are not misinterpreting that, but they’re interpreting that as an endorsement.
UV-C light works. It kills pathogens. It kills viruses and COVID-19. COVID is not difficult to kill but UV systems in the duct work are very expensive and there’s a lot of debate as to whether we can kill a moving virus moving fast. I work with LED providers that provide UV in the ductwork and they’re convinced that they’ve got it dialed in. That they put enough UV in there that when the pathogen is moving quickly down the duct stream, that they’re going to get it. They’re convinced.
I’d like to see more government reports convincing me. I know it kills pathogens. I love it under every cabinet. There’s a countertop underneath every cabinet. We could use UV all around our facilities in locations. It’s inexpensive.