Coronavirus: Blue-Tube UV vs. Viruses, Bacteria, & Mold
Many of our customers have reached out to us asking for advice regarding the importance and efficiency of installing a Blue-Tube UV system within their HVAC. In order to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information on this, we are tracking the findings of the CDC and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) with regard to the airborne transmission of coronavirus, and what can be done to curb its spread.
In the meantime, we feel the most helpful thing we can do is provide you with an overview of how viruses and other pathogens typically respond to UVC germicidal technologies, and the variables that play a role in deactivating viruses.
UV disinfection has been used for decades in water treatment. Using these microwatt values to gauge UVC efficiency against a large cross-section of microorganisms, Blue-Tube UV systems are installed in the HVAC ductwork to disinfect the air as it passes through the ventilation system. The efficacy of these UV systems has been tested by independent Antimicrobial Test Laboratories, and found to achieve a 99.999% reduction of MS2 bacteriophage. Similar results have been obtained with regard to viruses, mold, and fungus.
Variables such as air velocity and temperature, recirculation rates, dwell time, surface/air disinfection, and more— as well as the specific biological target— are factored into the lab’s efficacy determination.
Coronavirus, like every other microorganism, requires a particular UVC dosage to be rendered inactive. While Blue-Tube UV systems have not been tested specifically against coronavirus, their track record against similar pathogens— including many that are more difficult to inactivate than coronavirus— is promising.
Viruses and other microorganisms are so small that filters are often ineffective. Independent lab testing has also shown UV systems to reduce molds and pathogens found both within the HVAC system and the drain pan before they can be transmitted through the building.
UV disinfection like Blue-Tube and other germicidal technologies for room, surface, and HVAC systems complement filtration well.