As they struggle to reopen, many facilities are turning to using a UV-C air purifier to remove airborne contaminants, including the pathogens that cause coronavirus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these devices can be used in “many different settings, such as residential, commercial, educational, and healthcare. The technology uses ultraviolet (UV) energy to inactivate (kill) microorganisms, including viruses, when… installed correctly.”
It’s this last point that causes some concern. Many times, UV-C air purifiers are not installed correctly in offices and schools. This can reduce their effectiveness by as much as 50 per cent.
To help prevent this from happening, Gretchen Friedrich with industry supply chain experts AFFLINK, which markets UV-C air purifiers, recommends the following:
- Place a larger air purifier three to five feet off the ground, or it can be mounted on a wall; a smaller unit can be placed directly on a desk or counter.
- Placing near a doorway helps the UV-C system capture airborne impurities, so they are not inhaled by those in the work area.
- Doors, however, should remain closed as much as possible. “‘Fresh air’ often brings in pollen, dust, and pollutants from the outside along with contaminants,” adds Friedrich.
- Similarly, a UV-C air purifier can be placed near windows; “once again, the air purifier helps capture impurities before they contaminate a room.”
- Never place a UV-C air purifier behind furniture. This can significantly reduce the system’s effectiveness.
- Never use two different types (brands) of air purifiers in the same area; they should all be manufactured by the same manufacturer to work most effectively.
- Avoid placing air purifiers near electrical devices such as copiers. Electrical interference can result.
“There is also the issue [as to] how many UV-C air purifiers are necessary for a work area,” says Friedrich. “It’s based on several factors, including room dimensions. Consultation with a reputable UV-C distributor can help determine how many systems are needed in a specific setting.”