UV-C Germicidal Lighting for Schools and Universities
July 6, 2020
There are more than 130,000 public schools in the US. With approximately 56 million students and over 7 million staff, making one person’s cold a localized epidemic very quickly. The experts here at Action Services Group help explain why UV lighting can help reduce the spread of illnesses in schools and universities quickly, efficiently, and easily.
UV-C Applications for Infection Control in Schools and Universities
When it comes to schools and universities, bacteria and viruses can spread like wildfire. The close proximity of students and staff means that one person’s illness can quickly infect everyone else within the class. Ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is one way a school can help reduce, if not kill, microorganisms before they can infect others. In fact, UV-C lighting, which is the type of UV wavelength used in UVGI fixtures, can kill up to 99% of all microorganisms. UV lighting for schools can be applied in several different ways. Perhaps the most useful methods, however, as via portable or installed lights, and HVAC coil irradiation.
As schools and universities consider UV-C lighting for their facilities, a major concern is safety. In, Is Germicidal UV Lighting Safe? We answer your safety concerns, as well as explain the advantages and how UV light sterilizes. If you don’t find the answer to your question, email us at [email protected] and we will have our UV-C lighting experts reach out and answer them, or you can Schedule a Call by clicking the button below.
Microorganisms are introduced into the school environment in many different ways. As COVID-19 has reminded us, simply touching surfaces can transmit highly contagious illnesses. To help reduce the likelihood of this occurring, UV lighting can be used. Typically, surface disinfection occurs through manual efforts, often relying on chemicals and strict adherence to procedures. However, certain microorganisms can develop immunities or resistances to chemical cleaning agents. Additionally, no two people will ever clean the same surface in the exact same way. This means human error can leave residual germs. When paired with the use of UV-C lighting, schools can virtually eliminate microorganisms from surfaces throughout the facility, including walls and floors. (In fact, UV-C fixtures have been so successful, even hospitals have adapted to their use.) Surface disinfection can occur in two ways: portable or installed UV-C lighting. Portable units can be transported between rooms to reduce investment costs. That being said, it is important to invest in enough units to encourage use instead of discouraging it. (In other words, one portable UV-C unit will likely go unused if it needs to be transported across an entire campus, cleaning each room as it goes.) Installed units, however, can be permanently fixed in each room and synced to lighting control systems. This ensures they are used for the most applicable amount of time when rooms are unoccupied.
HVAC Coil Irradiation
HVAC units can be havens for mold and certain types of bacteria. Cooling coils, drain pans, filters, and other components are dark, sometimes damp, locations within a school’s HVAC system. Damp and dark locations can expedite mold growth and lead to serious respiratory issues, amongst other things. It can also lead to microbial growths that: a) foul coils, b) increase coil pressure drops, c) reduce airflow, and d) reduce heat exchange efficiency. Installing UV-C fixtures within an HVAC unit or connected ductwork can kill up to 30% of all pathogens before they even enter the facility’s atmosphere. It also helps to prevent the recirculation of harmful bacteria and viruses.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, UV lighting has been in the news as a major topic. But not all UV light is germicidal or acts as a sanitizer. In, Does All UV Light Act as a Disinfection? We explain the differences in UV lighting and which type you need to disinfect your facilities.
Maximize Savings with UV-C Lighting
Unfortunately, school budgets are constantly being cut. Installing new fixtures may seem like a large investment. However, the return on investment is exceptional when it comes to UV lighting for schools and universities. How?
Maintaining and cleaning surfaces and air systems throughout an educational facility can be expensive. However, UV lighting for universities and schools can help reduce these costs. For example, hiring a professional to service the entire HVAC system for a school is extremely costly in most cases. Once a UV-C fixture has been installed within the HVAC unit or ductwork, they provide a permanent method of continuous cleaning. Furthermore, the typical installation cost of a UV-C germicidal HVAC system is roughly equal to that of a single coil-cleaning procedure. UV lamps do typically need to be replaced annually. However, these costs have been continually decreasing as technology has continued to improve. In fact, some lamps costs less than $0.03 per CFM, which can be a tremendous savings when the average system is 10,000 CFM or more!
When it comes to installing more fixtures, some may wonder how this will affect energy costs. UV lights are extremely energy efficient. However, they also help reduce energy costs in other ways that may not seem quite so obvious. Let us stick with HVAC as the example. When applied to an HVAC unit, UV-C germicidal lighting for education systems improves airflow. It also boosts the efficiency of heat exchanges. As this occurs, the efficiency helps to reduce overall energy costs relating to your HVAC unit. (In fact, some experts claim UV-C fixtures installed within the HVAC unit or ductwork can reduce the school’s energy costs 10% to 35%.)
UV-C Germicidal Lighting for Education Systems with Action Services Group
UV-C germicidal lighting is a great investment for educational facilities. If you have questions regarding the use of UV-C lighting, please contact Action Services Group UV-C lighting specialists today, by calling 610-558-9773, email [email protected] or Schedule a Call by clicking the button below.
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