UV Lights, Filters Give Contractors IAQ Options

January 29, 2002
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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — IAQ products and services have had an increasingly high profile, even before anthrax and other potential biological contaminants became public concerns.

Contractors who visited the 2002 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, held here, had the opportunity to learn about the variety of options available to their commercial and residential customers.

Note: While this article focuses on the many ultraviolet (UV) lights and air filtration products shown at the expo, other articles in this issue include overviews of ventilation, humidification, and dehumidification products, as well as other products that are said to inhibit biological growth in hvac systems.

Dust Free's Triad "Bio-Fighter" UV light product now offers enhanced safety (tested to ETL 1598 UL standard), according to vice president Greg Burnett.

UV LIGHTS

Bioclimatic Inc. (Delran, NJ): The company’s Aerotron Series “bi-polar” ionization system is versatile; it can be installed in the air plenum of built-up, rooftop, and custom air-handling units, or in ventilation ductwork (subject to restrictions of air velocity). It’s compatible with variable- and constant-volume systems, and provides contaminant control when the outside air usage is less than 65% of the total air circulation, the company says.

The Micro/Climatic (Model MC-600) unit combines bi-polar and ultraviolet C-band (UVC) technologies with high-efficiency fibrous filters and gas filter media.

Dust Free (Royse City, TX) displayed the Triad Bio-Fighter for applications ranging from residential to commercial size.

The product now offers enhanced safety (to ETL 1598 UL standard), according to vice president Greg Burnett. It features a detachable cord; in order to get into the unit, technicians have to unplug it, and are thereby protected against inadvertent exposure to the lights. A microchip also disconnects the unit automatically if the cover is removed.

The booth of Environmental Dynamics Group (Princeton, NJ) featured the “Sterile Sweep,” an oscillating UVC unit that “combines an oscillating parabolic reflector with the pathogen-inactivating effectiveness of a high-output UVC lamp,” the company says.

A reflector keeps the lamp clean and concentrates the UVC into a sterilizing “beam” that continuously sweeps across the surface of an air filter or coil. The product, when coupled with the company’s Dynamic air cleaners, “ensures the UVC contact time necessary to inactivate even resistant strains, such as anthrax spores,” the company says. Applications range from residential to medical.

Steril-Aire (Cerritos, CA) introduced a product for the food-processing industries: a shatter-resistant UVC Emitter™ encapsulated in a resin tube engineered to allow UVC emittance. (The FDA doesn’t allow glass within food-processing facilities due to the risk of breakage.)

UVC in food processing “can continuously disinfect process surfaces, vats and other containers, and almost all types of food and food packaging materials,” the company says. “The devices work effectively in cold environments, where UVC energy has not worked before.”

Ultra Violet Devices Inc. (Valencia, CA) announced that it has authorization to add the UL mark to its new Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) modular coil and surface treatment systems. These systems are now classified to UL’s category code ABQK for HVAC Accessories.

The products are designed for surface irradiation in commercial hvac systems to achieve UL listing under ABQK. The modular coil and surface treatment systems can be used to irradiate coils to maintain cleanliness and, thus, efficiency. They also can be used in combination with filtration to employ the “capture-and-kill” method of biological contaminant remediation.

UV Air Solutions (Brandon, VT) says its UVS Series UV air disinfection systems work automatically. An “easy-access” cover facilitates lamp changing; a safety interlock switch turns the unit off when the cover is removed, protecting the servicer. And a lamp monitor performs status checks, notifying the owner when the lamp is nearing its replacement time and signaling if the lamp has gone out, similar to a smoke detector’s battery alarm.

The unit uses a compact, low-pressure, short-wave UV lamp. The corrosion-resistant aluminum chassis can be installed at any angle, the company says. The product is available in many sizes for a variety of applications.

GeneralAire says its AC-1 and AC-4 air cleaners are designed to replace standard furnace filters while maintaining low pressure drop.

FILTRATION FOR IAQ

Aeolus (Liberty, NC) displayed its synthetic, minipleat V-cell filtration media. The nonshedding, gradient-density, 100% poly-propylene media is “manufactured by building up progressively smaller and smaller … fibers in a single, thermally bonded web,” the company says. Larger particles are caught by larger fibers on the air-entering side, and progressively smaller particles are caught in the progressively smaller fibers through the depth of the media.

The synthetic media “is not effected by moisture and by nature does not support the growth of microbial organisms,” the company says.

D Mark Inc.’s (Chesterfield, MI) OdorGuard® rung panels are said to remove odors and gaseous and particulate pollutants. The filters’ granular carbon loadings come in three sizes to meet a variety of odor-removal applications: 45 grams (g) of carbon/sq ft for light duty, 300 g/sq ft for medium to heavy duty, and 345 g/sq ft for heavy duty.

The panels feature Carbon-web® flexible, carbon-filled fibers, and they are available in special sizes, the company says. The product is UL tested and Class 2 approved.

GeneralAire (Novi, MI) announced that tests conducted in accordance with ASHRAE standards show that the company’s glass microfiber filtering media capture 97% (by weight) of airborne particles ranging from 2,500 down to 0.001 microns in size.

The company says its AC-1 and AC-4 air cleaners are designed to replace standard furnace filters while maintaining low pressure drop, so that heating-cooling systems can operate properly. The AC-2 air purifier also uses activated carbon pellets to help eliminate offensive odors and vapors.

Glasfloss Industries (Dallas, TX) introduced its Z-Line® MR-11 (MERV 11) high-performance pleat filter with low pressure drop. The line can be used “where previous higher-efficiency filters are too restrictive to the flow of air,” the company says. The product is an “excellent primary filter” that also can be used as a prefilter, “to extend the life of more-expensive” secondary filters.

The company says the filter’s electrostatically charged synthetic filters resist shredding. The fibers (“Intrepid” media filter by Kimberly Clark) are thermally bonded and controlled in a gradient-density orientation. The filter media is bonded to a heavy-duty, galvanized, rust-resistant metal backing to prevent media collapse during the life of the filter. The media pack is adhered to the frame to prevent air bypass.

Research Products Corp. (Madison, WI) announced that its Aprilaire Model 5000 electronic air cleaner was named the number-one whole-house air cleaner by a leading consumer ratings publication. (For legal reasons, the manufacturer says it can’t name the specific consumer publication title.)

The air cleaner is said to never be less than 94% efficient against airborne particles as small as 0.35 microns, which include tobacco smoke, bacteria, and respirable dust, according to product manager Bruce Darkow. It combines electronic and micro-fiber pleated media characteristics, giving airborne particles a positive electric charge, then capturing them on the micro-fiber media.

Skuttle (Marietta, OH) featured its self-adjusting makeup air control. The product features 100% self-adjustability, using no electricity. Benefits cited by the company included quick and easy installation; a reduction in drafts and uncontrolled air infiltration; improved furnace efficiency by providing proper air for combustion; and durable, corrosion-resistant, stainless steel construction.

Publication date: 02/04/2002

Broan-NuTone's high-end GuardianPlus model offers a combination of HEPA filtration, fresh air ventilation, and heat recovery in one "box." Photo shows a typical installation. There is only one outside connection using the company's patented Tandem® transition and AirDuo™ outside port.

Sidebar: Whole-House Unit Offers HEPA Filtration, Ventilation

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — Broan-NuTone (Hartford, WI) used the 2002 AHR Expo to introduce its “breakthrough” product, the GuardianPlus™ whole-house HEPA filtration and ventilation systems.

There are eight patents on the product, which complies with ASHRAE 62-99.

It is fairly easy to install; “A contractor only punches one hole in the wall,” stated company representatives at the booth; the product can be installed in less than 3 hrs anywhere in the home, from the attic to the basement, due to its size (unit depth is 22 in., so it fits in between standard joists). It also is shipped with everything needed for installation.

The system self balances, booth personnel said, and surface loading obviates pressure drop. However, the prefilter should be changed every six months.

Each of the three GuardianPlus models offers true HEPA filtration with a 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 mm particles (per ASHRAE Standard 52.2 — MERV 17) and services up to 2,500 sq ft of space (per ASHRAE Standard 62-99), the company says.

The filtration-only version (Model GSFH1K) is a bypass HEPA system. The mid-range version (Model GSVH1K) provides HEPA filtration along with fresh air ventilation. The high-end GuardianPlus model (GSHH3K) provides HEPA filtration, fresh air ventilation, and a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). This combination unit helps eliminate excess moisture from the home, the company says, thereby reducing the chance of degrading IAQ further due to mold growth from too-humid conditions.

The company also points out that its product is less costly to operate than portable HEPA filters, which may not clean an entire room — it may take one or two portable units in each room to clean an entire house. The GuardianPlus is installed on the duct system, conditioning the entire home environment with one system.

Sidebar: Now That’s Kool

Contractor Milt Baum, of Keil Heating and Air Conditioning (Riverdale, NJ), has a new interest. Meet Kool Kap, a condensing unit cover that stays on year round. When the unit starts running, the cap flips up; when it shuts off, the cap comes down again, protecting the unit from outdoor debris that can reduce the unit’s efficiency and even shorten its operating life. Baum says the covers take less than 5 min for a tech to install, they can be stacked together for easy storage, and they are tough. For more information, contact Kool Kap, Riverdale, NJ; 973-492-1799; 973-492-2782 (fax).

Publication date: 02/04/2002

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