CHICAGO — Steel with a coating containing AgION™ — a silver ion-based compound said to suppress the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, and other microbes — will be used in the production of Carrier Corporation air handling units, the company has announced. The result of a new relationship with AK Coatings, Inc., the announcement was made at an event held in conjunction with the 2003 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating (AHR) Expo.

Carrier’s 39M Aero™ air handling units and Racan-Carrier custom air handling systems will be available with AK Coating’s AgION antimicrobial-coated steel as an integral material for the pre-painted steel inner liners. Production of the new antimicrobial-coated Racan-Carrier units will begin immediately. The first antimicrobial-coated 39M Aero units will be produced in March 2003.

“Recently, public awareness about mold, mildew, and other microbes has increased, particularly in the education and health care sectors, as the general public has learned that heat and humidity allow these elements to infiltrate their buildings,” said Todd Bluedorn, Carrier’s North America Commercial president. “We’re proud to offer the AgION antimicrobial compound on our air handling units to our customers.”

According to AK Coatings, the antimicrobial compound makes use of silver ions to suppress the growth of microbes. The silver ions — silver atoms with an electrical charge — are attracted to oppositely charged hydrogen ions, commonly found in most bacteria and microbes, like a magnet. Once the two ions connect, the hydrogen ions are no longer available for other chemical bonds, halting the microbes’ respiration and growth.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered the AgION compound for use in HVAC applications.

Publication date: 02/03/2003