company logo
IAQ - Energy Solutions    Houston, Texas    (713) 944-4811
purifying indoor air while lowering air handling costs
residential institutional commercial industrial
about us  

What is UVC?  

Short-wave ultraviolet radiation, in the "C" band (200 to 280 nanometers) has been used for over 100 years. UV-C (UVC) is also referred to as UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation). UVC penetrates the outer structure of the cell and alters the DNA molecule, preventing replication and causing cell death.

History of UVC

UV light in the form of germicidal lamps has been used since the late 1800s to kill the types of microorganisms that typically cause indoor air quality (IAQ) problems -- bacteria, mold, yeast, and viruses.

Niels Ryberg Finsen (1860-1904) is first to employ UV rays in treating disease. He is awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1903. He invents the Finsen curative lamp, which was used sucessfully through the 1950s.

UVC is used to disinfect the municipal water supply in Marseille, France, in 1908.

Westinghouse develops the first commercial UVC germicidal lamps during the 1930s. They are used primarily in hospitals.

After World War II, UVC is used for sterilizing air in hospitals, kitchens, meat storage and processing plants, bakeries, breweries, dairies, beverage production, pharmaceutical plants, and animal labs -- anywhere microbiological contamination is a concern. Typically a beam of UVC is directed across the ceiling of a room.

During the 1950s UVC is incorporated into air handling equipment. It becomes a major component in the control and eradication of tuberculosis (TB).

During the 1960s, concern about microbes lessens with the introduction and increasing availability of new drugs and sterilizing cleaners.

As mechanical ventilation becomes more popular, UVC performance suffers. Moving air, especially below 77°F (25°C) has an adverse effect on UVC light tube performance. To compensate, additional lamps are installed and changeout cycles are accelerated.

With the widespread adoption of air conditioning, UVC virtually disappears since the output and stability of standard UVC lamps is drastically reduced in the presence of cold and/or moving air.

The energy crisis of the 1970s sparks enthusiasm for conservation. To save energy, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are shut down when not in use. Condensation that had previously been evaporated by the constantly moving air collects on coils and in the drain pan. Mold and other microorganisms multiply in this dark wet environment. When the system goes back on, microbial contaminants are circulated throughout the building.

The introduction of UVC into HVAC systems is pioneered in 1996 by Steril-Aire of Cerritos, California. The company invests considerable time and effort to establish the effectiveness of UVC lights that function optimally in the hostile environment of cold, moving air.

Recent technological advancements have made it possible for other companies to produce high-output ultraviolet germicidal devices. Through comprehensive testing and research IAQ - Energy Solutions has identified a number of manufacturers of UVC lights that function optimally in conditions of cold, moving air to control microbial contamination and thus improve IAQ and HVAC system efficiency.

Through its strategic partnerships with leading manufacturers, IAQ - Energy Solutions is uniquely positioned to provide its customers in the Houston, Texas, area with the best UV germicidal products to meet their specific needs. To request more information or to discuss your specific IAQ - Energy needs, e-mail or phone (713) 944-4811.

Home | About Us | Solutions | Products | FAQ |

return to top

Copyright © 2000copy; 2002     All rights reserved.      IAQ - Energy Solutions,
12401 Palmsprings Drive,   Houston, TX 77034