UVLs are the industries least understood product. Consequently, there are many stories of poor performance and downright failure.
The first thing a purchaser needs to know about UVLs is that they are rate on output. There is an industry minimum output requirement of 50 micro-Watts at 36-inches away from the bulb. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous manufacturer's will tout "100 mW output" but don't tell you that it's measured at 6-inches away from the bulb.
What is a UVL designed to do. Well, it's not designed to be an 'odor neutralizer' as that's the job of the electronic air cleaner. And it is harmful to all non-UVL adjusted plastics. This includes flex duct, drain pans, EAC components, wires and any other plastics that might be in the direct line of sight of the bulb.
For these reasons, most knowledgeable installers will select a location in the return duct away from the air handler. If the UVL has sufficient output, it won't kill anything but will change the DNA of live organisms traveling in the airstream, thus robbing them of their ability to multiply and colonize.
Normally, a well educated installing company is your beset option for selection of equipment and installation. UVLs work just as well as the sunshine but only when they can reach their intended target and just like the sunshine, will do damage if installed inappropriately.
Finally, the electronic air cleaner is designed to pull out all solid particles down to approximately .3 microns in size. This includes spores, bacteria, viruses and all manner of matter of .3 microns and larger. But the EAC is ineffective for those living organisms that are smaller than .3 microns. That is where the UVL comes into play.
How do you know if it's truly doing it's job? Well, if you've got school age children or work with people who have them, you might notice that colds and flu seem to not run through your family like they used to! One person gets infected and it stops with that one person. Will you feel any healthier? Sure, when the other person is sick but not likely day-to-day. If you've got allergies, the EAC is the better solution.
Like Teddybear says, fresh air is a big help but during the pollen season, that can aggravate some allergies. Fresh air that's run through an EAC and past a UVL or multiple UVLs is by far the best solution to IAQ problems. But poor installation or sub-standard products are no help at all.
As for cost of operation and maintenance, I suggest that the cost of a new bulb every couple of years (or annually for those with only a 10,000 hour bulb) is incidental compared to the cost of allergy medications and other OTC relief strategies.
I personally have Sanuvox bulbs in both systems at my home. They have worked wonders for our family. There web site is Sanuvox.com I encourage you to check the different sites and do your homework before any purchase. Also, must have certified installing technicians they recommend to do the work.
Here is the link any case anyone is doing research... Believe some Carrier dealers carry them along with ESV (Electro Static Cleaners).
I think Honeywell just cut a deal with Triatomic to re-brand their Blue-Tube product. Honeywell and RGF transformers have a history of failure problems in the field. The Triatomic/Fresh-Aire transformer seems to holds up better than most. RGF is making the Carrier/TopTech Air Knight transformer for 24 volts. UV lamps need to be close to whatever they have been installed to irradiate due to the inverse square law. The power of the UVC energy is 6.25% at 4" distance of what it is at 1". That is why putting a UVC lamp in ductwork without a catalytic wrapper is kind of wasteful.
I didn't realize that the Honeywell/RGF transformers had a problem. Were these units recalled? What do you estimate the failure rate was? Just curious.
Originally Posted by TalkingHead
I'm not sure how many ballast have been replaced nationwide. Try to buy a Honeywell TrueUV model UV100RMI that was introduced in 2008. I know a model UV100A1059 that was replaced because the ballast kept failing 3 times in just a couple of years. Honeywell put out a bulletin about them once. The RGF folks have been good about replacing the PHI Cell under warranty no questions asked when they stop working. They have started using a new transformer that is in-line with the power cord and the problems have diminished.
Originally Posted by theicecleaner
Honeywell looking to capture some of the below $99 UV market , saturated by quite a few. They will have the same (or VERY similar) system to the private labeled GemTech bulb - made by the same people at Triatomic.
Place a UV in the center of the A-Coil if that's your coil type , on the RGF type PHI cells , typically installed in the Supply from everything we've read and seen.
ASHRAE has a chapter in their 2011 Handbook, Chapter 60. It has lots of great information on UVC. UVC does need up to 30 seconds of exposure to sterilize some microbials, so irradiating coils/drain pans, or some other mechanism (UVC resistant filters or carbon) will help increase exposure time, making it more effective.
I have the Honeywell Enviracare Elite UV Light that is designed for surface treatment (to prevent mold in a central A/C) and is placed in the supply duct in the air conditioning evaporator coil compartment. The model is the UV100E3007 SmartLamp single bulb 36 watt system. It was installed by a contractor.
The unit is less than 6 years old, and I just tried installing a new bulb (old one burnt out over 6 months ago), but the new bulb did not light. Actually, I bought TWO new bulbs, and tried them both out (one at a time), but neither of them worked. I installed them according to the owner's manual, making sure they were properly seated in the fixture, then pressed the Reset button for over 5 seconds, as recommended in the manual.
After the new bulbs were installed, the tiny LED light on the outside of the UV light fixture base began flashing (the manual states that the LED will blink when the bulb has 90% life left in the bulb), then the "light pipe" (the tiny clear plastic spot on the outside of the bulb handle which indicates when the bulb inside is illuminated) glowed very weakly (sort of an amber color) for two seconds, then disappeared, indicating the bulb was not illuminated. [When a UV bulb is working properly, the "light pipe" indicator will glow a brilliant blue color, and remain steady for the life of the bulb.]
I am trying to determine why the two new UV bulbs do not work. Could it be the ballast? I tried installing both bulbs several times with no success. I inspected the handle (knob) base socket (into which the bulb is installed) to see whether the 4 socket receptacles were pushed in or misaligned, but they were fine.
One would think that the odds of two new bulbs failing are tiny, but stranger things have happened, I suppose.
BTW, the unit and old bulb is clean, so dirt buildup is not an issue. (I have an EAC also.)
After reading these posts, I'm beginning to suspect it may be the ballast. If so, is that serviceable, or must I buy a new unit?
Ballasts normally have long warranties. Go that route first.
they do greatly reduce V. O. C. 's volatile organic compounds. uv light with fan set to on
cowboy, UV lamps are not capeable of removing UV lights by themselves. At 500 fpm in an air stream they barely have time to slightly damage the DNA of a biologic. UV lamps are not capable of Vapor Phase Filtration.
Originally Posted by cowboyfan628
The premise of ventilation is that the OA is clean or of sufficient quality to be used for dilution. Traditional ventilation is somewhat being threatened by the fact that the EPA is changing the requirements for outdoor air quality which is creating non-attainment zones in what is now becoming a significant portion of the country. That means that buildings in those areas will need to clean up the OA before they bring it into the building.
Genesis Air Inc.
I have done air quality tests before and after uv installation. With the sanuvox 3500 and it does exactly what it claims by removing voc's