Technology Briefing: Filtration and Germicidal UV Light for HVAC Applications

October 21, 2020 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's a briefing on filtration and germicidal UV light for HVAC applications, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. **We review how and where the technology is used, which applications it is best suited to, the strength of the evidence to support its use, and more.

Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) filtration systems use moderate- to high-efficiency filters to remove particles, potentially including pathogens, from the air.

HVAC or in-duct UV disinfection devices emit ultraviolet C (UVC) light to inactivate pathogens in the duct. Depending on the installation location, UV light may:

  1. Combat the growth of bacteria and fungi on filters and air-conditioning coils, where condensation can contribute to mold or mildew growth

  2. Inactivate pathogens in the air and decrease the likelihood of spreading infectious organisms throughout a building. In this case, the installation must be designed to provide an adequate dose of UV light as the air passes through the relevant section of ductwork.

To be considered in this category, a product must:

  1. Reduce bioburden load in the air by doing one or both of the following:

a) Removing particles from the air in an HVAC duct using a moderate- to high-efficiency filter

b) Inactivating pathogens in the air using a...

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