UVC keeps indoor air, a/c coils clean at College of the Sequoias


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At College of the Sequoias (COS), a California community college in Visalia, CA, indoor air quality is a high priority. “We have not had IAQ complaints, so when we discovered naturally occurring mold growth in the air conditioning coils, we decided to treat it proactively — before mold-related allergens circulated from the HVAC systems into the occupied space,” stated Eric Mittlestead, dean of facilities and facilities planning at the 11,000-student college.

Since COS does not have staff resources to perform coil cleaning, Mittlestead decided to install UVC Emitters™ from Steril-Aire, Inc. in the A/C systems as an alternative. These high-output devices use germicidal ultraviolet energy to kill or inactivate mold and mold-related allergens as well as recirculating viruses and bacteria. Initial “before” and “after” Petri dish tests showed a more than 99.9-percent reduction in mold colonies on the coils.

Based on these results, COS retrofi tted almost the entire campus with UVC over the last four years using a grant source. “We are very happy with the results,” said Mittlestead. “With the help of UVC, we are creating a better learning and working environment and helping reduce the chance of infection in our classrooms, child development center, and other buildings.”

A variety of UVC devices are used to serve the college’s mixture of central and packaged air handling systems. “We were even able to retrofi t the fan coils in our portable buildings with UVC. This was important because portables have more inherent issues with odors and stuffi ness,” reported Mittlestead.

“Some of our air handlers are 40 years old, and UVC helps keep them running more effi ciently by preventing mold and organic buildup in the coil fi ns,” he reported. “This reduces our maintenance and energy costs.”

Mittlestead notes that the UVC devices require no servicing except an annual changeout of the Emitter lamps.

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