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  • Writer's pictureRob Mitchell

UV Light Air Purification

Updated: Jan 9

UV light air purifiers are currently sold as stand-alone, freestanding devices or as systems installed into pre-existing residential or commercial HVAC ductwork. As air is forced through the device, it passes UV lamps, which directly attempt to disinfect the air by means of irradiation. The better units can inhibit the surface growth of mold spores and certain bacteria by as much as 99 percent. This same type of light has been trusted for over 60 years to kill microorganisms in water purification, the food processing industries, hospital operating rooms and more.

UV radiation is classified into three primary types based on the measure of their wavelength, which is measured in nanometers.

UV-A light: 315–400 nanometers with photons that vibrate just a little faster than visible light

UV-B light: 280–315 nanometers, with photons that vibrate even faster

UV-C light: 100–280, with photons that vibrate the fastest and carry the most energy

UV-C light is responsible for the main disinfectant activity of UV light air purifiers. All that extra energy, much more than visible light, can actually change the molecules that absorb it, and DNA is particularly susceptible to these changes. Ultraviolet light bombards microorganisms around the UV lamp and damages the DNA they need to live.

Since bacteria are only one cell, they rely on their DNA to live. This is the principle behind UV light air purifiers. If a bacterial cell’s DNA is sufficiently damaged, it triggers a self-destruct mechanism, rendering it harmless.

Elbert Heating & Air service and install several RGF products, including the REME HALO®. This air purification system has been shown to reduce viruses similar to COVID-19 by over 99%. In fact, many hospitals use the REME HALO® and RGF's PHI-Cell® systems to reduce risks associated with other infectious pathogens also.

UV Light

REME-HALO® is more than a conventional UV lamp. Most air purification systems are either passive or ineffective at meaningfully reducing pollutants. The REME-HALO® was designed to be something better. Not only does it use UV light, but it also has additional technologies to improve the quality of your air. One of which is it’s ability to produce low levels of hydrogen peroxide in the air that circulates through your air-conditioning system and indoor spaces.

Why it matters:

The indoor air quality in your home or office can be five times more polluted than the outdoor air, primarily because indoor air is not properly sanitized. There are added contaminants that are simply not filtered out of the air or removed from surfaces, but instead accumulate over time. This happens because bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and other toxins are too small to be stopped by traditional air filters, and some can even pass through a HEPA filter.

How it works:

The adage that sunlight is a great disinfectant is true in several ways: its ability to create hydrogen peroxide and release it into the air, and the UV properties of sunlight help eliminate microorganisms outside. RGF’s proprietary REME® technology, combine a UVC light on an advanced catalyst to create low concentrations of gaseous hydrogen peroxide in the air that disperses throughout your home. As Mother Nature’s chosen sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide is incredibly effective at reducing viruses, bacteria, mold spores, odors, VOCs and other microbes in the air and on surfaces in your home.

RGF is now also manufacturing the REME HALO-LED™ using a LED.

Unlike traditional UV lamps, the LED array does not have to run constantly, instead it turns on and off with your blower. It also contains the industry’s first washable catalyst. These recent technological improvements provide you with longer product life, lower power consumption and zero ozone emissions from a device that contains no mercury. You get proactive air treatment in your home combining low levels of airborne hydrogen peroxide with ionization to reduce viruses, bacteria, mold spores, dust, dander and pollen.

Should I get the REME-HALO® or the HALO-LED™? Both the REME-HALO® and the HALO-LED™ have more in common that most people realize. This makes it hard to decide which one to purchase.

Both use photohydroionization to release hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a well-known, naturally occurring and safe means of purifying the air. One of the benefits of both of these products is that the hydrogen peroxide molecules it creates get sent throughout your home and provide an "active" mode of air purification.

Both the REME-HALO® and the HALO-LED™ also utilize bipolar ionization to purify the air. They also both have dual ionizers which helps with increased bi-polar ionization. If you aren't familiar with bipolar ionization. It's a process by which the air is charged. As the charged air comes into contact with other particles, it "clings" to them. In the case of microbes like bacteria, viruses and mold, the charged ions have the effect of neutralizing the microbe. However, in general, the ionization process causes the particles in your air to increase in size and weight, making it easier for your air filter to remove these particles.

Both are effective against 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and mold. Since the REME-HALO® and the HALO-LED™ both use the same process to release hydrogen peroxide, they are effective against the same bacteria, viruses and mold. However, at this time, only the REME-HALO® has been officially tested against the coronavirus.

How are the REME-HALO® and HALO-LED™ different?

They use different light sources. The UV light used in the REME-HALO® releases a tiny amount of ozone, barely approaching the limits to be measurable and far below recommended levels. However, by using an LED light, the HALO-LED™ is able to achieve an officially certified zero-ozone status.

The HALO-LED™ cell lasts longer. Both the REME-HALO® and the HALO-LED™ have an internal cell that needs to be replaced in order to maintain a high level of output. The REME-HALO® cell should be replaced every 2-3 years. However, because LED lights last longer, the internal cell in the HALO-LED™ can be replaced every 4-5 years while still maintaining a high level of output.

The HALO-LED™ only turns on when your air handler is running while the REME-HALO® is always turned on. This means that the HALO-LED™ will use less power than the REME-HALO®. While both use very little electricity, the HALO-LED™ uses less.

Because the REME-HALO® is always turned on, it continues to release small amounts of ionized hydrogen peroxide even when your air handler isn't running. This causes a buildup of plasma to be released when the air handler starts running. You occasionally smell the REME-HALO® working. Some compare the smell to the what it might smell like after it rains.

There are two ways to deal with the smell. First, the REME-HALO® comes with an adjustable shroud that controls the output level. If you notice the smell, your technician can adjust the setting for you. Secondly, you can run your thermostat in circulation mode. If your air is regularly circulating in your home you are less likely to notice the smell.

Your initial cost for the HALO-LED™ will be slightly higher than the REME-HALO®. However, you will spend less over time to replace the internal cell because of the increased life of the LED unit.

Only the REME-HALO® has tested effective against the coronavirus. Just because the HALO-LED™ hasn't been officially tested against the coronavirus doesn't mean that it isn't also effective against it. Both the REME-HALO® and the HALO-LED™ utilize the same process to release hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, it's likely that both products will be effective against the coronavirus. Additional tests will likely be released for the HALO-LED™ in the future.

Which one you select is up to you. No matter what your decision, both the REME-HALO® and the HALO-LED™ are amazing whole house air purification products that will leave your home a safer place to breathe. We would be happy to help you with more information or, to schedule an installation.

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