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Surface and Airstream Disinfection for Coronavirus: Solutions

NHLA member Jim Kenney with Catalytic Pure Air is the contributor of this blog post.  

While planning ahead to provide a safer environment for your guests and employees when your property reopens, all customers will be wanting to know what your property is doing to make it a safe place to visit, stay and enjoy.

For viruses, surface disinfection is getting prime attention with recommendations to disinfect all frequently touch surfaces like tables, games, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.  Housekeeping and Public Area personnel have expertise in surface and object disinfection using the best products available.

But airstream disinfection will provide added necessary protection as surface disinfection is being continuously implemented. Customers and employees are now aware that viruses can be transmitted through the air. Recently an article in USA Today stated, “Air contaminated with the COVID-19 virus might travel four times farther than the 6 feet the CDC asks we distance ourselves.”  Reduction of airborne transmission of viruses is essential for public and employee confidence in combating viruses.

Hotel and Gaming Applications of UVGI Systems for Air Disinfection: Solutions

Ultra Violet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) disinfection technology reduces airborne infectious microorganisms that can cause the spread of illness and decreases instances of people becoming sick due to contamination by microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria.  UVGI technology is a series of UV-C lamps that are mounted in the air stream of the HVAC system so when the viruses in the airstream pass by the UV lamps they are “zapped” by the UV irradiation which disables the DNA of the virus.

Each UVGI disinfection system contains UV-C lamps, a ballast and mounting system for the UV-C lamps. The crucial formula for UVGI systems is: Time x Intensity = Dosage. The key is delivering the correct dose for a specific application. The dose required to kill biological pathogens is well documented. The application challenge is to ensure the targeting organism is exposed to sufficient dose in the available space and time of UV exposure.  UVGI systems can be installed in air handling units or ducting for the public areas of a property. UVGI systems are also available for PTAC, VTAC and VRF applications for hotel rooms.

Airstream disinfection consideration for property reopening

Consider surface AND airstream disinfection a part of your “Infectious Control Initiative” to reopen your property. Winning the confidence of your customers and employees is easier knowing that your infection control measures are as comprehensive as possible. Below are recommendations from American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding UVGI technology for COVID19.

 American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Guidance for COVID19

ASHRAE has developed proactive guidance to help address coronavirus concerns with respect to the operation and maintenance of HVAC systems. These include ASHRAE’s recently approved position document on airborne infectious diseases and links to the latest practical standards and guidelines.

ASHRAE recommends the following strategies of interest to address disease transmission: dilution ventilation, laminar and other in-room flow regimes, differential room pressurization, personalized ventilation, source capture ventilation, filtration (central or unitary), and UVGI (upper room, in-room, and in the airstream). Please see:

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines for UVGI for Microorganisms

CDC recommends the use of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) as one of the effective technologies to minimize the spread of airborne microorganisms.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI): the use of ultraviolet radiation to kill or inactivate microorganisms. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lamps: lamps that kill or inactivate microorganisms by emitting ultraviolet germicidal radiation, predominantly at a wavelength of 254 nm. UVGI lamps can be used in ceiling or wall fixtures or within air ducts of ventilation systems. Please see:

USA TODAY quoted 4:27 a.m. PDT Apr. 5, 2020.

USA Today

Figure 1: Surface Cleaning with Disinfectant

USA Today 2

Figure 1: UVGI System for Airborne Disinfection


Jim Kenney of Catalytic PURE AIR has been working in the air treatment industry since 2001 specializing in UV-C and PCO (photo catalytic oxidation) technology for commercial, casino and hotel applications.

Jim is enthusiastic about sustainable air cleaning technologies that keep environments healthy while saving money by recirculating more conditioned indoor air rather than exhausting it.

Jim is an active member of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association serving on the Clean and Green Committee.  Catalytic PURE AIR LLC has been the sponsor for the Stars of the Industry Hospitality Awards Gala Sustainability Leading Company for the past five years.

Jim can be reached at:

Catalytic PURE AIR LLC
P. O. Box 20423
Reno, NV 89515
Toll Free: 800 989 8299
ph: 775 391-3188
[email protected]


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