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How to Reduce Airborne Illnesses Using these Two Things

May 28, 2020

healthy office spaceThink of how often you spend inside on a typical day, the amount of indoor air you are breathing in every minute. According to the United States EPA, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.” Therefore, healthy air is imperative, now more than ever. One of the most effective ways to reduce airborne illnesses (the common cold, influenza, tuberculosis) can be achieved through combining these two aiding solutions to improve air quality:


  • Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation
    • UVGI is the use of ultraviolet radiation to kill or inactivate microorganisms.
    • The two primary applications of UVGI systems are upper-room and in-duct UVGI. Upper-room UVGI is the application often used with HVLS fans to ensure cleaner air.
  • HVLS fans
    • High volume, low speed fans slowly distribute large amounts of air throughout a building for better ventilation.

HVLS fans air movement

Separate, these two solutions can help with improving air quality, but together, they effectively and significantly decrease the number of airborne pathogens in the building. Airborne pathogens are created in the respiratory system and are released through the exhaled air, creating droplet nuclei. The droplet nuclei tend to settle in the lower portion of the room, avoiding the UVGI system, especially when the air is stagnant.

Upper-room UVGI systems need consistent air movement to be truly effective so that the air can properly mix through the room. This is achieved by installing a HVLS fan, like the POWERFOIL®X3.0 by Big Ass Fans. The fan will help to raise the droplet nuclei up through the room enough for the UVGI to kill or inactivate them. According to the CDC, “In a room without adequate air mixing under experimental laboratory conditions, the UVGI system effectiveness increased from 12% to 89% when a mixing fan was used.”


Summary: UVGI systems in conjunction with HVLS fans drastically reduces airborne illnesses, like tuberculosis, by increasing irradiation through consistent ventilation. This leads to healthy air, healthy occupants, and a healthy building.



White Paper: Applying Big Ass Fans to Improve Performance of Upper-Room UVGI Systems


Image Source: Big Ass Fans

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Hoffman & Hoffman Marketing

Hoffman & Hoffman Marketing

The marketing department at Hoffman & Hoffman is focused on communicating different commercial HVAC solutions to the industry. We often share manufacturer information to help engineers, contractors, and building owners make informed decisions.

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