Cannabis Facility UVC Air Disinfection:
HVAC Duct Mounted vs. Stand-alone Units
The importance of Air Disinfection within Cannabis facilities are quickly becoming the new tool in the arsenal of organic and quality growers for the combat of mold, fungus and bacteria that can wipe crops out. Quality growers understand that prevention is key, rather than waiting for an outbreak to occur and spot treating. Prevention is much more efficient and less costly in the long run. However, as the use of UVC Air Disinfection increases, many growers have a fundamental question, which method should they choose – utilizing the HVAC system or using a stand-alone/portable UVC purifier. Let’s discuss each method in detail.
HVAC IN DUCT MOUNTED UV-C AIR DISINFECTION SYSTEM
If your cannabis facility utilizes a Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) system to control temperature, humidity, and particulate, then installing a commercial UV-C Air Disinfection system within the return or supply ductwork can be a powerful tool for air quality improvement as well as Powdery Mildew prevention. The HVAC system provides air changes in the range or 10-20 per hour. The majority of the air within the growing room is pulled into the HVAC system multiple times per hour. This makes utilizing the HVAC system the most efficient and economical point for air disinfection. It is mandatory that you choose a commercially rated UV-C Air Disinfection system capable of working with extremely fast airflow from 2,000 to 25,000 Cubic feet per minute (CFM). Powdery Mildew, Botrytis, molds, fungus are extremely hardy and require a high UVC intensity and moderate contact time to disinfect Powdery Mildew, Botrytis and other associated molds/fungus.
The patented Sanuvox BioWall Max UV-C air disinfection system is specifically designed for commercial applications with high velocities of airflow and high levels of contamination. By installing the BioWall MAax in the return or supply ductwork, combined with a high air change rate per hour, it can disinfect (on average) 95% of Powdery Mildew, Botrytis, molds, and other fungus PER HOUR. This is crucial to continually lowering and preventing any outbreak of contaminants within your Cannabis facility. Powdery Mildew is not confined to Cannabis, it infects many types of fruits and vegetables and is widely prevalent outdoors and will constantly enter your facility through a number of means. It is vital to take a view of prevention and not wait for an outbreak to occur. A Powdery Mildew outbreak can occur inside of 12 hours, if your system is not actively disinfecting the air per hour, it may not be able to keep up with the rapid growth of Powdery Mildew.
STAND ALONE AIR DISINFECTION UNIT
If your Cannabis facility does not have an HVAC system or the HVAC system does not have return or supply ducting capable of installing a UV-C system, then the next best method is to utilize a stand-alone/portable type of UV-C air disinfection system. These stand-alone units typically have a UV-C lamp, filtration, and a fan motor. As mentioned above air changes are crucial for the prevention of Powdery Mildew, Botrytis and other molds. If you are using a stand-alone system that has low CFM it will have a difficult time competing with the HVAC system for air. A typical 5 ton HVAC system has 2000CFM, if you have a stand-alone unit with low CFM, it will never be able to fully process the air within the room as it is competing with air from the HVAC system. This is a losing battle and regardless of the disinfection performance, if it cannot achieve at a minimum 6 air changes per hour, it will be ineffective at truly preventing the aggressiveness of Powdery Mildew. It is known a grower can have a Powdery Mildew outbreak in less than 12 hours, if a stand-alone unit cannot achieve a high amount of disinfection every hour, it will not be able to keep up with the level of contamination.