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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email manager@moldinspector.com or by phone 480-217-7173 USA Industrial Hygienist Training   Industrial Hygienist Directory  Mold Inspector Training Mold Inspector Directory
Antimicrobial Copper Components Being Tested for Air Conditioning Mold and Odor Prevention

Posted: August 10, 2009
 
NEW YORK — HVAC units provide dark, moist environments that can be perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi leading to foul odors and decreased efficiency. To combat this heating/cooling bacteria and mold problem, the U.S. Department of Defense is funding research into antimicrobial copper components that can control the growth of organisms in HVAC units. The units are installed at the military barracks at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.

Charles Feigley, Ph.D., professor of environmental health sciences at the University of South Carolina, and principal investigator for the study, explained the need for this research, stating, “Improvements in building and construction methods have generally led to increased energy efficiency, but at the same time, these ‘tighter’ building envelopes tend to trap bacteria, leading to odors. The results of this real-world trial should encourage advancements in the design of HVAC systems.”

The Fort Jackson trial is comparing the ability of antimicrobial copper HVAC components with commonly used aluminum components in controlling the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungi in HVAC units. Components being replaced with copper are those in which microbial contaminants tend to thrive — cooling coils, heat exchange fins, and drip pans. The trial is designed to test the effectiveness of copper surfaces in inhibiting the growth of microbes which are not only the source of foul odors, but can also build up on heat transfer surfaces and compromise the thermal efficiency of the unit. In addition to being antimicrobial, the copper elements are said to be highly recyclable and better thermal conductors than their aluminum counterparts.

In conjunction with the field trial at Fort Jackson, a controlled laboratory study is taking place at the University of South Carolina in the Arnold School of Public Health. In addition to the trials, the Copper Development Association is pursuing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration of copper alloys for use in protecting HVAC components.

The copper cooling coils, heat exchange fins, and drip pans were manufactured by Luvata, a leading metal fabrication and component manufacturing company.

For more information, visit the Copper Development Association Website at www.copper.org.

Publication date: 08/10/2009
For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email manager@moldinspector.com or by phone 480-217-7173 USA Industrial Hygienist Training   Industrial Hygienist Directory  Mold Inspector Training Mold Inspector Directory

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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email phil@moldinspector.com or by phone toll-free 1-866-300-1616 or 1-810-639-0523 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970.         Website updated August Nov. 23, 2015, by mold expert Phillip Fry