What is better UV-C light or ozonation?
Recently, the topic of disinfection and sterilization of rooms and everyday objects has become very popular. When the Sars-CoV-2 virus is raging at its best and Covid-19 disease has shut down hotels, guesthouses, apartments and other accommodation facilities, their owners are counting losses and wondering what their post-pandemic business will look like. One thing is certain, customer expectations will change, and hygiene assessment issues filled out in satisfaction questionnaires at major booking sites will become more important.
How to convince hotel guests that hotel rooms are clean?
Before you spend money on any sterilizing devices, it is good to know their strengths and weaknesses and understand the real need of the customer. Certainly the key is the feeling that the equipment used by the owner or administrator is effective and gives confidence that the room is clean and hygienic after the visit of previous guests. And if so, it is worth boasting in an elegant way and communicating how the rooms and halls are being disinfected. What to choose? Let's look at the most rational alternative.
Ozonation of hotel rooms, good or bad?
The answer to the question whether ozonation is a good sterilization method is as difficult as the answering the question whether a car is a good form of transport. The answer is: it depends.
Ozone treatment is an effective sterilization method that has scientifically proven effects. Unfortunately, ozonation also has its drawbacks. One of the major ones for the hotel industry is a long time needed to achieve the intended effect.
"Ozone treatment is an effective but time-consuming sterilization method"
Ozone, like UV-C radiation, is harmful to humans, animals and plants. For ozonation to be effective, it is necessary to properly seal the room (ventilation grilles, doors, etc.) so that ozone particles do not escape to undesirable places or cause a continuous decrease in concentration. Ozone cannot "escape" from the room. It is not without reason that ozonation is particularly popular as a vehicle sterilization method - it is easy to seal a small space tightly and thus achieve a perfect effect in about 20 minutes.
"Ozone is harmful to people, so ozonized rooms must be sealed (ventilation grilles, doors, etc.). Ozone treatment is a great way to sterilize cars. "
It should also be emphasized that ozone decomposes on its own, so there is no need for any additional activities with sufficient time. However, from the generation of ozone particles to their spontaneous decomposition, which guarantees a safe environment for humans, about 8 hours pass (concentration 0.1ppm). I would like to emphasize that there is no question here of the half-life of a single ozone particle, which is about 20 min, and the decrease in ozone concentration to about 1ppm in an ozonated room. Therefore, responsible producers of ozone generators recommend waiting 30 minutes to even 2 hours after the end of the work of generators to use the ozone produced and not to be exposed to its harmful effects. In addition, it is necessary to ventilate the room effectively for about 15-30 minutes. Entering the room earlier may cause e.g. eye irritation, coughing or headache. The generator's working time itself depends on both its power and efficiency as well as the room volume, it is assumed that effective ozonation can last from 1.5 to 12 hours. In fact, time is not the main indicator here, but the ozone concentration, which should not be lower than 2ppm, and preferably 5ppm. Ozonation also has a strong oxidizing effect, which is why all works of art and other objects that are particularly exposed to oxidation should be removed before the procedure.
"Ozonation has a strong oxidizing effect, which is why all works of art and other objects that are particularly exposed to oxidation should be removed before the procedure."
So is ozonation effective disinfection method?
Yes, the right amount of ozone trapped in a certain volume will definitely work. The problem is time. You can not think about conducting an effective ozonation process in a hotel room, apartment or any other room in 30 minutes or even 1.5 hours. Properly carried out process takes time. Ozonation has many advantages, including, among other things, eliminates unpleasant odors, but using it in buildings requires patience.
"It is recognized that effective ozonation can last from 1.5 to 12 hours."
How to fight viruses and bacteria in hotels and guesthouses with UV light?
At the beginning you need to emphasize an important fact: there are many UV lamps on the market. Only UV-C light is suitable for sterilization. However, even here, special attention should be paid to whether a given lamp generates ozone or not. By choosing a UV-C ozoning lamp, we gain additional action against pathogens in the form of UV-C radiation, but all the "disadvantages" resulting from ozonation remain with us! Before we buy a UV-C lamp, make sure twice what type of product we buy: ozone-free or ozone-free (ozone-free). The indicator for us will be the length of the emitted wave: a wave around 185nm is an ozone-amp, and a wavelength of about 254nm is a ozone-free lamp.
"Before we buy a UV-C lamp, make sure twice what type of product we buy: ozone or non-ozone (so-called ozone-free)."
UV-C as an effective and faster method of sterilizing hotel rooms.
Non-ozonating UV-C lamps seem optimal for hotel applications for several reasons:
you can turn them on as soon as everyone leaves the room
UV-C radiation works immediately and does not require sealing the ventilation grilles, doors, etc.
UV-C radiation stops working when the lamp is turned off and does not require the implementation of special procedures after use
40W lamp guarantees effective sterilization of a 20m² room, it should not take more than 15-20min
360° shining lamps disinfect both the surface and the air
There are UV-C lamps with a built-in motion sensor that automatically turn off when a human or animal presence is detected, so you can leave them with the time program running without risking someone's health
The relatively low cost (from 65 to 250 euros per lamp) allows you to buy several pieces of lamp and sterilization in several rooms at the same time
low power consumption in the case of lamps for sterilizing hotel rooms: 40W is sufficient for rooms up to 40m2, 100W for approx. 80m2, and 150W for approx. 120m2.
UV-C radiation is widely used in hospitals, clinics and laboratories to sterilize rooms as the easiest and fastest way to fight pathogens
What are the disadvantages of UV-C sterilization ?
Of course, UV-C radiation has its weakness. The main disadvantage is that UV-C, like ozonation, is harmful to humans, animals and plants and should not be exposed to it.
"UV-C, like ozonation, is harmful to humans, animals and plants and should not be exposed to it. "
In addition, it is UV radiation, and therefore causes colour fading. Long, multiple exposures can have a negative effect on plastic and rubber components, just like sunlight. Finally, UV-C radiation depends on the distance from its source, the closer the stronger the sterilization effect. The reflected light wave also has anti-virus and anti-bacterial effects, but with much less power than a wave coming straight from the source. The consequence of this is that UV-C sterilization does not work in places where the light does not reach, so position the lamp in such a way that it covers all surfaces that come into contact with people using the room. It should also be remembered that glass or plastic constitute an impenetrable barrier to UV-C light, i.e. UV-C light does not work behind a closed window or wall of a shower cabin.
"(...) glass or plastic is an impenetrable barrier to UV-C light, i.e. that UV-C light does not work behind a closed window or shower wall."
The experience of medical and laboratory facilities shows that at present there is no better alternative to quickly, conveniently and effectively protect the interior of buildings against bacteria, viruses, mites and other pathogens. Frequent exchanges of guests and customers and limited time to prepare rooms, apartments or larger rooms require fast and effective sterilization, with such needs UV-C sterilization seems to be the best solution.