Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Australian HVAC services contractor, AE Smith, has recorded impressive results over the last six months in its Townsville and Cairns regions with revolutionary UV light powered Steril-Aire technology. The US technology has perfected the sterilisation properties of the sun to successfully operate inside air conditioning systems - with some big names in Australia’s top end recording surprising results.

“The Steril-Aire product ticks all the boxes for our customers,” said AE Smith North Queensland General Manager, Vic Riella. “It saves a great amount of energy so the pay back is very quick, it kills 99 per cent of all viruses in the air and it also cleans the evaporator coils thoroughly, which reduces maintenance and does away with chemicals - that is a big plus for the environment.”

Vic added that impressive results have been recorded after just three months, even on the worst evaporator coils. Results show the cleanliness and efficiency of the unit is reinstated to about 98 per cent.

Steril-Aire is powered by nature’s best disinfectant, Ultra Violet light. Used in various forms over the past two decades for sterilisation, UV was never quite perfected until now. Steril-Aire provides a very high output in the UV-C band, which works by destroying DNA, thereby killing the entire food source for any mould and bacteria growing in air-conditioning units units.

AE Smith sites success stories with the Ergon Energy buildings, Base Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital, City Council Chambers, Maroochy Shire Council and Tweed Shire Council, to name a few.

News Ltd's Environment and Climate Change Manager, Tony Wilkins, recently went on the record to say that the results of Steril-Aire "exceeded all our expectations" during a trial at the Cairns Post.

He told CE Daily that Steril-Aire's UV-C emitters effectively killed and removed mould and bacteria on the surfaces of HVAC systems.

In the Cairns Post trial, he sited a 17 per cent increase in airflow and a 40 per cent improvement in cooling coil efficiency. Microbial testing of air conditioning system surfaces identified a 99 per cent reduction in fungal and bacterial levels, with News Ltd estimating a payback period of just seven and a half months.

At a time when the building industry in far north Queensland is doing it tough, the full service and skill set approach of AE Smith via their electrical, plumbing, refrigerated air conditioning, mechanical contracting, and alternative energy audit services, puts them in demand as an employer and contractor of choice.

“Steril-Aire technology has complemented what we do perfectly and offered our customers a solution to the resource draining area of maintenance,” added Vic Riella.

“Duct cleaning has been either reduced or eliminated, depending on the severity of contamination and filtration standards.

“Independent studies have also shown reduced allergy and asthma symptoms triggered by biofilm and mould, reductions in staff absenteeism and improved productivity.”

AE Smith say they can also install the UV-C system in water tanks, giving peace of mind to schools and community groups.

“We look after the whole spectrum for any building, so we understand the full picture of how a bacterial outbreak affects water as well as air. Should an animal infiltrate a water tank fitted with Steril-Aire that school can be confident no one would become sick.

“The UV-C light is so strong that nothing lives in it. The bacteria is killed and the water is cleaned so well that you could drink it safely. Actually, one of our installers does drink it to prove a point,” he said.

AE Smith is a preferred Australian supplier and installer for the American Steril-Aire technology, working closely with Malcolm Cain, the Australian representative.

“Many of our customers do an impeccable job at maintaining their units and through no fault of their own have inefficient systems,” added Malcolm.

“I had one air conditioning unit in a Hospital which ran at 100 per cent capacity for seven years straight - that is the equivalent of never taking your foot off the accelerator. The Air Handling Unit had been serviced and cleaned endless times yet had never seen a reduction in energy consumption. I thought we wouldn’t get a result because the system had been under designed. Yet within two weeks, the chilled water valve was throttling back to 60 per cent.

“No one wants to say they have air quality issues, but people need to understand that all systems are the same. When we created air conditioning and enclosed our buildings we created a breeding ground inside the heat exchangers. A cool, damp, dark space is a perfect nursery for mould and bacteria, we didn’t have this problem when we had offices with open windows.

“It is actually nothing to be ashamed of to say I have mould and bacteria growing in my air-conditioning because everyone does. We have found in hospitals where the systems looked clean enough to eat off, mould and bacteria still existed, it is just a reality.”
Malcolm added that although the technology is mature in the States, it is still in its infancy in Australia.

“We have completed 50 trials in the last three years in Australia and the results are very promising. We have developed a great relationship with AE Smith. We support them and their clients fully. We understand this technology is met with all sorts of skepticism here and yet AE Smith have been prepared to present it to their clients who have seen fabulous results.”

Malcolm added that they are now in the next phase, which includes installing Steril-Aire in whole buildings, replicating the results seen at Auckland International airport.
“Since they installed Steril-Aire throughout the whole airport they have seen energy savings in excess of $270,000 per year. The airport achieved their targeted 20 per cent reduction in carbon footprint, they reduced their maintenance costs and also met their bio security obligations for air quality," he said.

“We look forward to our first whole completed building on the Gold Coast very soon. Stay tuned for the reports.”


Contact Profile

AE Smith

Established in 1898, AE Smith remains proudly 100% Australian owned and operated. A BRW Top 500 Private Company recognised by IBIS World as a major player in the Australian air conditioning and heating services industry, AE Smith has nine offices around the country and employs more than 700 professionals.
Vic Riella, General Manager, AE Smith Townsville & North Queensland
P: 0407 585 020


Air Conditioning, Environment, Building, Construction, Queensland, Sterile-Air, AE Smith



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