Coverage Area & Variables to Consider

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[Transcript] 

Intro

[00:02] Hey everybody, thanks for joining us on the Airbotx videos. My name is Tom McArdle. Today we’re going to go over the coverage area and some of the variables to consider when you’re bringing this machine on to different types of projects. 

Machine & Billing Recap

[00:14] So just as a quick recap, this machine does have the MERV 8 pre-filter and the HEPA filter so it does act as a scrubber. That’s important not just for on the job to know that you’re capturing the particulates. It’s got a 700 CFM fan because I know that’s an important factor in there. And obviously for billing so you’re aware of just the different components of the machine. 

[00:36] And then those four UVC lamps chamber in the middle those are going to be producing the hydroxyl radicals and other oxidants that are going to break down odors, not just in the air, but also the ones that have been absorbed into those structures and contents. So same thing, you can use those line items for the hydroxyl generators for billing for that, and keep in mind that any types of odors on a project can be eliminated using these machines. 

Coverage Area

[01:00] But now let’s get into the details of, okay it works on eliminating odors, but how do I use it? Well let’s start with the coverage area. So we’re going to go with the lamps always running four lamps at a time. That’s going to be the strongest, most powerful option. You can lower them to three, two, or one lamps if you choose, but most projects people are going to be running on four lamps. So as a general guideline, this machine on four lamps is going to treat up to about 2,000 square feet with normal ceiling height up to about 20 feet. If you get into the big box retail or warehouses with larger ceiling heights, you might want to drop that down to 1500 square feet for coverage area. 

[01:40] Now as a reminder, we do have a coverage guideline on the laminates that came with your machine and on the instruction manual. It’s also on our website www.airbotx.com. So that guideline chart will kind of help you. But on three lamps it’s going to treat about up to 1,500 square feet. If you turn it down to two lamps, it’ll be up to about 1,250 square feet, and one lamp up to about 1,000 square feet. 

[02:06] Let’s get back to the four lamps running. Covers up to about 2,000 square feet, maybe a little bit less for large areas, but there are variables that you are going to want to consider because not every project is the same. 

Factors to Consider

[02:18] So here are some things that you want to look for. You want to look for the severity of the odor. I always like to say, hey, use the scale of 1-10. There’s not many measuring devices, you probably don’t have one where you can measure exactly how bad the odor is. It is a bit subjective, so we say on a scale of 1-10 how bad is it? 10 is absolutely terrible, you can smell it from outside, and one is I notice it if I’m kind of looking for it. Use that gauge to determine how strong is it and that’ll tell you how long the machine needs to run. 

[02:45] Most projects you’re going to be somewhere in the three to four to five days of run time. However, it could extend much longer than that for different types of projects, or if you need something done really fast there are ways to do it where you just put more machines in there and really blast it. 

Variable #1: Severity of Odor

[03:00] So one of the variables I mentioned is how severe is the odor. This variable, by the way, will also help you determine if the project’s done and, if not, when it should get done. So for example let’s say you start out the job and the consensus is hey, this odor is about the level of an eight. You put a couple machines in there, you run it for a few days, three days later you walk in, how is it now, it’s kind of like a four. Well use that to kind of help gauge how the machines are working, do you need to move them around, is it strong enough to really get the project done on time so you can put more machines or just understand hey it’s gonna take another few days to knock it all the way off.

Variable #2: The Layout of the Structure

[03:35] The layout of the structure is a big deal. So if it’s one big open area, that’s actually very easy to treat. Think about it this way: the air coming out of the machine that’s where all the magic is. Those are where all the hydroxyl radicals and other oxidants are. You want to get those to contact the surfaces and structures where all those odors are being absorbed and being held. To do that you need to have additional air flow is helpful having additional fans and air movers and things like that to help distribute and create the vortex and spread those hydroxyls around. Also, how far away the machine is. So if you’re really close to the odor it’s going to be a high level of radicals that get to it the job is going to get done faster. But if it’s in a big you know the odor is far far away, you’re going to have less of a concentration by the time they get there. 

[04:26] But where this layout of the structure comes into play is do you have walls and bathrooms and closets and stairs and doors blocking those radicals being transported to where they need to go. So 2,000 square foot warehouse, wide open, no problem those radicals are going to get to all those areas. But let’s say you had the same 2,000 square foot project, but it’s a three-story townhome. Each floor has 6 or 700 square feet. That’s not easy for one machine because it can’t magically get from the first floor and have those hydroxyl radicals and oxidants get up the stairs and make the turn down the hallway and turn into the master bedroom and then turn into the closet, turn the other way into the bathroom. There’s so many hoops for that air to jump through by the time you get to the third floor they’ll probably be nothing. So in projects like that your options are to put one machine on each floor and knock it all out at one time, or move the machine from floor to floor and I would recommend starting out where the odor is most severe. So start out where maybe the fire happened or maybe where the sewage backup was. Start there and go backwards moving the machine so you cover the entire area. 

Variable #3: Are there contents on site?

[05:37] Another variable you want to consider are there contents on site. So contents, particularly the porous ones, think of like couches, and clothes, and books, cardboard boxes, carpet, those items if they’re at a high number of those contents on site, think about them like sponges and they absorbed a lot of the odor. So those are extra odor molecules that our job is to eliminate and break down, that’s harder work, so it’s going to increase how long the machine has to run or how many machines you need. 

[06:07] The opposite is let’s say you get called into a warehouse that was full of inventory but everything got taken out for the project. So it’s just an empty warehouse with nothing but just floor, ceiling, and walls. Much much easier because there’s nothing in there that has held on to the odors. 

Safety Considerations

[06:22] All right so we covered the coverage area on what the machine can treat up to and a good spot for the machine to run to get jobs done for you, but also, you want to check out our user manual and coverage area because from a safety standpoint, you want to make sure you’re not putting too strong a machine into too small of an area that’s occupied. So yes we’re producing radicals and other oxidants and there’s a small amount of ozone that comes out of the machine as well. So to stay below those OSHA limits, the .1 part/million, we created a safety guideline to make sure you’re always below that. For example with four lamps running it’d be the 500 square feet with 9 foot ceiling heights and enclosed area. If you’re above that it’ll keep you below the OSHA limit. If you’re below that you could get slightly above. 

Ozone Considerations

[07:06] Let me explain real briefly on how the ozone works and how it factors into the machine. So I have with me one of the lamps and it’s just a simple concept to understand as as you’re understanding how the machine works. So this lamp even though it looks like one lamp it is one lamp but it’s broken up into two sections. A section that produces 185 nanometer wavelength and a section that’s 254. So here’s how it works. This lamp is in the chamber like this and the air comes through this way. Well the first part it hits is the 185, and that section does produce ozone. However when it gets to the 254, which is this much larger section wrapping around, the 254 breaks down ozone. It’s this process that is part of what helps create the hydroxyl radicals, other radicals, and other oxidants. However not all of the ozone can break down before it exits the machine. So there is that small bit of ozone that still escapes the machine even though we have the 254 to break it all down. Because of this, that’s why we came up with a safety guidelines to make sure that you’re not putting too strong a machine into too small a place and not monitoring it or not paying attention to those who may be in there. So we came up on the coverage area what square foot area you should be monitoring or careful with if they’re occupied and it goes below that. 

[08:27] For example, on the four lamps monitor and be careful of an enclosed space of 500 square feet of less. The amount of ozone that escapes, to be clear, is such a low level that it’s not doing any of the work outside of the machine. It’s the radicals and other oxidants that we produce that are doing all the work outside of the machine. We’re just being ultra cautious to make sure that the ozone levels are within the required limits. 

Variable #4: Source of the Odor 

[08:50] So that’s a little bit about the science on how the UVC lamp and a little bit about the safety. And the last simple variable that you want to consider might even be the most important, you learn it in every odor elimination class, and that is the source. Has the source been removed. So obviously removing the source is always super important. 

[09:10] Sometimes for various reasons it can’t be removed right away. If that’s the case you can always try and cover it up, or somehow contain it and treat the rest of the area until that source can be removed. But until that source is removed, you know you got to make sure that the machines continue to run because it’s going to continue to be off-gassing and produces those odors. 

Conclusion

[09:30] So there’s some more tips. We’re going to cover them in some additional videos but those are the key variables you want to keep in mind. Those are the key coverage areas you want to keep in mind. Always check your coverage area guidelines on the user manual or the laminate. You can find them on our website or they came with the machine, and thanks again for joining us on the Airbotx videos. We hope this information helped. 

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