Military tests show copper increases HVAC efficiency, reduces odors

February 22, 2011

NEW YORK, NY– Scientists have discovered that using copper in heating and air conditioning units reduces the risk of developing odors and fouling that can cause the systems to function inefficiently. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has recently registered copper for use in protecting heating and air conditioning equipment surfaces from bacteria, mold and mildew.

Bacteria and mold typically grow in the dark, damp, hard-to-clean interiors of heating and air conditioner units. But researchers found that copper surfaces suppressed the growth of microbes; leading to increased energy efficiency and a reduction in the odors that are often associated with traditional air conditioners. Typical air conditioning units use aluminum components that can harbor bacteria and mold, leading to that familiar mildew smell everyone gets when they turn their car air conditioner on.

Recent testing of this technology, which is being funded by the Department of Defense, is taking place in military barracks at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Side-by-side comparisons demonstrate that air conditioning units made with copper suppress the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew that cause odors and reduce system energy efficiency, while regular units made with aluminum do not.

Related tests have shown that Antimicrobial Copper is also effective in reducing bacteria in hospital settings.

About Copper Development Association Inc.

The Copper Development Association is the information, education, marketing and technical development arm of the copper, brass and bronze industries in the USA.

         
 

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