R-Zero & HVAC

HVAC systems serve the critical roles of keeping our indoor spaces at a comfortable temperature and achieving basic IAQ. But, when it comes to removing microorganisms from the air, HVAC systems cannot compare to the efficacy and sustainability of UV-C.

R Zero UVGI disinfection vs HVAC in offices

R-Zero sets a new standard by disinfecting air
in any space 3-7x more than HVAC.


Faster turnover of air for a new standard of air disinfection

Most non-healthcare spaces were historically required to provide <1-5 air changes per hour. Beam adds 10-14 or more equivalent ACH, meeting or exceeding new ASHRAE, CDC, and Lancet guidelines.

3 -13 x

More cost effective than ventilation and portable air filters

Considering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) from installation and operation of different approaches, upper-room UV-C is the clear winner.

Additional Considerations

Practicality of Implementation

To achieve 6+ ACH, most HVAC systems (outside of healthcare facilities) require significant capital investment. This tends to include replacing the existing air handler and ductwork to allow greater airflow. This work often takes months or even years to complete and costs upwards of $30-40 per square foot. Alternatively, Beam can add 10+ eACH and be installed in days or weeks for less than $1 per square foot.


HVAC systems already account for 35-40% of most buildings' energy consumption. Increasing airflow by 30% and beyond will incur a significant increase in energy costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions at a time of enhanced scrutiny. Independent energy consultants have concluded that R-Zero can achieve incremental eACH at 90%+ less energy and GHG emissions.

Learn more about Sustainability

Consistency and Targeting

For a variety of reasons ranging from inadequate system maintenance to prioritizing thermal comfort above IAQ, air changes per hour can vary from space to space within the same building and over time within the same space, including to levels below ASHRAE's recommended minimums. A 2015 paper found that the air changes in a building ranged from 0.25 to >2.5 ACH (that's a 10x range!) due to the effects of temperature, exhaust fans, window openings, and more. Thus, while a building may have a compliant average ACH, occupants may be spending most of their time in a room well below the minimum ACH.

Occupant Comfort

An increased fan speed to achieve greater ACH may surpass the heating, cooling, and dehumidification capacity of the system, resulting in uncomfortable temperatures and/or humidity. HVAC is a long enough acronym, let's not give it another competing priority of disinfection and force us to rename it HVACD - it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Learn why HVAC alone isn't enough


  1. "...there is no definitive evidence to date that viable virus has been transmitted through an HVAC system to result in disease transmission to people in other spaces served by the same system." - CDC, Covid-19, Ventilation FAQs
  2. "The growing science around far-field aerosol transmission essentially negates the need for in-duct or air system control technologies such as UV lights." - ASHRAE Journal, "Preparing HVAC Systems Before Reoccupying A Building"
  3. "...the value of high-efficiency filters or germicidal UV in recirculating ventilation ducts for preventing spread is speculative and limited at best" - Dr. Edward Nardell, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  4. Note despite these minimum standards, experts have found typical ACH values to be 0.65 ACH in office buildings and 1.5 ACH in schools
  5. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Lancet Covid-19 Commission
  6. Most units sized for greater than 500 sq. ft. add less than 4 ACH