UV-C Technology Can Keep Hotels Clean Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic


Hotels around the world are reopening after months of being closed. And as they do, they are more focused on cleaning and disinfecting than ever before. Most hotel housekeepers are now using N-List disinfectants, and hotel managers are ensuring housekeepers know best practices for cleaning and disinfecting.

But now, with the Delta variant of COVID-19 surging, hotel properties are seeking more ways to reduce the spread of COVID, protecting their guests and hotel staff, and keeping their doors open. One technology that has been getting considerable attention is the use of ultraviolet (UV) technology.

Ultraviolet light is everywhere. It’s electromagnetic radiation produced by the sun. There are three types of UV light emitted by the sun: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. UV-A and UV-B can cause sunburn and damage the skin. UV-C light, however, has the shortest wavelength of the three and is absorbed by the atmosphere so it does not reach humankind. UV-C light can be produced electronically. When applied to surfaces or used in air purifiers, it disrupts the DNA and cell functions of microorganisms, making it an effective way to eliminate bacteria, germs, and pathogens.

History of UV Technology

Paris started using UV-C to disinfect its municipal water supply, and UV-C made its way to the United States. UV-C was used in HVAC systems in hospitals to sterilize air, but there was a steady decline in the use of UV technology after this. Two main reasons for the decline were the creation of more advanced filters for HVAC systems and the introduction of new treatment technologies to treat water.


But, with COVID-19, the technology has been resurrected. It is being used for disinfecting public transportation, by cleaning professionals to ensure their client’s facilities are safe and healthy, and in many types of facilities to help stop the spread of COVID.

How Hotels Can Use It

There are multiple stipulations to UV-C systems. First, housekeepers still must clean and disinfect surfaces; UV-C systems are meant to supplement a traditional form of cleaning. In addition, UV-C systems should only be used when the room is vacant. Most systems have a timer to turn the system off after a designated amount of time or can be controlled remotely.

Housekeepers often place a smaller unit on the counter in the bathroom, but larger units can be transported from one guestroom to another after a housekeeper has cleaned the room to disinfect the room. There are also air purifying systems that use UV-C power; through the first stage of the cleaning process, the air is cleaned by HEPA filters and then secondly is sanitized by the UV-C technology. These systems are safe to use around people.

The hospitality industry was devastated by COVID-19. Many hotels closed and are no longer expected to reopen. Because of this, those that have reopened should use every option at their disposal to keep their properties operational.

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Jenna Riffer is executive vice president for Incharged, manufacturers of UV-C systems and UV-C air purifiers.