Have you jumped into an Uber lately?
Did you have any reservations or concerns? Were you scared of catching a virus?
If so, you know how someone feels walking into your rental unit.
Anyone who provides rental housing now needs to pay closer attention to their disinfection procedures in light of the Coronavirus.
Presenting a sparkling clean rental is no longer enough. It needs to be disinfected as well.
By this, I mean your rental needs to be treated with something to remove the viruses and bacteria you can’t see with the naked eye.
Enhance Cleaning Tools for Landlords
Let compare some disinfecting technologies that are currently available:
- Electrostatic Sprayers
- HEPA Air Filters
- Ozone Generators
- UV-C Lamps
Which one should you use in your rental business?
Technology for Enhanced Cleaning
Let’s look at the popular devices used for controlling viruses and disinfecting property:
This is a cordless electrostatic sprayer known as a “fogger.” You pour a disinfectant into it’s container and the machine sprays it out in a fine mist.
What’s unique about this device is that it puts an electric charge on droplets as they’re sprayed out. These charged droplets spread out like a blanket that tightly wraps around grounded surfaces and quickly disinfects the entire surface.
Air purifiers work by pulling air through a filter. To that end, any brand of air purifier works as long as it uses a HEPA filter. These HEPA filters have very tiny openings that screens out viruses, allergens, and particles that are unable to fit through them.
My family uses the air purifier shown above to ease my daughters’ allergies and it’s made a big difference.
These devices convert oxygen into ozone which breaks down odors and kills bacteria and viruses. Ozone generators should not be used when humans or pets are present.
Please see the detailed discussion below.
Similar to the effectiveness of electrostatic machines, ozone completely engulfs and disinfects surfaces with little chance of human error.
UV-C lamps are able to kill viruses, mold and bacteria by damaging their ability to reproduce. Its effectiveness is based on the light’s intensity. So, if the light isn’t shining on an object, or if it’s not bright enough, that object will not be thoroughly disinfected.
Similar to ozone generators, UV-C lamps should not be operated while humans are in the room as the light is harmful to the human eye.
Each one of these disinfecting technologies has pros and cons. They are each perfect for specific uses. See the comparison table below to see a summary of my findings.
Best Option for Landlords
Electrostatic sprayers are very cool. But since landlords, especially short-term rental providers, are now encouraged to allow 24 hours between guests, we don’t need disinfecting “foggers.” Landlords aren’t under the same quick turnaround pressure as those in the hotel and transportation industry.
UV-C lamps are effective if you have time to carry them from room to room. They kills airborne germs as well as viruses on exposed surfaces. I can see one being used in a conference room prior to a meeting. But, the thing is, they don’t disinfect everywhere. They don’t kill viruses in the shadows – that’s why I don’t recommend them for landlords.
Air purifiers are my first choice when it comes to removing airborne germs and allergens while humans are present. However, they do not disinfect surfaces.
Ozone disinfects both airborne particles and surfaces. It’s easy to use an ozone generator by just plugging it in. For safety sake, you need to allow enough time to treat an area and allow the ozone to dissipate before you enter the space. Since ozone generators are easy to use, very effective, and affordable, they are my top pick for landlords.
How Long Should You Run an Ozone Generator For It to Be Effective?
What’s the effective dose for ozone? I know that if I’m trying to remove cigarette or pet-related smells I should run the generator as long as needed. My nose will tell me when the job was done.
But how about for viruses and bacteria? How do you know you have reached an effective concentration? How do you know, with confidence, that you’ve accomplished your germ-killing goal?
I couldn’t find the answer in any manufacture specification and I really needed o know that I was providing a virus free space for my short-term rental guests.
So, I did a great deal of research to put together the following tables to help us landlords.
To summarize the three studies I read, I learned that:
- When it comes to the virus killing effectiveness of ozone, the concentration is more important than contact time.
- Most bacteria and germs die when exposed to 0.4 ppm of ozone but you need to reach a concentration of 2.5 ppm to kill the coronoavirus (SARS).
My 10,000 mg/hour ozone generator has a 2-hour timer, so at best I’m able to reach 0.5 ppm and kill off 70% of viruses. To believe I’ve killed 93% of viruses I would need to let it run for 9 hours. That means I should run it all night long.
Click HERE to learn the 6 reasons why landlords should use ozone generators
With these tables, you can get a better idea of what concentration of ozone you’re producing so that you can better determine how much you’re disinfecting your rental.
How to Calculate Your Ozone Concentration?
You can use the following equation to calculate the concentration your ozone generator produces after a certain period of time. You can also rearrange it to calculate what size of ozone generator you need to properly treat your rental.
J = height of your ceiling [feet]
A = area of your rental [square feet]
P = ozone generator production rate [mg/hour]
H = hours of operation
C = ozone concentration in units of ppm
C = 0.13 * (P * H) / (J * A)
What’s the Big Deal?
You now have the means to:
- Sleep easy knowing you didn’t move a new tenant into a rental that was full of bacteria and viruses.
- Calculate what size of ozone generator to use for your situation.
- Determine how to partition off a large space so you can effectively treat portions at a time.
- Talk intelligently about an enhanced disinfection process you put in place post-COVID and use that information in your marketing to quicken your lease up and make more revenue.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me what I missed. Leave a comment. Tell me which enhanced disinfection technique you think is best and why.
So if disinfecting a 2,000 sq ft space with 8 ft ceiling height, it would take 31 hours with the 10,000 strength machine. If the automatic shutoff button is at 2 hours, and people cannot enter the space, how do you set it for continuous use? Secondly, what is the dissipation time needed after such a treatment? It is an one-story SFH with basement. I can’t think of an effective way to treat part of the house separately from the other. Thank you for your help.
Kerry, thanks for the question. For treatments that exceed the machine’s timer, you simply turn generator to it’s continuously on setting and use an outlet timer. Now, for larger spaces, you should use an ozone generator that produces more than 10,000 mg/hour. As you can concluded, if you want to reach a 2.5 mg/L ozone concentration in a large space, you need a bigger machine to create the concentration in a reasonable time. Regarding dissipation time, I like to increase the air exchange after treatment by opening a few windows, running all exhaust fans and using box fan to blow in fresh air.