Philips UV-C disinfection system review: Can it kill Covid-19 virus?

Over the past few months, almost everyone has become more conscious about their health than ever before and in the process become paranoid about keeping clean and infection-free. This has led to rising demand for UV sterilisers globally.

But how effective are these disinfecting tools?

While the US FDA says UVC radiation can “disinfectant for air, water, and nonporous surfaces”, the jury is still out on what intensity and duration work best in case of the novel coronavirus. But that has not prevented users from buying these sterilisers or brands from coming up with new products.

In June, Philips introduced a UV-C disinfection system that looks more like a microwave. This means the system occupies a lot of space in the living room or wherever you keep it.

The disinfection system comes in three variants – 10 ltr at Rs 7,990, 15 ltr at Rs 9,990 and 30 ltr at Rs 11,990. We tested the 30 ltr variant which is now available across India, online and offline.

The UV-C disinfection system, though very heavy, is extremely easy to use and even my 12-year old cousin brother could operate it. All you need to do is place the system on a surface like a table or on your kitchen slab, close to a plug point. Philips claims it can disinfect almost everything that fits in, including packaged food products that the chemical sanitisers can’t be used safely.

There’s a grill inside the system, all products that you want to disinfect must be kept on top of it. You will then need to add a timer and click on the start button. The UV-C system has a control panel and a LED display that shows the timer. So to disinfect you will need to keep the products you wish to disinfect inside the system, close the glass front door, add a timer, and click on start. After the disinfection is completed the system will notify with a beep sound. This means you don’t need to stay in front of the system during the disinfection process.

The Philips UV-C disinfection system can disinfect personal, household, electrical items, packaged food products, milk packets, and even fruits and vegetables. The timing to disinfect these items varies. While key rings, pen, pencil, earphones take 2 minutes, products like wallets, tops, bottles, mobile phones, powerbank and other small quantity or size products take 3 minutes. Products like books, iPad, tablet, laptop, other medium quality or size products take 5 minutes while large qualities should be disinfected for 8 minutes. Timer setting is between 1 and 10 minutes, which means you won’t be able to disinfect anything beyond 10 minutes.

I recommend you disinfect more products at a time and not one by one to save on power consumption. If you are disinfecting more than three products at a time, set the timer to 8 minutes. While if you want to disinfect say just a phone or a fruit, 2 – 3 minutes is more than enough.

Although I’m not sure if the Philips UV-C disinfection system can protect you from Covid-19, the company claims it can kill the virus on any surface. We will have to leave it at that now. It does give you some peace of mind though.