Effective air filtration is key to maintaining good indoor air quality. In fact, you could say that an HVAC system is only as good as its air filtration system. The main function of the filtration system is to keep heating and cooling coils dust- and dirt-free, but it also works to limit chemicals, gasses, and even pathogens like the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When the system is working as intended it is much easier to circulate clean air throughout the building. As facilities managers know, the COVID-19 pandemic has put indoor air quality in the spotlight. Fortunately, they have affordable options for combating contaminants and maintaining proper IAQ.
3 Types of Effective Air Filtration
Most filters are designed to reduce the number of contaminants brought into the building from the outside. This includes particulate contaminants such as smoke, dust, and dirt and gaseous contaminants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide. In fact, most gasses enter the building from outside via the fresh air intake of HVAC systems. These contaminants are as small as 0.01 micron in diameter. Even smaller are biological contaminants such as bacteria and viruses which also enter through the fresh air intake.
Three types of methods deliver the most effective air filtration to keep building occupants safe.
1. Mechanical Air Filters
Mechanical air filters are the most widely used. These filters strain particles through material made of spun glass or a high-loft, non-woven material. ASHRAE rates the filter’s efficiency with a number called the minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV rating. A higher MERV rating means more effective air filtration. For example, a filter with a MERV rating of 13 or above removes up to 95 percent or more of particles that are .03 microns or bigger. The use of HEPA filters further increases efficiency by trapping up to 99.7 percent of all contaminants 0.3 microns or larger.
2. Gas-phase Systems
Gas-phase systems use a material such as activated charcoal to absorb gas and liquids thus providing effective air filtration. These systems are typically placed within the HVAC system’s ductwork where they remove volatile chemical compounds (VOCs), chemical vapors, and ozone, among others. Standalone units are also available to target a specific area of a building.
3. UV Lights
While not filters in the traditional sense, another effective weapon against biological contaminants is the use of UV lights. These ultraviolet light systems disinfect the air and hard surfaces and restrict the growth of biological contaminants on (but not in) the evaporator coil. They also kill bacteria and destroy viruses in the HVAC air stream. For example, a PURE-AIR UVC disinfection robot sanitizes, disinfects, and kills 99 percent of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, and mold using UV-C light with a wavelength of 200-280 nm.
Other Solutions for Effective Air Filtration
In addition to the above filtration methods, Pure Air Control’s Building Sciences division provides affordable solutions for effective air filtration.
Our Building Sciences and Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory divisions conduct tests and provide analysis on bacteria, mold, and particulates in air and surface samples. In addition, measuring temperature, relative humidity, and wall moisture levels helps us make recommendations for more effective air filtration. Our HVAC hygiene assessment helps us determine whether it is possible to upgrade existing equipment. It also helps us provide recommendations for air cleaning technology to be installed within the HVAC system.
Localized, in-room air purifiers provide effective air filtration by removing contaminants from the air. These air-cleaning devices should use multi-stage TRUE HEPA air filters to reduce environmental risks, like particulates, including SARS-CoV-2. They also absorb odors and neutralize VOCs. Both commercial and residential buildings use these machines to create healthy and safe indoor environments. Pure Air Control Services works exclusively with Fellowes Air Purifiers to provide the PURE+AeraMax IAQ consulting and filter service program.
Get More Effective Air Filtration Today
To learn more about how Pure Air Control Services helps businesses get the most effective air filtration to improve indoor air quality and keep employees safe contact us today. Call 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.