Germs are Everywhere
At home, at work, and while away you are continually in contact with harmful microorganisms, including viral and bacterial germs. These pathogens are airborne, found on surfaces you touch, and items you use every day. The places we work, restaurants and cafes, retail locations, hotels, and everywhere else people gather or visit frequently provide a vehicle for germs to live and be transferred from person to person. Most scientists and governments recommend washing the surfaces and items commonly touched multiple times per day what is often missed in the strategy to protect employees, customers, and family members are the need to eliminate these pathogens from the air. Organizations that apply these practices to sanitize commonly touched items or an entire room provide an important step in stopping the spread of germs, however, is this truly efficient?
We work with light scientists and clinical research labs to understand the impact germicidal UV-C and other technological solutions play in the battle to reduce the spread. However, the best way to reduce the number of times and item or surface must be cleaned is to clean the air in which the micro-organisms travel through air filtration and purification.
Stated simply, if the pathogens you wish to eliminate are in the air, they’ll continually settle back on to the just cleaned surfaces and items.
What is HEPA filtration?
HHEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air the process for removing particles from the air. It's a filtering system that used a web of fibers to intercept and collect particles as they attempt to pass through. HEPA was defined in the 1940s, however, in 1956 the US DOE issued the MIL-STD-282 standard, further specifying different levels of filtration. The specifications continue to be defined by both the US and the EU. However, at its core HEPA filters must remove 99.97% or more of all particles which are 0.3 microns in diameter (99.95% European Standard).
HEPA is the standard by which particles are captured by a filter, there aren't listed by different types of filters, instead of different levels of filtrations. HEPA H10 to H12 is referred to as True HEPA, it denotes it meets the 99.97% filtration standard mentioned above, capturing all particle matter at a rate of 85-99.5% (also including to particles larger than .3 µm) Medical Grade HEPA H13 to H14 is a higher grade of filtrations, it must capture particles down to .1 microns and trap/remove particles at a rate of 99.95% and 99.995% respectively.
Why do we carry two types of air purifiers?
Air Purifiers can be very effective at sterilizing the air in a room, based on airflow, throughput, and the specific technologies used in the filtration process, however only a few eliminate most viruses. Many products in the market advertise the ability to sterilize the air in a room, however as people (or microorganisms) move from room to room they must run constantly and efficiently to keep pace and additionally incorporate tested/proven technology to not just capture particles but destroy the chemical makeup (at the DNA level) of a wide variety of harmful pathogens . A second challenge with many products on the market is the cost of operating them, often requiring replacement filters and safe disposal every 6 to 9 months.
There are several types of air purifiers in the market including HEPA, Plasma, and Ionic, we’ll discuss these technologies shortly as the solutions we offer leverage a combination of the three to maximize the purification process.
HEPA Filtered Solutions - Aeris
We teamed with Aeris, for their range of products which meet the commercial and medical-grade requirements, long lasting HEPA filter technology lasting up to 16 to months under normal usage, and their smart phone technology to enhance the manageability of a single unit or a network of devices across a facility or campus.
HEPA filtration systems are very popular, and efficient at trapping airborne particles. They function by passing particles through a complex maze of tiny fibers. These fibers attract and store the particles until the filter is replaced. HEPA filtrations system is effective filtering systems, however, many fall short when it comes to trapping the smallest of viruses and bacteria or removing smells and chemicals unless they also include a carbon layer to help eliminate orders.
The Aeris True HEPA filtration system, that comes in three different sizes and capabilities starting with the aair Lite model for spaces up to 350 square feet and performs with 99.95% effectiveness. The aair 3 in 1 Pro model for spaces up to 750 square also eliminates more than 99.95 of indoor air pollutants.
The Aeris Medical Pro is a medical-grade device and designed specifically for the health care industry and those businesses are most concerned about harmful micro-organisms like viruses and bacteria. The device covers an area of 500 square feet and utilizes an H13 medical-grade HEPA filter and Plasma sterilization technology capturing up to 99.995% of particles and destroying germs down to .1 microns. This is specifically what’s required to protect against harmful pathogens like the coronavirus.
Determining the right air purifier for your requirement.
TToday many major American airlines like Delta, United, American, JetBlue, and Southwest, highlight their use of air filtration systems to help ease traveler's concerns. Most deploying medical-grade HEPA based filtering system mixed with fresh air drawn in from the outside. The debate continues around how effective these devices are at protecting against the coronavirus that spreads with a cough or sneezes while sitting shoulder to shoulder with other travelers. What everyone agrees to is the frequency in which you replace the air in a space is one of the essential factors in cleansing the indoor air you work and live in.
We represent both the Aeris and Kinyo filtrations systems, and an important question our customers ask is, "How much air purifier do I need for my space?". The industry does a great job of making the answer to this question obscure to compel consumers to buy on emotions. With messaging focused on high pollution days, pollen counts, harmful mold, and deadly viruses. It's also a language filled with acronyms and formulas like HEPA, ULPA, ESP (standards), CFM, CADR, ACH (air cleaning rates), PM2.5, PPM (particle size) and the list goes on.
Air purification systems at the core can be relatively simple devices, they draw air in with a fan, pass it through a filter, and release the air back into the room cleaner. The better the filter, the cleaner the air, the better the fan, the larger the area that can be cleaned. Even our air purifiers' specifications are rich with acronyms but allow me to provide the basic building blocks when planning to purchase any air purifier.
- Select a product that filters out 99.97% or greater particles to .3 microns or HEPA filters or fine particles measured as PM2.5. This is a good start, however, if you are concerned about smells and chemicals, look at systems with additional technology.
- Measure the cubic footage of your space. Calculate the square feet by multiplying the length and width of your room first, then multiplying that number by the ceiling height. Most filtration systems use 9 feet as the standard height of a room.
- Note that manufacturers will reference CADR (clean air delivery rate), measured in m3/hr (cubic meters per hour or CFM (cubic feet per minute). Identify a high-quality model that can effectively filter the air for the size space you have.
- Finally, make sure space you wish to filter, clean or sanitize, doesn't require increased air changes per hour, referred to as the ACH (air change rate). Most manufacturers calculate the device's CADR based on four air changes per hour. An airplane must filter the air 20 or 30 times per hour. If your business has people seated close together like a restaurant, or high turnover like a clinic, or uses chemicals or pollutants like a salon, look for products with a higher ACH.
If this still seems complicated for your use case, here is a simple cheat, take the square footage of the space you wish to filter and match it to the manufacturer’s CADR (you want a CADR number that about the same as your square footage), you’ll be within 10% of the actual rate.
Example 400 sq. ft. with 4 air changes per hour has an ideal CADR of 408.
If the manufacturer provides only a CFM rate multiply your square footage times .6.
Example 400 sq. ft. times .6 equals 240 CFM.
We are here to help!
If your planning to filter the air for a larger space, building, or entire campus, contact us and we'll have a specialist work with you to design the ideal network of devices based on square footage, ceiling height, traffic flow, and other parameters to create a safer, healthier, environment.