Commercial HVAC can Help “Flatten the Curve”
As of today, we are in the early isolation stages of the CoVid-19 in the United States. To stop virus and germ spread is always of utmost importance but now, it is even more important as we look to “flatten the curve”. Fortunately, commercial HVAC equipment has always had options available to control the spread of particulates, germs and virus’s.
Prior to the novel coronovirus, most of the commercial and industrial HVAC applications focused on particulates. Particulates are small. Something as simple as the dust in normal air runs 0.2µm to 10µm. Filtering with a paper or HEPA filter meets the needs for most residential and commercial applications.
Some industries have much tighter requirements for particulates and also for germs and virus’s. Their filtration needs are determined by ISO Class. These include:
- Food processing
- Medical device manufacturing
- Computer manufacturing
- Computer server holding
- Military & aerospace research
- Life sciences
In the case of particulates, air filters have been the routine way for HVAC equipment to clear the air. But what are some other options? What about: Air Purifiers, Ultraviolet light, or Bi-Polar ionization?
An air filter can combat some causes of respiratory problems and improve the indoor air quality (IAQ), but a standard HEPA filter isn’t a serious solution to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus. While CoVid-19 is approximately 0.125 microns and falls squarely within the particle-size range of HEPA filters per this NASA study, it doesn’t mean that a HEPA air filter can protect you.
The the CDC and other global health agencies current consensus is that CoVid-19 is not an airborne virus. Experts believe that it is transmitted by person-to-person contact and by contact with virus-laden droplets expelled by coughing and sneezing. These droplets travel only about 6 feet before falling out of the air and settling on surfaces. This is where related efforts like frequent handwashing and disinfection of surfaces are the primary means of protecting yourself.
A PECO filter might make a difference, but only in a limited way. PECO filters are able to pull particles from the air that are incredibly small items. But like HEPA filters, a PECO filter is not likely to make a large impact on the surfac spread of the coronavirus.
The basic filters in HVAC systems help remove dust from the air, but do not remove the tiny particles that can harm your health. Central purification systems are installed in the ductwork or plenum and remove dust, mold, bacteria and viruses from the circulated air.
Here are some of the things an HVAC air purifier can do that HEPA or PECO filters do not do:
- Trap allergens
- Block dust mites and dust
- Trap bacteria and viruses
- Remove dangerous volatile organic compounds
- Neutralize smoke
- Remove unpleasant odors
But as with air filters, purifiers deal with IAQ. Virus’s and germs while often airborne are also transmitted from person-to-person and surface contact.
Ultraviolet light can kill virtually any microbe including viruses. Because of this, it has resulted in the significant growth of UV systems in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Common applications include schools, hospitals, office buildings, airports, clinics and greenhouses where airborne microorganisms are prevalent.
As of 2000, approximately 60 percent of all UVGI air disinfection systems were installed in health care facilities: 41 percent in hospitals and 19 percent in clinics.How HVAC Can Help Prevent the Spread of Contagious Diseases
UV-C light is germicidal meaning it deactivates the DNA of bacteria, virus and other pathogens and destroys their ability to multiply and cause disease. Specifically, UV-C light causes damage to the nucleic acid of microorganisms. This prevents the DNA from being unzipped for replication preventing the organism from reproducing. In fact, when the organism tries to replicate, it dies.
Bi-polar ionization tubes clean the air in the space you breathe, without using unsafe chemicals or creating any unwanted byproducts. It harnesses the power of the Earth’s natural air cleaners.
Airflow passes through the bipolar ionization tube. The tube energizes the air to form bipolar — positive and negative — air ions. The airflow distributes the energized ions into all of the spaces served by the duct system in an in-duct installation, or into the applicable space if a standalone unit is used.
Stop Virus and Germ Spread
So what is the answer to stop virus and germ spread? While air filters and air purifiers will limit airborne germs and virus’s they are not the answer for surfaces. UV-C is good for surfaces and ductwork but not for common areas like office desks, cafeteria tables, airport dining surfaces. Bi-polar ionization may be the wave of the future.
As your local representative for AtmosAir Solutions, Access Inc. has the means to bring you into the future with clean, purified, germ and virus free, natural Earth-like air.
We can also provide you with many different filtration, purification and ultraviolet options. Just contact a sales engineer, HERE
For additional information on the importance of the choosing the right HVAC equipment curbing germs and virus transmission: