Commercial and residential customers are looking to HVAC service providers for products that can purify indoor air as well as control temperature and humidity.
In this article, we’ll share why demand for indoor air quality solutions is increasing, and provide a closer look at two proven products.
Commercial spaces need indoor air quality solutions now more than ever
Since the pandemic shuttered New York City last spring, ensuring indoor air quality has become a priority for businesses. The demand for indoor air quality solutions has exploded due to a need to protect occupants from COVID-19. However, these solutions can provide additional benefits that help businesses thrive.
Many indoor air quality technologies have been available for decades and have been widely used in medical facilities and industrial plants. In the past year, however, indoor air quality solutions have been adopted in all types of commercial spaces, including offices, retail stores, restaurants, theaters and more. The technology is also being installed in schools to help keep students and staff safe and healthy.
Here’s why your customers are anxious to have indoor air quality solutions in place:
Help them reopen and stay open. Businesses have to do everything they can to keep their employees and their customers safe and prevent the spread of COVID in their spaces. Indoor air quality solutions can deactivate virus particles and reduce the chance of airborne transmission of coronavirus (as well as other pathogens). That helps the business owner to open with confidence, and stay open without having an outbreak that can shut them down again.
Provide evidence to occupants about the quality and safety of the air they breathe. The COVID crisis has raised the importance of indoor air quality, and experts predict that even once we’re past the pandemic, occupants are going to want to see proof of clean air in their workplaces and other spaces where they spend time.
Reduce absenteeism and improve productivity in the workplace. Poor indoor air quality causes physical symptoms and illness, and has done so long before COVID. Airborne contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, mold, and VOCs can cause health problems that cause employees to miss work, and to be less productive in their jobs.
When it comes to air quality and purification, it’s only natural that people are looking to their HVAC service providers for help. Here’s some information about two proven indoor air quality solutions available from Ferguson.
The latest indoor air quality solutions from Ferguson
We recently had the opportunity to see a presentation from Ferguson about some of the most popular and effective indoor air quality solutions they sell: Air Scrubber by Aerus, and enVerid Air Purifier. Here’s what you need to know.
Air Scrubber by Aerus
This product is an in-duct air purifier that uses ActivePure technology to remove pathogens, air pollution, VOCs, odors and dust. It’s been proven through third-party studies to destroy 99% of surface and airborne contaminants.
How it improves indoor air quality
The Air Scrubber by Aerus has a UV light and a titanium dioxide honeycomb cell. The cell creates and converts oxygen and humidity from the air into powerful oxidizers.
When the HVAC fan is running, it sends those oxidizers out into the space to destroy, neutralize, and disengage all the microorganisms in the air and on surfaces. In addition to attacking the pathogens, oxidizers also help to clump tiny contaminant particles together. Those larger and heavier particles will then either fall to the ground as dust, or to be captured in the return air and get caught in the system’s filter.
It is recommended that users run their HVAC system fan 24/7 to ensure that the air purifier is sending as many super oxides as possible into the space to create a clean, healthy, indoor environment.
Proof of effectiveness
Third-party testing by MRI Global. Independent testing showed a 93.3% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 after 3 hours, and a 99.98% reduction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus after 7 hours. (You can find details about scientific proof here).
MLB case study. ActivePure technology has been installed in multiple Major League Baseball facilities around the country, including the Texas Rangers facility. The chart below shows the dramatic drop in measured contaminant air particles after treatment.
Applications and model selection tips
This product comes in a variety of sizes for different applications, ranging from under 3000 square feet (for residential and light commercial) to 10,000 square feet (for larger commercial spaces). It’s also possible to install multiple units for larger spaces.
Ceiling heights, occupancy, and usage of the space can impact the choice of the right model for the application. The manufacturer is working on design software that can help HVAC companies to choose the right model for each customer and create the most effective installation design.
The standard model does produce safe levels of ozone, however there is also an ozone-free version available.
Installation and maintenance tips
- Units require 24 volt (and up to 120/240 volt for larger models) in-duct installation.
- Choose a location for the unit that’s easy to access later when it’s time to replace the cells.
- Position at least 36 inches from the filter and avoid placement near elbows or transitions.
- For multiple unit installations, be sure to stagger placement of the units.
- Cells must be replaced roughly every two years. Otherwise, no maintenance is required.
- After installation of this unit, you’ll notice additional debris being collected in system filters, so the manufacturers recommended changing filters more frequently.
enVerid Air Purifier
enVerid is a company that’s known for their heat-reduction modules. This year, enVerid has introduced an air purification product with HEPA filtration that also addresses ventilation.
How it improves indoor air quality
enVerid’s Air Purifier includes a blower, pre-filter, and a HEPA filter to trap contaminant particles passing through the HVAC system, as well as an optional UVC light for sanitization of the filter. The product increases air changes per hour to improve ventilation and remove more particles from the air. It also has handy controls that allow customers to control fan speeds and see alerts when the filter needs changing.
Proof of effectiveness
Third-party tests conducted by LMS Technologies, a US-based independent air media and filter testing company, showed that the enVerid Air Purifier removes 99.99% of viruses from air passing through the filter.
Testing was done using MS-2-bacteriophage, a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2. Viral efficiency testing was performed according to ASTM F2101–19, the testing standard for medical face mask materials. Testing by LMS also showed a single pass efficiency of 99.99% for particles as small as 0.1μm, well below the size range attributed to bioaerosols that can carry viruses.
Based on ASHRAE and CDC recommendations, many schools, universities and businesses are putting in portable HEPA air purifiers. The problem is, portable units take up floor space, they are noisy, and they are not a permanent solution. They also don’t address the poor ventilation that these spaces often have.
The enVerid Air Purifier is an affordable, permanent solution that’s professionally installed on the ceiling or wall. It’s ideal for classrooms, offices, conference rooms, retail stores and any environment where optimizing space, noise, and budget are important.
- One unit can purify up to 1000 square feet and provides between 3 and 5 air changes per hour.
- Units can be suspended from an open ceiling or installed above a drop ceiling with a supply diffuser and return. They can also be wall mounted.
- The manufacturer provides an energy efficiency calculator to help with sizing selection and impacts on energy usage.
You can find more information on the enVerid website.
Next steps: learn more about indoor air quality testing
HVACR service companies can provide even more value by offering testing that gives customers real-time data and pinpoints which indoor air quality solutions they need most.
We’ll address this topic in an upcoming blog. Don’t miss it!