Today, there’s no overstating the importance of excellent indoor air quality (IAQ). More people are spending their time indoors, both at home and at work. This is further exacerbated by the fact that more people are working from home as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdowns and social-distancing mandates.
From simple dust and allergens to airborne viruses and other contaminants, there are many potential threats to indoor air quality lurking in every nook and cranny of a traditional HVAC system. The good news? With air sterilization, purification, filtration and humidity management (SPFH) technology, it’s possible to eliminate many of these contaminants and breathe easier indoors.
These terms are all too often used interchangeably when people talk about improving indoor air quality, yet they’re actually very different. Ideally, a system for improving indoor air quality will utilize a combination of sterilization, purification, filtration andhumidification components.
By understanding the differences between these methods and how they work, you’ll be in a better position to choose a system for improving IAQ for your clients.
An air sterilization system aims to continuously clean an HVAC system’s internal components using ultraviolet (UV) light technology. This is effective in improving indoor air quality and reducing the spread of airborne diseases in both home and business settings.
Because sterilization equipment can be easily retrofitted on an existing HVAC system, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve indoor air quality for homeowners and business owners alike. The sterilizing process reduces particles known to cause asthma, sinusitis, pneumonitis and hypersensitivity.
Another method for improving IAQ is air purification, which goes a step beyond cleaning the internal components of an HVAC system and works to neutralize microbes and gases before they reach a building’s air vents. This is done using high-output ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems, ionizers and catalytic scrubbers for the best results.
Air purification systems, commonly referred to as air scrubbers, can also be installed retroactively without the need for extensive changes to the existing HVAC system or ductwork. This makes air purification systems an excellent and cost-effective solution to improve a home or workplace’s IAQ. Specifically, purification products effectively neutralize everything from pollutants to allergens and much more, allowing you to breathe easier and stay healthy indoors.
Air filtration systems work not by neutralizing particles, but by capturing them at a specific point in the ventilation process and then removing them from the conditioned space. Both active and passive filtration systems are available, depending on the customer’s needs. An active system takes a “seek and destroy” approach to removing contaminants from the air, whereas a passive system will create more of a barrier between contaminants and air at different stages of the ventilation cycle.
Specifically, air filtration systems are very effective at removing outdoor air particles and pollutants from indoor air, making it possible to:
Studies have shown that the ideal indoor humidity levels for any building range between 40% and 60%; this is the range at which bacteria, viruses and fungi are least likely to form. Maintaining recommended indoor humidity levels can then reduce instances of respiratory infections, asthma and allergic rhinitis.
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can both be used to achieve the desired indoor relative humidity levels. A humidifier works by adding moisture to dry air, whereas a dehumidifier removes excess moisture from damp locations.
While sterilization, purification, filtration and humidity management are all effective in their own ways, the reality is that if you’re wondering how to improve indoor air quality to the greatest extent, you’ll want a combination of all four methods in place. This combination of methods is known as an SPFH system.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to implementing an SPFH system? Your best bet is to turn to a team like CE that has extensive experience with indoor air quality products. At CE, we can help you take a detailed assessment of your client’s indoor air quality and make specific recommendations based on their goals, current system and other factors.
When it comes to finding the SPFH products you need for your client’s home or business system, CE has you covered with the industry’s most trusted brands. From germicidal UV lights and air scrubbers to advanced passive and active filtration systems, we have it all. Contact us today to find out more or to browse our inventory.
For more information on our SPFH products and why improving indoor air quality is beneficial, download our whitepaper here.