Air cleaners and HVAC filters, when properly used, can help minimize airborne pollutants such as viruses. Proper filtration must be part of your plan to limit the risk for airborne transmission of viruses, such as COVID-19, illnesses like sick building syndrome, and improving poor indoor air quality. The primary purpose of HVAC filters and air cleaners is to filter pollutants or toxins from the air that travels through them. As a result, air cleaning and ventilation can help minimize airborne pollutants, such as virus-containing particles. In addition, air cleaners can be beneficial when further ventilation with external air is not available without jeopardizing comfort or significant outdoor air pollution.
Cleaning the Air
Eliminating particles from the air is known as air purification or air cleaning. Particulates include allergies, automobile exhaust, and combustion gasses. Air purification cleans and recirculates the existing air without introducing fresh air into the residence. Unfortunately, it cannot assist with harmful gases or smaller particles too tiny for many filters to absorb. Several stand-alone air purifier alternatives and high-quality filters are compatible with HVAC systems.
Poor ventilation can have catastrophic consequences. It has the potential to make our homes “sick,” with moisture and mold harming the walls and fabric. But, more importantly, it has the potential to make people ill. High humidity levels can aggravate allergies and complicate respiratory disorders caused by biological organisms like mites and mildew. Mold, mildew, and mites all flourish in high-humidity conditions. We’ve all heard about how dangerous some molds can be. Black mold can be extremely harmful to practically all human systems, impacting respiratory, circulation, mental abilities, and more.
Ventilation is a breath of fresh air. Air ventilation removes stale, polluting air while generating new, purified air. Bringing fresh air into a room or structure is defined as ventilation. Almost all residences and public structures have and require ventilation. Because of the buildup of airborne pollutants, stagnant air can be hazardous to one’s health. As a result, ventilation was created to bring in fresh air from outside. Therefore, a building’s ventilation is critical. The most prevalent difficulty with ventilation systems is the quality of airflow and filtration. Some ventilation systems do not filter air particles or only particular types of particles, such as larger, less harmful particles.
The Three Types of Ventilation Systems
Natural, mechanical, and hybrid or “mixed-mode,” all with varying degrees of airflow, are types of ventilation. In general, public areas (offices, schools, health care facilities, hotels, etc.) frequently have clogged and unclean ventilation systems; or outmoded systems owing to the building’s age and structure.
Ventilation exists to ensure superior IAQ (indoor air quality), often referred to in terms of VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) concentration, oxygen level, temperature, humidity, etc., within the structure or facility. When there is an “extreme” amount of pollutants in the form of particles or gases that your ventilation is not calibrated for, or when the outside air quality suddenly becomes significantly worse than before, ventilation faces issues. When the oxygen, temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels are correct, an air cleaner is beneficial to the ventilation system since it reduces impurities in the space, reducing the need for further ventilation. One advantage is that the customer will save money since the HVAC system will use less energy for fans, heating/cooling, and so forth.
HVAC Filters and Air Purifiers in Offices, Schools, and Commercial Buildings
Large building HVAC systems, such as offices, schools, and commercial buildings, often filter air before it is disseminated throughout the facility, so consider changing HVAC filters as necessary for your unique HVAC system and building. Because there are many HVAC systems with their own complexities, expert interpretation of technical recommendations may be necessary, such as those supplied by ASHRA, EPA, and the CDC. To decrease filter air bypass, the EPA, ASHRAE, and CDC recommend updating air filters to the maximum efficiency achievable that is compatible with the system and testing the filter fit.
Air cleansing can be beneficial when used with source control and ventilation, but it is not a replacement for either. Source control entails eliminating or reducing contaminants such as smoke, dust, or virus particles. Air cleaners alone cannot assure optimal air quality, especially when significant pollution sources are present and ventilation is inadequate.
Issues of Inadequate Ventilation
Aside from external pollutants and toxins entering the building through ventilation, windows, doors, and people, building dampness can deteriorate air quality. Mold and bacteria spread can potentially cause acute respiratory infections and illness.
Businesses, hospitals, and schools may be in an older structure, which may have an outdated ventilation system or contain hazardous chemicals that cause sick building syndrome symptoms in people. If they are renting their location, the commune or private owner will likely bring out a ventilation specialist to investigate a complaint. Still, the cost of remodeling a whole ventilation system, plus the inconvenience of downtime and interruptions from construction, may lead businesses to believe it is not worth the aggravation. So, they may continue to suffer the effects of poor indoor air quality.
Air Quality, Health, and Performance are all Linked
Just like your lungs, your home, office, or commercial building requires the ability to breathe to ensure that fresh air enters and bad air exits. Indoor air may accumulate significant amounts of moisture, smells, gases, dust, and other air contaminants. Fresh outside air is required to neutralize these indoor contaminants to make the air safe indoors.
Enough air must be brought in and circulated to offer good air quality to reach all areas. Windows and structural features help bring fresh air to practically all dwellings. Ventilation aids in reducing indoor air pollution, but it works best when combined with the removal of known sources of air pollution from the building. For example, to decrease the impact of secondhand smoke indoors is to prohibit smoking inside or near entrances. Because outdoor air pollution may carry pollutants indoors, adopting actions to lessen outdoor air pollution is equally vital.
Several studies worldwide looking at air quality impacts in schools are now sharing their findings. The research points to insufficient ventilation and poor indoor air quality as the root causes of student health problems and low academic performance. In addition, there are additional confirming data impacts in terms of the performance and health of persons who work in indoor environments.
It’s All About Fresh Air
The safest indoor environment is when fresh air from outside continually replaces stale air. Outside air is typically brought into a building via heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Outside air enters dwellings through open windows and doors and numerous nooks and crevices. Put simply, the more outside air there is within a building, the better. Bringing in fresh air dilutes any pollutant in a structure, whether it’s a virus or anything else, and minimizes the risk to everybody within.
More Information About Filti Filtration
Are you tired of constantly feeling not quite your best? Superior filtration products can help! Filti manufactures high-quality filtration products for homes, offices, commercial buildings, and on the go and is dedicated to providing quality products that have a healthy impact on everyone. We hope you found this article helpful! Stay safe, and breathe in clean air with Filti products! To read more about the air filtration products manufactured by Filti, check out our products page.