Outdoor air can enter and leave a building by infiltration, natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation.
This means that pollutants that lurk outdoors can often be found indoors too. where they can join other irritants to produce a cocktail of contaminants that trigger coughing, chest tightness, sore throat, watery or itchy eyes, shortness of breath and even a full-blown asthma attack.
But the problems associated with poor indoor air quality (IAQ) don’t stop there, they have been exacerbated by the global COVID-19 outbreak and the mounting evidence that it could be spread through the air as well as through contact with surfaces.
Protecting indoor air
The average office worker takes two million breaths in a typical year. This makes the protection of the indoor space (particularly in offices where sick leave can have a dramatic negative impact on productivity) a priority.
A major factor influencing the quality of indoor air in offices is the ventilation system design, operation and maintenance. If the ventilation system is already in place and operational in a building, it would be expensive, disruptive and time consuming to replace it.
Pre-filtration on AHUs
However, the good news is that negative influences on indoor air quality can be mitigated using engineering controls. For example, some form of pre-filtration on air handling units and other HVAC equipment situated outside can help keep out detritus such as pollen, leaves, feathers, insects and dust.
Our own ECEX Air Intake Screens are long-lasting external protection filters are made from a unique mesh which traps airborne debris before it can enter and clog condenser coils and air intakes.
They have gained several key business advantages including a filter life extended by up to 60% and maintenance requirements reduced by up to 75%. On top of this, benefits of ECEX Air Intake Screens include lower coil treatment and cleaning costs, energy consumption and cooling tower water treatment chemical requirements.
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Removing bacteria throughout a HVAC system
If, however, the need is for a solution that protects against smaller particles down to microbe size, then ECEX also has a solution.
CoilCare CC-X is a powerful automated disinfectant that harnesses UV light to prevent bacteria, viruses and organic growth from taking-hold on cooling coils. It can be retrofitted into existing ventilation units to instantly start fighting the bacteria that builds up on cooling coil faces.
As air is cooled by passing across the coil, condensation build up, creating a biofilm on the coil face. This bio film is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and also reduces the efficiency of the coil itself. By removing the biofilm forming on coil faces, CoilCare CC-X also restores thermal efficiency of the coil, reducing energy usage throughout the cooling system.
CoilCare CC-X prevents bacteria, viruses, and organic growth from reproducing and multiplying on cooling coil surfaces. This also dramatically reduces airborne organic growth throughout the entire HVAC system, thus improving IAQ, which in turn leads to a wide range of associated occupational health benefits.
ECEX is able to supply and install CoilCare CC-X systems into most air handling units. Once installed, it is inexpensive to run and virtually maintenance free.
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How bad air gets inside
There are essentially three ways in which outside pollution can make its way inside a building – infiltration, natural ventilation and through mechanical ventilation:
- Infiltration involves outdoor air flowing into buildings through openings, joints, and cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings, and around windows and doors.
- Leakage through natural ventilation means air moves through opened windows and doors. Both air movement associated with infiltration and natural ventilation are caused by air temperature differences between indoors and outdoors and by wind.
- Mechanical ventilation devices that use fans and duct work to continuously remove indoor air and distribute filtered and conditioned outdoor air into the indoor space.
Contact us to find out how we can help keep the air in your indoor environments clean and pathogen free.