HEPA filtration units are a buzz word right now, as the World Health Organisation makes recommendations for them in a post-pandemic world.
Despite common perceptions, indoor air quality can be even less healthy than outdoor air, even in large cities. Where outdoor pollutants can dilute and dissipate, indoor spaces are a trap for several chemicals, like off gassing of new furniture or carpet, and especially where there is little airflow, mould, pollen, bacteria and mildew can gather and seriously affect your health.
Air purifiers address the root of the problem, changing the air up to four times every hour, and filtering and destroying pollutants. Air purifiers have a 99.95% air filtration efficiency for particles down to 0.1 microns, even against materials like bacteria and smoke. This means the purifier does not just remove fine dust particles, but any harmful substances from the air. This means things like dust, pet dander, pollution, pollen, smoke, bacteria and viruses are effectively removed from the air.
Aeris is a high-end Swiss company who have designed filtration units from scratch, after founders Pierre Bi and Constantin Overlack visited Beijing in 2012 and experienced the side effects of pollution on their health. These filters do not use ionisation or UV treatment, only using high efficiency mechanical filtration to remove substances from the air.
With H13 ‘True HEPA’ filters used in the Aeris products, they are designed to be minimal in noise, while producing true efficiency with full seals around the filters, so that no air escapes. Furthermore, the Aeris filters are embedded with anti-microbial material to ensure any harmful bacteria or pathogens are killed, and that the filters do not need replacing after exposure.
Aeris aair Lite™/aair 3-in-1 Pro™
The Aeris Aair Lite™ is the smaller unit best suited for small shared spaces, offices, or domestic settings.
The Aair 3-in-1 Pro™ is a larger unit with almost double the capacity, and will service larger shared spaces, such as open-plan offices, shared learning areas and high-traffic areas.
With high-end Swiss manufacturing, both the Aair Lite™ and Aair 3-in-1 Pro™ are innovative products with precision-engineered filters and refined fans.
Both units boast:
- ‘True’ HEPA filters
- Anti-microbial filter coatings, meaning filters do not need replacement after exposure to bacteria
- Silent fan motors
- Integrated AI programs to improve efficiency
- Wi-Fi for traffic and density recognition
- Inbuilt air quality sensor to react to pollution
- Continuous AQI readout (Air Quality Index)
- Easy filter-change mechanisms
- Swiss engineering and quality
What about UV and Ionization?
UV and Ionisation have been proven to be harmful and only have their place in specialist applications. While the concept is seen as innovative and modern, they can be very harmful to your health.
UVGI (ultraviolet light germicidal irradiation) Purifiers use UVC radiation to kill the virus. UVC is the most harmful type of radiation and will almost instantly cause pain and irritation with exposure, depending on the dosage rate. UVC is proven to kill bacteria and viruses, disrupting and damaging the molecular structure of the cells. However:
- UV produces ozone, which is proven to pose health risks such as respiratory infection, chest pain, irritation and coughing.
- It is damaging to the skin and eyes
- Ozone can still be produced even if the manufacturers create a wavelength-absorptive coating on the lamps
- The quality of the lamps can reduce effectiveness
- Direct exposure to UV is needed to inactivate microbes, and SARS-CoV-2 often needs minutes to be killed, meaning UV does not have time before the molecules pass through
- UV is very energy inefficient.
Ionisation purifiers emit negative ions into the air, which attach to positively charged particles, which become too heavy to stay in the air. However:
- Particles produced are often missed by the purifier walls and instead spread directly onto surfaces in the room.
- Ozone is also produced by ionisation, causing the said side effects.
Any purifiers can be designed poorly, meaning leakage is possible, which is termed filter bypass. This means filters can become extremely inefficient and defeat their purpose.
This leaves mechanical HEPA units the safest and most efficient way to go, and at the same time proven to kill viruses. This vastly improves air quality, instead of producing harmful by-products which negate the first instance of air quality improvement.
Why is HEPA the best method?
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) instead uses extremely fine fibres, which are spun into a dense filter medium, which is then folded into a tight concertina, through which the air passes. The extremely fine fibres trap particles of down to 0.1µm (microns) and inactivate them through the anti-microbial elements which are intertwined with the filter media. For perspective, 1µm is 1/1000th of 1mm (millimetre). Particles smaller than this will still also be captured.
The importance of ‘True HEPA’ also can’t be underestimated. Some units are sold as HEPA units however they are only built to the style of HEPA and not certified as a true H13 or H14 HEPA. Non-true HEPA units can be inefficient and not remove the particles that need to be eliminated.
The Aeris aair Lite and aair Pro ranges contain certified H13 Filters, with an additional F7 pre-filter, which captures larger particles. This makes sure the main H13 filter can be more effective at capturing smaller particles.
Recommendations for Schools
Speak with a consultant to install the Aeris aair 3-in-1 Pro™ or aair Lite™ in your school.
CleanAir Schools™, part of UNSW, has recommended the Aeris units for use in the educational shared spaces. Similarly, they have said ‘NO to ionisers or electrostatic precipitators because they can create ozone which can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate other respiratory diseases. UV is not effective in standalone units due to the air flow speed.’
Westlab are able to offer consultative services to recommend placement and quantities of your filtration units.
Contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org today!