Stacking Up Electronic Air Cleaning Technologies

Stacking Up Electronic Air Cleaning Technologies

August 14, 2020

90%! That’s how much time the average American spends indoors, according to studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Whether it’s time spent in our homes, at the office, in school buildings, or stores, restaurants, or theaters, these indoor spaces present a new threat as we consider COVID-19 recovery and the return to school, work, and play. As you can imagine, many of these spaces were not designed with HVAC systems to control the risk of viruses like you might see in a healthcare setting.

The good news is many products in the HVAC market bring a promise of cleaner, safer air, and improved indoor air quality, but buyer beware! Each of these electronic air cleaning technologies has pros and cons. The good news is that they all offer ease of installation in both new and retrofit applications. They add minimal pressure losses to the air distribution and can accommodate energy savings via the reduction of outside air using ASHRAE’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) methodology. The main concern is that they are not all vetted to being “completely” effective for killing viruses, bacteria, and germs, so more documented testing is needed.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of each specific electronic cleaning technology:

* More documented research and case studies are needed to validate this claim fully.

In an earlier blog, I highlighted bipolar ionization (BPI) as a potential game-changer in the HVAC world. While this technology has been around for 50 years, we have not seen a strong interest in integrating it into the average building. Now, as we consider the implications of longer-term practices to enforce social distancing, cleaning protocols, and wearing protective face coverings while a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, building owners seek smart, healthy buildings to offer employees and visitors a future-ready, comfortable environment that also minimizes the risk of spreading disease.

The BPI technology that has been the most rigorously tested and researched is dielectric barrier discharge bipolar ionization, also known as DBD BPI or BPI (DBD). This BPI technology is UL 867 certified to meet Ozone requirements. BPI (DBD) is not harmful to building occupants. It produces positive and negative charged oxygen ions to mimic ions found in pristine locations in nature (away from people and pollution). BPI can kill bacteria and viruses without affecting human cells or human tissue in any way. BPI (DBD) has been tested specifically on Staphylococcus, E. coli, MS2 Bacteriophage (RNA virus), and Clostridioides difficile (spore‑forming bacteria) with 98% effectiveness.

If you are looking into options to get you and or your staff back into the workplace and want to feel more comfortable in doing so, please take a closer look at BPI (DBD) technology. It is a cost-effective HVAC option to incorporate. It can provide a significant health benefit with cleaner indoor air but, most importantly, provides the key benefit of reducing workplace infections.

Robert Weidner
Robert Weidner, P.E., LEED AP, CxA
Principal Project Manager & Mechanical Practice Leader

Related Posts

1000 482 Hilary Lentz
What are you looking for?
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Our website uses cookies, mainly from third-party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.