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Dispatch

As People Return to Work, is Your Air Conditioning Making Things Worse?

With the World Health Organisation now confirming emerging evidence shows the Coronavirus is airborne, it’s even more important to pay close attention to your ventilation systems. If you’re using air conditioning/ventilation in your building, you could be constantly recirculating the virus (and other nastiness). In the short term, schools, nursing homes, residences and businesses may need to minimise recirculating air, but the real solution is to add powerful new filters.

A survey carried out recently suggested that 10% of businesses in the City will return to their offices in July – followed by 12% in August and a further 48% in September. With this many people returning to offices which are almost certainly air conditioned, it’s crucial to take the right action. Effective filtering must be factored in.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) advises that “there needs to be a thorough re-evaluation of air conditioning and ventilation systems”. CIBSE’s advice is to increase ventilation, and where possible increase the flow of outside air, preventing any pockets of stagnant air. CIBSE say that recirculation of air within buildings should be avoided to reduce the risk of transmission, but they also warn this may lead to an increase in energy bills.

We’re still in very much unknown territory; having never had to face the practicalities of a virus spread in this way, on this scale, with the population as large as it is. Much is still being deliberated. REHVA (the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations) has published guidance advising that ventilation systems are purged at the beginning and end of the day and toilet ventilation is run continuously for 24 hours a day. Toilet lids must remain closed to reduce contaminants entering the air stream.

Whatever the outcome in the long term, it is clear that there is no immediate return to full normality, and that to prevent further devastation and disruption to the world, we must take action and precautions wherever possible. For example, advice differs depending on the scale of the office, people using it, and whether or not it has fresh air input:

The advice if you’re the only person using a single office with air conditioning without fresh air input into the system, you can use the system as normal but turn it off when not occupied, and restrict access to the office to just yourself.

However, if more than one person is present, but still without fresh air input into the system, the advice is to simply open windows to ventilate the office and not use the air conditioning.

And if more than one person using the office, and there is fresh air input – you should still open windows, minimise the use of air conditioning as much as possible, but run the system 24/7, and switch the systems to full heating for 1 hour after every shift.

Ultimately, the complexities of dealing with ventilation in an office are going to be more than most people initially considered. Unless you’re a ventilation expert (and even then it’s probably still tricky) it’s difficult to know exactly what to do for ultimate safety.

The solution however, could be a lot more simple than you think… thanks to UVC filtering. The Coronavirus, along with many other pathogens, is sensitive to ultraviolet light. Unfortunately, the most obvious solution of simply using a large UVC light to illuminate the room, remove all pathogens and nastiness… however, it’s not as simple as that. The UVC light could cause eye damage, and skin irritation too.

This is where our Air Purification systems containing UVC light and other filtering technologies come into play. The systems can be used as portable filters for small to medium size spaces, but we also have solutions that integrate directly with air conditioning/HVAC solutions. This means that you not only improve the air quality safety level in your offices, you can go a step further and make them significantly safer from Coronavirus. The virus is continuously filtered out of the air – and you’re still able to benefit from using the air conditioning (when implemented in an integrated way).

How Does it Work?

Our air purifications systems work by ensuring that only the healthiest air exists in any given environment. They significantly reduce infectious airborne viruses, pathogenic bacteria, bio-allergens (including pollen), gaseous pollution (toxins and carcinogens) and dust and plastic particulates down to 0.3 micron. They do this using three technologies – high efficiency particle filtration, UVC (ultraviolet C) light and titanium photo-catalytic oxidation.

The end result is that the transmission of infectious diseases, allergens and toxins known to be associated with indoor environments are minimised. This provides a cleaner and healthier environment for getting back to your usual workplace as life returns to “normal”. You can choose high grade air purification as either an in-room or in-duct (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) option, and with or without probiotic surface purification (beneficial probiotic bacteria restore a supportive ecological balance). Both options are suitable for single unit and multiple applications – including medical and veterinary buildings, clinics, retail spaces, offices, laboratories, gyms, houses and hotels.

In-Duct Surface & High Grade Air Purification

The Ingenious In-Duct Purification System provides high grade air purification with the option to add probiotic hard and soft surface purification. Combining the two creates optimum cleanliness, indoor air quality and infection control. The system continuously cleans air and hard and soft surfaces – including privacy curtains, computer keyboards and door handles – at a microbial level. This creates a healthier and more protective indoor environment that supports immune system function.


In-Room Surface & Air Purification

The Florence Purifier is a standalone, portable infection prevention unit that significantly reduces health-damaging indoor contaminants: pathogenic bacteria and viruses – including Covid-19 – bio-allergens (including pollen and mould spores), toxins and gaseous pollutants, and particulates down to 0.3 micron (including dust and microplastics). Florence also removes unpleasant odours, which creates a more pleasant environment.

The bespoke design provides a simple way to deliver high quality air to different single room applications. Florence can be wall or ceiling mounted and has an adjustable speed fan that enables use in small, medium or large size rooms. Florence can also be positioned on a hospital-grade wheeled stand (shown in the image). This is ideal for operating theatres and recovery areas and is especially useful for healthcare and veterinary practices, paramedical rooms and clinics. Florence also improves indoor air quality (IAQ) in rooms such as classrooms and offices.


In-Room Portable High Grade Air Purification

The Portable High Efficiency Purification System (HEPS) provides the same powerful high grade air purification as the Florence Purifier, but in a smaller, easily portable unit. It creates a cleaner, healthier and safer indoor environment for small, single rooms.

The HEPS provides superior indoor air quality that optimises human (and animal) health. It is ideal for applications that need improved infection prevention – including healthcare and veterinary clinics, laboratories and homes. It also improves indoor air quality (IAQ) in rooms such as offices and college classrooms.


We must all continue with as many protective measures as possible… social distancing, increased frequency of washing our hands thoroughly with soap, increased surface cleaning, wearing face masks/coverings, and doing what we can to ensure the air quality is as clean as possible. If you’d like to find out more about how our air purification systems can help you, simply get in touch on 01268 544530 or click here to get a call back.