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HEPA filter usage depends upon type of application and needs

Sandeep Vasant

There have been many developments in instruments for monitoring and measuring air quality in-line with the ASHRAE Standards.

Innovative monitoring instruments for checking indoor and outdoor air quality to maintain a clean environment. 

Considering the exponential growth on segments of commercial, residential and industrial buildings along with the deforestation crisis, we foresee the rise in contaminated and polluted outdoor air which eventually affects the indoor air quality as well. Over the years there have been many developments in instruments for monitoring and measuring air quality in-line with the ASHRAE Standards of 62.1 and 62.2 to keep a check on all the critical parameters and as an innovating technology we see these devices being smarter and robust with remote monitoring features, slike Wi-Fi , Bluetooth connectivity to name a few. These tools can easily be connected to the HVAC systems to operate and control the air supply at the right parameters. One of the most interesting features of these smart control devices is the ability to store and view the historical data of air measurement and lots more. 

The parameters which are tracked are -Temperature, Relative humidity, Carbon dioxide CO2, Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Particulate Matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10), Air Velocity, etc. 

New modelling system can increase understanding of indoor air pollution 

ASHRAE and World Health Organisation (WHO) have already released a thorough technical hand book on indoor air pollution highlighting both its challenges and the solutions. However the major challenge which we have at the present moment underlines that as per various reports conducted at any level cite human error accounts to approximately 20~30 percent or even more i.e., human error of selecting the wrong air movements devices which in turn affect the indoor air quality. 

We do have various field devices which is customised to meet the user requirements, however the most important point here is that the user needs to have the awareness on the right selection and operational methodology of such units in-line with the ASHRAE and the WHO norms which eventually improve the quality and quantity of the indoor air taken in the building space. 

New technologies to manage IAQ in big spaces in view of large gathering of people 

Yes indeed, the new technologies are much more effective as per ASHRAE 62.1.2010, which clearly defines 5+ Cfm per person. So, depending on the number of people in the big space, new technologies and measurement should ensure proper Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) management in bigger and larger spaces. 

HEPA or MERV-13 filters efficient at capturing airborne viruses 

Yes, both filters are effective in filtration of airborne viruses, however the HEPA filtration is at 0.3 micron efficiency at 99.97 percent ,the MERV -13 filtration is at 3 micron and efficiency between 85~90 percent , Hence the HEPA filtration is more effective compared to the MERV -13 filters . 

It’s also important to note, selection of filters is directly linked to its related application like Pharma, Industrial, Residential, Data Centers etc., in which these filters are being used. Depending upon the application, the filters must be carefully selected for achieving desired results. The segments with need for higher filtration would mean higher static and which would mean higher air flow with higher diameters fans and all these would eventually increase the overall Capex and Opex cost in the project so carefully choose the right filter for your applications. 

Effectiveness of portable air filtration units for air quality improvement 

The Pre-covid era saw very few and limited user’s using the portable air filtration, but during the Covid era we see the portable air filtration units being used in every applications and area even in the residential application as people are now more concerned on the covid -19 virus and its new variants. In days to come we should see efficient fans and filtration methods being used, having the best performance levels since as per various reports the Indian air purifier market was worth USD 74.8 million in 2020 and is further projected to reach USD 565.7 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 34.4 percent with that numbers the future of portable air filtration looks promising. 

HEPA filters market for supermarkets and big spaces The HEPA Filters are high efficient filters designed for usage in critical applications such as Pharma and industries, but very limited usage in Supermarkets. While we talk on big spaces, HEPA filter usage completely depends upon the type of application and needs- like for big Pharma or Industry then ‘Yes’ and if it’s for big commercial or residential space then ‘No’. 

Investing in IAQ even if it means higher costs Yes, it is the need of the hour to have effective and efficient Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) which directly affects the quality of air we breathe and affects human health and productivity. Since, every day we consume 1 Kg. of food, drink 2 litres of water, but we inhale 20,000 litres of air, hence good quality air is very important for a good health, comfort, productivity and overall well-being of people. With poor quality of air, we see people undergoing a syndrome called “Sick Building Syndrome” which is a condition in which people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or become infected with chronic disease from the building in which they work or reside. As per World Health Organisation (WHO) report suggests up to 30 percent of new and remodelled buildings worldwide may be subject of complaints related to poor indoor air quality leading to“Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS).To add to this, we have the Covid which is a virus sized at ≈0.1 μm in diameter and transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles. 

From the very first outbreak of the virus, there have been many mutations with new variants of the virus multiplying and spreading at a much faster rate of 10X times as compared to earlier ones. Hence, investing in Indoor Air quality solutions should be the best investment for people, to make a healthy living or to even save lives by restricting the circulation of covid-19 and similar pathogens in future. 

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