Building environments are exposed to a wide range of pollutants, such as airborne chemicals and biological contaminants. If these impurities are not removed from the air, they may be breathed in by tenants and customers. Exposure to poor indoor air quality can cause irritation to the eyes, throat, and nose, as well as dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. Long-term exposure can lead to certain respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is where an air filtration system comes in handy.
How Commercial Air Filtration Systems Work
Commercial air filtration systems are commonly used to remove hazardous contaminants from the air to protect buildings and their occupants.
Trapping Particulates, Chemicals & Biological Contaminants
Commercial air filtration systems have been found highly effective in removing particles, chemicals, and biological contaminants from the air in buildings. According to the EPA, biological contaminants may include bacteria, dust, viruses, mites, pollen, rat and mice urine, cockroach droppings, and similar contaminants that can pose health risks. A commercial air filtration system works by pulling in air from indoors, trapping particles in a filter, and pushing clean air into the building.
Protecting Tenants From Criteria Air Pollutants
There are six common air pollutants established by the EPA that are included in national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). These pollutants include lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide and are commonly caused by widespread sources of emissions. Commercial air filtration systems use various types of filtration media, such as fabric, ceramic, or sintered metal, to collect dry particulates and contaminants when air passes through them. HEPA filters, cartridge dust collections, or fabric filters may be used in industrial applications.
Promoting Health By Improving Air Quality
Exposure to indoor air pollution can lead to a wide range of health problems. Some health effects of pollutant exposure are short-lived, such as eye and throat irritation. However, others can be long-lasting, such as respiratory conditions, cataracts, lung cancer, and ischemic heart disease. Poor indoor air quality in a commercial building can also contribute to other uncomfortable symptoms, such as worsening asthma, nasal congestion, nausea, hearing loss, muscle pain, dyspnea, wheezing, and vomiting. A commercial air filtration system helps to remove the contaminants that are known to cause or contribute to health conditions, creating a healthier workplace for tenants.
Mechanical vs. Electronic Air Filtration Systems
There are two main types of air filtration systems used in commercial buildings: mechanical and electronic. Choosing the incorrect type of filtration system for a building can result in inferior air quality that puts occupants’ health at risk. An indoor air quality specialist can help building owners choose between a mechanical and electronic air filtration system based on their unique needs, building size and budget.
Mechanical Commercial Air Filtration Systems
Most commercial heating and air conditioning systems have a mechanical filter built-in. This is the section where a replaceable filter can be placed or removed. An additional mechanical air filtration system can be installed to trap even smaller particles in the air and improve overall air quality. Mechanical air filtration systems often use fiberglass filters to trap particles with the most common type of mechanical air cleaner being a HEPA filter. In addition to trapping pollutants, a HEPA filter can also bring allergy relief by trapping known allergens like pet dander, pollen, tobacco smoke, and dust mites.
Electronic Commercial Air Filtration Systems
Unlike mechanical air filtration systems, electronic air cleaners do not use filters at all. Instead, this technology creates an electric field that ionizes the particles that pass through it. Once the particles are ionized, they are instantly drawn to plates on the cleaner where they become trapped. As the name suggests, electronic air filtration systems require a power source to operate. However, the extra expense is often worth the investment as electric air filtration systems are able to remove contaminants that are too small for a mechanical air filtration system to catch.
Speak To An Experienced Commercial HVAC Company
Indoor air pollution can be highly problematic in commercial buildings, especially when there are tenants and customers coming and going throughout the day. Each time a person enters the building, they carry potential bacteria, viruses, pollen, dander, and various other pollutants that could pose a health risk to others. Today, commercial air filtration systems are commonly installed in buildings of all sizes to help combat airborne particulates, chemicals, and biological contaminants.
When comparing commercial air filtration systems, there are several things that a building owner will want to consider. Determine the size of the building or space that requires filtration; if the system does not have the capacity to clean the building or desired area, it may be necessary to upgrade to a larger system. Speak with an HVAC professional today at Cool Works Co. to learn more about commercial air filtration systems or to schedule a system install.