Harmful viruses, bacteria, other microorganisms, foul odors, chemical fumes, gases and particulates pose serious risks to the health, safety, comfort and productivity of commercial building occupants. Whether the threat is Covid-19 or a common flu, proper ventilation and air filtration play a key role in protecting occupants from disease transmission and ensuring code-compliant clean-air work environments.
While it is important to keep your commercial HVAC system operating properly, the addition of a standalone air cleaner provides additional protection from harmful particles and pollutants. A quality commercial air purifier, ideally with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), can remove harmful contaminants from the air stream and prevent them from contaminating indoor equipment and forcing your HVAC unit to work harder than necessary.
To ensure the best results, use an air filter with a MERV 8-14 rating that is sized for your space. MERV ratings indicate how efficiently a commercial air filter can trap particles based on their size, with higher MERV numbers indicating more efficient capture of smaller particles. The MERV ratings for commercial air filters are defined by the National Air Filtration Association and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
Depending on the needs of your commercial space, you can choose from several different types of commercial air cleaners. Self-contained units are popular for workspaces like 3D printing, wood working, print shops and art studios because they come with a variety of filter configurations that can be tailored to your specific application. Larger units with multiple ducting ports can provide multiple air changes per hour and can be used to clean large spaces like conference rooms or gymnasiums.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) air cleaners can also be helpful, but they’re a bit more hit or miss in their performance based on the type of box fan and filter used. Use newer boxes fans and filters that bear a UL or ETL logo to minimize the risk of the fan overheating. It’s also a good idea to look for an air cleaning device that can target both particles and odors, with a low noise level to prevent interrupting work or school activities.
One of the newest air cleaners on the market is Oransi’s V-HEPA Finn, which is ideal for classrooms because of its small footprint and ability to handle multiple pollutants at once. The Finn features a titanium dioxide pre-filter, HEPA filter and germicidal UV light that help reduce viruses and bacteria. Its low noise levels allow students to concentrate without distraction, and it’s easy to set to automatically adjust based on the environment. For larger spaces, the Levoit Core 600S is powerful enough to create multiple air changes per hour and has a 410 CFM rating. The unit’s intuitive touch screen makes it simple to navigate and features a live air quality indicator. Its smart capabilities include a sleep mode, programmable timer and auto-mode to maximize energy efficiency. The core also uses bipolar ionization to reduce odors, making it a perfect choice for restaurants or office kitchens.