Problems with indoor air usually require fast action as the situation does not correct itself on its own. Until now it has been very difficult to compare the performance of air purifiers because all manufacturers report similar figures for their device's efficiency. Unfortunately, these figures are not directly comparable unless they make clear not only the number of the particles that the purifier removes from the air, but also their size. Not all manufacturers of air purifiers report the product's quality–the purity of indoor air produced by the purifier. This means that price is the only property of air purifiers that can be meaningfully compared.
Indoor air problems can be approached by two purifying technologies
The purification technologies used in air purifiers can be roughly divided into two categories: HEPA filters and electric filters. The purification efficiency of these technologies will be easier to compare in the future. The new ISO 16890 standard on the testing of air filters for general ventilation came into effect on 1 July 2018. However, an 18-month transition period will be applied to it, which means its entry into force will only be final on 1 February 2020. The new testing method is stricter than before. Its objective is to improve the quality of indoor air and make it easier to compare the efficiency of air purifiers. The new standard makes it possible to assess the effect of air purifiers on indoor air quality, when the PM (particulate matter) values for local outdoor air are known. When particles are classified in different PM classes by size, it is easier for a buyer to understand the fractional efficiency of each air purifier. The fractional efficiency of the filter is calculated using a standard particle size distribution.
Air purifiers or clean air as a service?
If problems with indoor air are suspected, an expert should be asked to survey the situation to establish the types of impurities in the air and whether or not matters related to ventilation or the structures of the building contribute to the problem. If this is the case, the situation could be improved by adjusting the ventilation settings or by more vigorous cleaning. If these prove ineffective, air purifiers are needed to immediately improve the quality of indoor air and that way protect the people on the premises. The presence of air purifiers does not remove the need to investigate the cause of the indoor air problem–something that should always be done. The service usually consists of surveying the property and carrying out particle measurements. Based on the survey, the client receives a proposal for action, making clear the selection, placement and cost of the air purifiers suitable for the premises. After the client’s approval, the air purifiers are delivered and installed, the users are trained, and people on the premises are informed of the air purifiers in a manner agreed with the client's contact person. The service provider ensures the effectiveness of the air purifiers during on-site visits that have been agreed on in advance. If the air purifiers need service or a top-up of washing liquid, the service provider does this without a separate agreement. The advantages of buying the service instead of the air purifiers include the relative ease of the service option, the guaranteed elimination of the symptoms caused by the indoor air problem, as agreed, and the hassle-free provision of maintenance and repair services–all included in the agreed service package.
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