We have all seen it, and you probably have too. The air purifier in your boss’s cabin. It has been one of the more lesser noticed or commented on privileges, seen more as a perk that comes with the ‘cabin’, in these times of open plan offices. But when you think about it, it’s a really bad idea. Why would the boss be the only person to need extra clean air? Leaving the vast majority of employees to make do with less? Honeywell has just hit the market with a broader, more democratic solution for clean air.
Honeywell India, one of the leading companies in Connected Building Technologies, recently introduced their new line of Electronic Air Cleaners primarily for institutions.
It looks like a well times move, as air quality moves centre stage in India. Many researchers are studying the harmful effects of breathing in polluted air for extended periods of time indoors. For instance, the air inside offices gets easily polluted due to a number of factors which can lead to some severe health issues:
Infusion of fine dust and pollutants in the ambient air due to higher human activity.
Extensive use of carpeting and soft boards which can retain a very large amount of air pollutants.
Office equipment such as computers and printers which are generally responsible for the release of harmful chemicals (for e.g. Formaldehydes).
Use of adhesives and paints in office furnishings and panelings.
Honeywell EACs are designed to be installed at the point of air intake in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and promise low total cost of ownership due to the low requirement of consumables such as filters. In addition to the health benefits of cleaner air, Honeywell EACs lower energy consumption by reducing the pressure drop through electrostatic precipitation technology, which uses an electric charge to remove impurities – either solid particles or liquid droplets – from the air. The EACs apply only the energy needed to remove the particulate matter and accomplish this through use of smaller air handling unit fan motors. As a result, the EACs use less energy without significantly impeding the flow of air compared to conventional media-type air filters. The firm claims that Honeywell EAC solutions are easy to install, making them ideal for retrofits, property upgrades and new construction.
The filtration process on the devices which can be moulded to fit all HVAC systems, works in three steps to ensure maximum protection from indoor air pollution.
1. A pre-filter removes larger dust particles from the air. It also helps in increasing the life of the other filters by trapping most of the dust and hair particles that might clog them. The pre-filter is washable.
2. The HEPA filter is an internationally accepted technology for the removal of fine dust particles, also known as Particulate Matter (e.g. PM10 and PM2.5). These are generally the most harmful type of air pollutants affecting public health.
3. Finally, the patented HiSiv filter has a honeycomb design which makes it more efficient in trapping gaseous elements and volatile organic compounds which cause odours and at times a nauseous feeling in people.
“A healthy and productive work environment is a key element of any green, sustainable building,” said Sudhir Pillai, general manager, Connected Living Solutions, Home and Building Technologies, Honeywell India. “The long-term impact of clean air goes beyond enhancing occupant well-being, health and safety. Clean air keeps the air-conditioning system clean, reduces wear and tear, and improves energy efficiency and savings.”
Exact costings and comparisons vis a vis portable purifiers were not available at the time of writing this article.
Here’s wishing offices do pay heed.