More than ever before, homeowners and businesses are eager to ensure that their forced air HVAC systems are removing viruses and other small particles from the air where they live and work. The COVID-19 pandemic has created greater awareness of the importance of good air quality, but it’s not the only reason that people are taking action to improve the effectiveness of their systems.
There’s increased recognition today that too high of a concentration of any type of tiny particles, including mold and bacteria, can adversely affect air quality and the health of occupants. This includes triggering respiratory conditions like allergies and asthma. People with these conditions know that the specks floating in a sunbeam coming through a window may be fun to watch, but they aren’t good to inhale.
Plus, health issues aside, people who breathe air that’s been effectively treated and filtered simply find it to be more pleasant and odor-free.
Standing by the ocean as waves crash on the shore, or outside after a rainstorm, you’ve probably noticed that the air has a different scent. That’s due, in part, to the moisture in the air and other factors. But a major contributor to the unmistakable “freshness” is what’s called ionization and the effect it has on airborne particles. This natural process can be reproduced inside your home or business to clean the air—extremely effectively and surprisingly affordably.
Two Ways Ionization Improves Indoor Air Quality—Including Over 99% Virus Eradication
There are plenty of resources for learning about the science of ionization and air treatment. But to summarize, an ion is an atom or molecule that has a positive or negative charge based on the number of electrons and protons it contains. Ions exist naturally in the environment, but can also be produced artificially.
When positive and negative ions are intentionally introduced to the air in a home or place of business, they cause the particles they come into contact with to become positively or negatively charged. And because opposites attract, these now-charged airborne particles (viruses, mold spores, etc.) clump together in a process called “agglomeration,” creating what are essentially tiny particle snowballs.
Why is this helpful? The very smallest of airborne particles are so small that they’re difficult to pull into an air filtration system. Agglomeration creates larger particles that can be moved into—and trapped by—an air filter much more easily.
Agglomeration isn’t the only benefit of treating indoor air with ions, however. Ions also attack the protein shell of viruses, essentially stripping it away and inactivating their RNA—the “code” that enables them to duplicate themselves inside a human host. In other words, ions fight the battle against viruses using two different, but very effective, tactics simultaneously.
An Air Filtration Solution That Makes Good Filters Work Even Better
At Timberline Mechanical, we provide customers who are looking for cutting-edge air purification with an incredibly effective system from a company called Global Plasma Solutions (GPS). They hold the patent in what’s called needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI).
Learn about NPBI in an informative video.
This process uses specialized electrodes (or “needles”) made of carbon fiber, titanium, stainless steel or other conductive and corrosion-resistant materials to produce ions. The ions exist for just 60 seconds, but that’s ample time for them to do their work on virus, mold and bacteria particles as well as odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are common in indoor environments.
These ions are extremely effective in clearing the air. Independent, third-party testing by respected firms has produced impressive results:
One of the best things about ionization treatment of indoor air is that it can help existing systems and components work even better. Specifically, air filters have what’s called a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles that are captured by the filter. For example, a filter with a MERV of 17 provides HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration, which is hospital-grade filtering.
By creating particle clumps, ionization enables any filter to capture a higher percentage of particles—in effect, increasing its performance by 4-5 MERV levels, as shown below.
Ionization solutions even outperform commonly used UVX systems.
So, companies that use NPBI from GPS can get a significant performance improvement from lower-MERV filters. Plus, experienced technicians like ours at Timberline can install, test and activate a system quickly.
In addition, the mechanism is mounted in the lower section of your air-handling unit (out of sight) and is completely maintenance free (out of mind). An NPBI solution just does its job quietly, efficiently and reassuringly for anyone concerned about air quality. And, Timberline can install an iMeasure from GPS to actively count ions present in any space!
Users are also glad to learn that NPBI is UL867 and UL2998 certified and doesn’t produce harmful ozone.
Ionization Can Improve Air Quality in Virtually Any Setting
Can NPBI dramatically improve the air quality in your home or place of business? The answer is, “Yes.” This revolutionary technology is being used successfully in wide range of industries and settings, including:
- Arenas & stadiums
- Childcare settings
- Colleges & universities
- Convention centers
- Food service businesses
- Gyms and other fitness settings
- Manufacturing facilities
- Office buildings
- Retail stores
- Senior care communities
- Worship facilities
This includes many high-profile installs by organizations that have the resources to purchase any system they choose and decide to go with a GPS solution.
View a short video testimonial from one satisfied NBPI solution user.
At Timberline, we’ve installed over 150 of these GPS ionization systems in their various sizes for various applications ranging from residential furnace installs to large-scale school and manufacturing environment applications in and around Boulder County. We are eager to help answer any questions you may have regarding the GPS product line and help you choose the best ionization system for your specific needs. GPS installation quotes can be provided the same-day as the equipment survey and systems typically can be installed in the next day or two if needed.
Enhanced Air Filtering That Doesn’t Tax Your System
As noted above, there are other types of ionization systems, like ultraviolet, standalone HEPA systems. There are also ways around actively treating the air in your space that seem cost-effective up front but can end up easily outweighing the cost of a GPS install in the long run. One way is to flush your space with fresh air by increasing economizer settings, opening windows, etc. Another is to increase the filtration only and adjust fan speeds to accommodate higher MERV-rated filters.
Please keep in mind that when these options are exercised, your HVAC system is taxed heavily, as it is now trying to heat/cool air that is outside of its design-spec range or overworking itself due to pressure drops faced by the increased filtration. Consequently, the lifespan of your specific unit can be compromised.
GPS units typically cost less than compressor or heat exchanger replacements. And when it comes to destroying pathogens, removing VOCs and reducing odors, NPBI from GPS is truly the gold standard. Get your free quote today!
Learn More About Timberline Mechanical and NPBI
For more information on indoor air treatment in general, needlepoint bipolar ionization specifically or our services and expertise at Timberline Mechanical, please contact Chris Toman at (303) 258-3589 x 111 or [email protected] We value your business and thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on the importance of indoor air quality.
About Timberline Mechanical
Timberline Mechanical is a Boulder HVAC Contractor located in Boulder, CO, and serving the Colorado Front Range, including Broomfield, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Superior and Erie. We are dedicated to providing the intelligent solutions necessary to keep your Boulder Commercial HVAC equipment running efficiently and at its peak performance. Whether we are completing a service call request, providing Commercial HVAC Preventive Maintenance or conducting Special Projects work, we offer intelligent commercial HVAC solutions to ensure that your business needs are met. You can focus on your business while we make sure your commercial HVAC equipment is running smoothly. https://www.timberlinemechanical.com/
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