As restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters and more begin – ever so slowly – to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring customer health will be paramount in both preventing a second wave and keeping the doors open.
Internationally, leading studies have shown that one of the best methods in quelling COVID’s spread isn’t only wearing masks or washing hands, but investing in quality air circulation and filtration.
Frank Stamatatos, president of SecureAire, providers of advanced air filtration systems and recently announced mCloud partner, contrasts the safety of a properly ventilated hospital room versus the standard technology seen in homes and businesses today, which largely haven’t seen innovation since the 1940s.
For decades, hospitals have had air filtration figured out with “cleanroom” approaches that cycle air hundreds of times per hour – 350 times per hour, to be exact. As a reference, both the average home and the average commercial building today cycle air only twice an hour.
Indoor Air Quality in the Age of COVID
Why is this important? Let’s consider a scenario where someone infected with COVID-19 walks into a place of business and sneezes. Sneezes blast out particles at 100 miles per hour which then spread into the surrounding area. The heavier particles fall down onto the floor or other surfaces, but the lighter ones remain airborne – potentially for hours. Without proper fresh air flow, those particles will sit in wait and spread easily to anyone who happens to unknowingly cross their path.
Here, we can see the value of the SecureAire approach. Founded by an IBM veteran who spent over 20 years making integrated circuits, SecureAire has its roots in tackling the issue of sensitive semiconductors being damaged by air contamination.
Since the 1940s, the HVAC industry has touted the HEPA filter as the be-all-end-all to filtration issues. While it was an impressive product upon its introduction, glacial progression and iteration has left the HEPA filter wanting for today’s filtration needs. SecureAire provides an air filtration system used today in more than 60 hospitals, based on semiconductor clean room technology that takes advantage of this managed airflow to drive airborne contaminants to an electrostatic field that supplies the necessary voltage to oxidize and kill dangerous pathogens and viruses such as COVID-19.
Best of all, this “semiconductor grade” cleanroom approach, suited for datacenters and hospitals alike, is now simple and cost-effective enough to deploy for the most modest of small businesses.
The difference is plain to see – following installation of a SecureAire advanced filtration system, follow-up measurements have reported a 90 plus percent drop in particle counts in a given space. In a study conducted at the Rochester Minnesota Regional Hospital by Mark Hernandez, PhD, of the University of Colorado, SecureAire’s approach boasted a pathogen kill rate of over 99 percent.
Ventilation and Filtration - the Key to Reopening
Of course, even flawless filtration isn’t a perfect solution. The best system in the world won’t save you if someone sneezes right on top of you, for example. Additionally, even the highest tier of filtration will need well-ventilated air as a base to work from – such as the kind provided by mCloud’s AssetCare solution.
Taking SecureAire’s ability to remove particles through this cleanroom approach was a natural complement to mCloud’s AssetCare solution which remotely monitors and controls HVAC systems. Already, AssetCare’s remote enhancements to ventilation and airflow have proven to be a must-have for small businesses looking to bolster their health security, owing to its ability to drive clean air into buildings.
SecureAire’s solution can be added on top of AssetCare for a one-two punch providing optimum protection from pathogens such as COVID-19 while also reducing the number of fresh air changes that would otherwise be needed to keep building occupants safe. This results in less run time for your HVAC unit, and less energy usage. Having a 90 percent cleaner environment puts the statistics solidly in the favor of any business that makes the investment – far more so than any other method available today.
These systems have the ability to keep customers safe and satisfied while still boosting cost efficiency for the business owner. To learn more how mCloud’s AssetCare solution can work with SecureAire’s advanced filtration methods to optimally enhance indoor air quality, visit our AssetCare page.