IAQ Innovations Enhance Diagnostics

February 24, 2005
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A booth representative from Aircuity shows duct cables for the company’s OptiNet facility-wide, performance-based monitoring and control system.
ORLANDO, Fla. - As the indoor air quality (IAQ) market continues to evolve, the industry may see more products like the OptiNetâ„¢ from Aircuity (www.aircuity.com), which was shown at the 2005 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo).

The commercial-industrial-institutional system uses a vacuum pump and a series of room sensors, duct probes, and duct cables to transmit information from specific rooms or areas to an information management gateway. The air samples are analyzed for contaminants and overall content; in this way, problem areas can be pinpointed much more quickly, a company representative explained.

The information can be tied into system controls, he added, offering a very quick way to initiate a system shutdown or airflow reconfiguration in case of a hazardous release in one part of the building. This type of control is in development, he said, pending the development of chemical and biological sensors.

Such products are part of the evolution of IAQ products and services. The industry is cutting new trails into nontraditional and much-needed HVAC markets.

Trion by Fedders air filters offer benefits for contractors and customers.

Filter Innovations

Airguard's (www.airguard.com) Fresh Air Supreme pleated filters use chemically enhanced, impregnated carbon to remove a wide range of odors and compounds, including diesel fumes, emissions from new furnishings, rotten egg odor (hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans), acid gases, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The company said the chemically enhanced media captures odors through chemical reaction and adsorption. The filters also can be used as prefilters in some applications.

AAF International (www.aafintl.com) showed its VariCel® M-Pak extended-surface pleated filters, available with Intersept® anti-microbial treatment. The filter's 5-7/8-inch depth offers the same media area and performance as 12-inch-deep filters, the company said. The M-Pak is available in MERV 11, 13, and 14 efficiencies.

The filters have been designed to trap and concentrate particulate air contaminants including viable fungal and bacterial spores, the company said. The Intersept is intended to preserve the integrity of the media throughout the filter's useful life.

Carrier Corp. (www.carrier.com), Bryant Air Conditioning (www.bryant.com), and AAF introduced a line of filters with AgIONâ„¢ antimicrobial coating. The filters are available for the aftermarket and at the time of equipment ordering through AgION filter kits. The kits are said to include pleated, bag, and cartridge filter types.

Fedders (www.fedders.com) stated that it is encouraging contractors and distributors to present IAQ solutions to customers and increase profitability and consumer awareness. Trion by Fedders® air cleaners are said to provide effective solutions for consumers at a low cost to contractors and distributors.

"Contractors should not be afraid to sell IAQ solutions," said Craig Ellis, director of sales. "If the contractor or distributor breaks out IAQ products as separate line items, the consumer won't eliminate them out of the box as a high-cost provider. However, if they fail to inform consumers of their IAQ options, they risk losing the business to a contractor who was willing to take the time to provide a consultation."

Flanders-Precisionaire (www.precisionaire.com) displayed its MERV 8 prepleat 40 filter, which features a more efficient filtering media that is ecologically friendly, the company said. The filter is made entirely from recycled materials. It also offers low resistance to airflow and is unaffected by high humidity, the company said.

The filters can be used as primary filters and installed in universal holding frames, K-Trac framing modules, Surepleat side-access housings, and similar existing hardware. They may also be used as prefilters for Precision Pak, Superflow V, PrecisionCell, and Rigid-Air filters, the company added.

Purafil (www.purafil.com) introduced a patent-pending technology that is being incorporated into the company's horizontal airflow systems to prevent air bypass. The J-Track® technology is expected to improve the performance of the company's systems in commercial and industrial applications.

In commercial buildings, Pura-fil's systems help improve IAQ by removing odors and pollutants from makeup and recirculation airstreams, the company said. In industrial applications, the systems help protect electronics and air compressors from damage due to corrosive airborne pollutants.

The J-Track is said to support the system's modules on slanted tracking via a corresponding angled notch in the modules' frames. The modules slide into the unit and use their weight to shift against the channel, producing up to 10 pounds of self-sealing pressure, the company said.

Rheem Manufacturing Co.'s Rheem (www.rheemac.com) and Ruud (www.ruudac.com) Air Conditioning Divisions showcased ProTech IAQ products including UV-filter combinations, electronic air cleaners, and energy recovery ventilators/heat recovery ventilators (ERVs/HRVs).

StrionAir Inc. (www.strionair.com) debuted two new products: the whole-house air-filtration system and a next-generation commercial air-purification system. The whole-house system is said to incorporate the same technology pioneered by the company's commercial air purification systems. This residential system employs an active germicidal effect that has been proven in laboratory testing to kill up to 99.9 percent of the microbes it captures without the use of UV lights, the company said.

The new commercial system includes refinements and improvements made to the company's GC filter, which debuted at the 2004 AHR Expo. The new product provides a rating of MERV 16 and can be installed without the need for a second filter rack, the company said. StrionAir also exhibited its optional SecureSealâ„¢ filters, which are said to virtually eliminate filter bypass due to a side-to-side, front-to-back gasketing system.

United Air Specialists Inc. (www.uasinc.com) showed its Crystal-Aire modular, concealed air cleaning system, which can be adapted to virtually any room configuration and employed to serve more than one area at a time with multiple filtration, the company said. The system is designed to remove smoke, dust, and other contaminants from the air.

The company also displayed its VisionAir and Smokeeter® commercial air cleaning systems.

Air Purification

Amana Heating and Air Conditioning's (www.amana-hac.com) and Goodman Manufacturing's (www.goodmanmfg.com) HRV/ERV units feature two German-manufactured, factory-balanced external rotor motors with backward-curved blades. The motors feature permanently lubricated sealed bearings. The company said the polypropylene HRV core and enthalpy ERV core are configured for efficient cross-flow ventilation and designed to withstand extreme temperature variations.

The companies' UV air and object purifiers (the UVX Series) are said to be ideal for offices, lounges, smoking rooms, day care centers, and similar applications.

The BreatheClean (www.breatheclean.com) whole-house UV air purification system in-stalls into the customer's existing ductwork. As air passes by the 36-watt UV bulbs, ultraviolet energy literally destroys almost all disease-causing organisms in the air, the company claims. The typical installation takes an HVAC professional less than 30 minutes, the company added.

The standard model offers two 36-watt bulbs that deliver more than 24,000 microwatts per square centimeter of UV energy. Safety features include stainless steel housing and automatic shut-off when the unit is removed from furnace. The commercial model employs four bulbs. It is designed for use in high-volume furnaces, offices, and factories.

Biozone Scientific's (www.biozonescientific.com) air purifiers use the company's proprietary PureWaveâ„¢ process to remove contaminants from air, surfaces, and water by means of photoplasma technology. The company's ATC units can help reduce airborne and surface bacteria and other biological contaminants, as well as removing heavy pollutants caused by tobacco smoke, gases, and strong odors, the company said.

The ATC I is for spaces up to 6,000 square feet with low pollutant levels; 3,000 square feet with medium pollutant amounts; and 750 to 1,000 square feet with heavy pollutant levels. The ATC II is intended for spaces up to 10,000 square feet with low pollutant levels; 5,000 square feet with medium pollutant amounts; and 1,000 to 1,500 square feet with heavy pollutant levels. The ATC III is designed for spaces up to 14,000 square feet with low pollutant levels; 7,000 square feet with medium pollutant amounts; and 1,500 to 3,000 square feet with heavy pollutant levels.

Broan-NuTone (www.broan.com) introduced a residential central vacuum system, said marketing manager Christian Reick-Mitrisin. The new system offers improved IAQ and consumer convenience and is available as a bagged or cyclonic (bagless) system. The system can be installed in existing homes or in new construction applications; the company advises planning ahead to determine the number and location of inlets.

The company also has resized the connections for its whole-house ERV-HRV units so that the system's performance is maintained.

Steril-Aire's (www.steril-aire.com) fan coil UVC kit is designed specifically for fan coils, packaged split systems, and similar room unit systems. Emittersâ„¢ are installed across the cooling coil, emitting high-output UVC energy to eliminate surface contaminants and reduce airborne microbial contaminants, the company explained. The kit can be used for hotel-motel, dormitory, office, patient room, and classroom applications. Emitter tubes come in six lengths: 16, 20, 24, 30, 36, and 42 inches.

The company's classroom unit ventilator UVC kit likewise uses UVC energy to eliminate surface contaminants and reduce airborne microbial contaminants. The snap-in design fits all major unit ventilator brands such as McQuay (Herman Nelson, AmericanAirFilter®), Carrier, Trane, and MSI for blow-through and draw-through coil styles, the company said.

Air Diagnostics

The AirAdvice (www.airadvice.com) IAQ Monitorâ„¢ is said to continually measure temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, VOCs, and airborne particles in one-minute cycles. Once a day it transmits IAQ data from the customer's home over the phone lines, late at night, via a toll-free number. In locations where a phone line is unavailable or difficult to reach, the monitor has enough memory to store up to 14 days' worth of data, the company said.

Once the test is complete, the contractor can log on to the AirAdvice Web site and print out the customer's personalized IAQ report, generated from data the monitor collected. The reports are easy to read and explain to customers, the company said.

On a more simple scale, the Regin HVAC Products' (www.regin.com) new Smoke Pen is said to work just like a mechanical pencil. The patented smoke-emitting wick is inserted into the pen. The contractor adjusts the wick so that 3/8 inch is exposed from the tip. The wick is lit with a match or lighter, and the pen will emit a continuous trail of smoke, the company said. It is extinguished by replacing the pen's protective cover.

Publication date: 02/28/2005

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