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Indoor Air Quality Solutions

When planning new buildings many things must be considered. In addition to structural factors, there are also the issues of heating, cooling and something often neglected: indoor air quality. It is important for the health of all of us. 

IAQ matters

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality in a building or structure, breathed in every day by the building’s occupants.

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Ventilation

Ventilation systems bring fresh outdoor air indoors, dilute and eliminate pollutants, remove stale air and balance the humidity levels.

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Filtration

A filtration stage is needed, to clean the fresh air taken in. High efficiency air filters can help to capture the majority of airborne particles.

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IAQ Solutions

What can you do to support better IAQ? Find the right climate control solutions and services for you. For healthy and safe buildings.

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Why Indoor Air Quality Matters

Young couple on couch in the living room with two small kids playing on the carpet

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality in a building or structure, breathed in every day by the building’s occupants.

When planning new residential buildings, schools, offices or light commercial buildings, many things must be considered. Besides structural factors, there are also the topics of heating, cooling and something often neglected: indoor air quality.

Did you know that the indoor air we breathe, whether at home, at the office, or in a hotel room could in fact be much more polluted than the air outside?

  • 90% of our lives is spent indoors
  • Indoor air quality can be 2 to 5x worse than outdoor air quality

Indoor Air Pollutants 

With the right system (air conditioning, ventilation, air purification equipment) air pollutants such as

  • pollen
  • spores
  • cement dust
  • bacteria
  • viruses or
  • germs

can be filtered out of the air.

Indoor air pollutants illustration
5 indoor air quality components

Indoor Air Quality Components 

  1. Ventilation: Ensures the provision of fresh and clean air

  2. Energy recovery: Delivers energy savings by transferring heat and moisture between airflows

  3. Air processing: Delivers the required conditioned air to optimize the energy efficiency of indoor HVAC equipment

  4. Humidification: Ensures the desired moisture level in the conditioned space

  5. Filtration: Ensures clean and healthy air by filtering out pollen, dust and odors that are harmful to our health

Particles

  • The particles in the air can vary from simple pollen grains to germs, bacteria and viruses

  • Particulate matter are categorized based on their size

  • The smaller the particle, the more dangerous for our health

Woman in office with remote controller for air conditioner
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Particles and areas of deposit in the human body

Particles & Areas of Deposit

The lighter and smaller a particle is, the longer it stays in the air.

• PM10, all particles up to 10 µm (0.01 mm)

Deposit in the nose and pharynx of the human respiratory system

 

• PM2.5, all particles up to 2.5 µm (0.0025 mm) 

Are small enough to reach the human lung

 

• PM1, all particles up to 1 µm (0.001 mm = 1 micron)

Are small enough to find their way through the cell membranes of the alveoli into the human bloodstream and cause life-threatening diseases

 

Due to their harmfulness (high risk for cardio vascular diseases), permanence and frequency, particles smaller than 2.5 μm (i.e. PM2.5 and PM1) need the most attention.



Ventilation

Entrance hall in modern office building with large glass front towards road and plants

Venitlation systems ensure optimal climate conditions by providing a fresh, healthy and comfortable environment for buildings of all sizes and different applications.

Ventilation dilutes and eliminates pollutants in indoor air.

In a completely closed room in a building, air cannot easily enter/leave the room, causing air pollutants to remain and accumulate in the room. This could impact the health of people in the room. Ventilation is essential for diluting and removing these air pollutants.

Ventilation System Importance

  • The goal of ventilation units is to bring fresh air into closed spaces and exchange it with stale air.
  • Ventilation and the use of highly efficient particle filtration provided by HVAC systems can reduce the airborne concentration of bacteria and viruses and thus the risk of transmission through the air.
  • Ventilation systems and adequate air-exchange rate have been demonstrated to be an effective solution to protect people from contaminants, including viruses.
  • Ventilation systems need to be used and maintained correctly in order to be effective.
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What to consider when choosing a ventilation system?

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Filtration 

After the intake of fresh outdoor air a filtration stage is needed, to clean the air.  Also the return air filtration is important. Particles from the room moving towards the return air grills have to be filtered out to prevent contamination of the whole ventilation system.

 

Noise level 

Having a ventilation system able to provide fresh air and air-exchange with the lowest possible noise emission is key to not bother occupants in the building.

Hygiene

Ventilation units unit is need to be designed in a way to avoid any kind of contamination to prevent the proliferation of molds and bacteria.

Illustration of ventilation in building

Energy efficiency

When air is exchanged, thermal energy in the exhaust air needs to be recovered and transferred to the fresh air in the most efficient way.

Compactness

A compact ventilation unit makes installation easier and allows saving space. It is important to optimize the use of building space and be cost efficient.

Filtration

Corridor area in modern office building with people in informal meeting situations and people walking by

Virus particles can piggyback on larger dust particles or droplets and travel through a building. Infectious diseases can be controlled by interrupting the transmission routes used by a pathogen. Using high efficiency air filters in air conditioning and ventilation systems can help to capture the majority of airborne particles.

Mechanical Air Filters

Mechanical filter consist of media with porous structures of fibers or stretched membrane material to remove particles from airstreams.

Some filters have a static electrical charge applied to the media to increase particle removal.

The fraction of particles removed from air passing through a filter is called “filter efficiency”.

mechanical air filter illustration showing how particles are removed from air
ISO 16890 particle filter classification table

Filter Classification

With the introduction of the new ISO 16890 standard, filter classification is made based on the capability to filter out certain particles according to the particle size (i.e. particle size range ≤ 1 μm, ≤ 2.5 μm or  ≤ 10 μm). ISO 16890 Classifications are based on where particles are deposited in the human lung.

Filter Groups (ISO 16890)

Required minimum filtration

Particulate Matter filtered out:

 

ePM1, min

ePM2.5, min

ePM10  
ISO ePM1 ≥ 50%     Nanoparticles, exhaust gases, viruses
ISO ePM2.5   ≥ 50 %   Bacteria, fungal and mold spores, pollen, toner dust
ISO ePM10     ≥ 50 % Pollen, desert dust
ISO Coarse     < 50% Sand, hair

Filter Efficiency

Filter efficiency is the fraction of particles removed from air passing through a filter.

The effectiveness of reducing particle concentrations depends on several factors:

Filter efficiency

Filter efficiency

Size of the particles

Size of the particles

Airflow rate through the filter

Airflow rate through the filter

Location of the filter in the HVAC system or room air cleaner

Location of the filter in the HVAC system or room air cleaner

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are at least 99.97% efficient at filtering 0.3 μm particles and in general more efficient than ePM1 filters.

Higher filter efficiency generally results in increased pressure drop through the filter. It is therefore important to ensure HVAC systems can handle filter upgrades without negative impacts to pressure differentials and/or air flow rates prior to changing filters.

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Air disinfection through UV-C light

Did you know that ultraviolet energy inactivates viral, bacterial, and fungal organisms so they are unable to replicate and potentially cause disease?

The entire UV spectrum is capable of inactivating microorganisms, but UV-C energy (wavelengths of 200 – 280 nm) provides the most germicidal effect.

Disinfection through UV-C light in an air handling unit

Disinfection and sanitization through UV-C light is widely used in hospitals.

UV-C light however is a health hazard to the human body.

By treating recirculated & fresh air with UV-C light directly within the Air Handling Units, clean and microbe free air can be achieved without exposing the human body to harmful UV light.

IAQ Solutions for every need

For your home

Our air conditioning and purification systems have been specially designed to filter out pollutants and particles, ensuring fresher air in your home - so that everyone can breathe easy.

For your business

Clean, healthy air shouldn’t be limited to the great outdoors. Our high-performance ventilation systems and air conditioning units mean everyone can enjoy the benefits of cleaner air indoors – even in busier commercial spaces.

IAQ Services

Daikin Service Experts support you to identify any improvable point of your HVAC system, with a wide set of options from our full range of services and experience.