Airepure Australia outlines air filters strategy for bushfire smoke

Australian HVAC provider has warned of that a single type of filter may not be enough

Airepure Australia, an air filtration systems, equipment and consumables provider, has provided an update on how HVAC systems can deal with the bushfires that have been occuring across vast areas of Australia.

Smoke is one of the most difficult particles sizes to catch as it is 0.3 – 0.5 microns in size. If air filters are not of a high enough efficiency to remove smoke particles, this will lead to a significant amount of smoke being noticed inside buildings.

Smoke fits within the PM2.5 category (which are particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less). These particles are so small they can get deep into the lungs and into the bloodstream, affecting the heart and lungs and potentially causing serious health effects.

Bushfires produce smoke particles, which can be removed from the air stream within commercial HVAC systems using appropriately efficiency rated particulate air filters – which target and capture the smoke particles. Refer to table below.

In addition to smoke, bushfires also produce odorous gases such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). These odorous gases are chemically bound to smoke particles, which means that they can be removed along with the smoke with effective particulate filtration.

Elimination

To eliminate the presence of bushfire smoke and odour within commercial buildings via existing HVAC systems, an upgrade of the particulate air filters is the most important factor, followed by the addition of gaseous (carbon) filters.

The particulate air filters (of appropriate efficiency) will capture the majority of the smoke particles and the odour attached to the smoke particles. The addition of the gaseous filters placed after the particulate air filters will adsorb the remaining odorous gases.

Important to note is that a gaseous (carbon) filter alone will not remove smoke particles. A particulate air filter (of appropriate efficiency) is required to capture the majority of the smoke particles and the odour attached to the smoke particles.

To reduce the presence of bushfire smoke and odour within commercial buildings via existing HVAC systems, an upgrade of the particulate air filters is the most important factor. The particulate air filters (of appropriate efficiency) will capture the majority of the smoke particles and the odour attached to the smoke particles.

This table lists an estimated smoke removal efficiency for particulate air filters of different ratings.

Table 1: Estimated Smoke Removal Efficiencies

To learn more about HVAC systems in controlled environments attend the Cleanroom Technology Conference in Singapore in December.

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