Dial “H” For HEPA

In 1954 Alfred Hitchcock directed the movie “Dial M For Murder” starring Ray Miland, Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings.  The story is about a husband who carefully plans to have his wife murdered. If the plot goes as planned the wife is gone and the husband is never suspected. As with many ideas, controlling all aspects of the concept often is seldom accomplished.

In the world where air pollution and airborne contaminants are a common occurrence, it is interesting to see how many individuals, maintenance companies, contractors and IAQ professionals under estimate the ability to control the levels of these contaminants. The initial plan often include using the least expensive filters or filtration device as many mistakenly believe one type of air filter is as good as another. This is seldom true.

One of the common mistakes is to only look at the particles we can see with the naked eye as the harmful contaminants. The irony is that particles you can see with the naked eye are about 20 microns or larger. Most of the particles that are harmful or that are aspirated into the lungs are less than 10 microns in size. These tiny particles are not easily trapped in general duty filter media, which are typically the type used when attempting to provide a cleaner environment.

Most HVAC systems use filter racks located in return air grills. These are normally the place for standard pleated media or ring panel filters and typically have a low MERV rating. (usually  MERV 5 to 7) These air filters will capture almost all of the 20 micron particles but their efficiency drops off dramatically as the size of the particles gets smaller. The other variable to take into consideration is the resistance of the filters relative to their overall efficiency.

The standard air filters used in most HVAC systems have a lower efficiency but also a lower pressure drop or resistance. This is important in the scheme of things as putting in a more resistant filter would reduce the air flow. On the up side though, they would be more effective in removing the harmful airborne contaminants.

HEPA filters are extremely effective at removing very high percentages of extremely small particles, those particles that are truly harmful. Their standard efficiency is 99.97% at o.3 microns. For comparison, the standard air filters used in most HVAC systems are approximately 15% to 20% effective at removing these tiny particles and that only takes place close to the time they have to be replaced.

Because of the design of HEPA filters, they are normally part of a system or package that also includes another blower/motor assembly to assist in moving the air across the HEPA as well as picking up the additional resistance across the filter. For this reason most HEPA filter systems are attached in a partial bypass mode to the HVAC ducting systems so no additional resistance is added to the entire air handling unit.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems for over 26 years. They have a HEPA system that will work for any type of environment and any kind of HVAC system. Even for areas where no ventilation systems exist. For more information on their complete line of HEPA and Carbon based units please go to their website at: www.pureairsystems.com or on Twitter @pureairsystems. You can also call them on their toll free line. 800-869-8025.

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There Is No Box

For the past 20 years or so the term “thinking outside the box” has become ubiquitous in the meeting rooms of most corporations, small businesses, schools and universities. Most of the time it refers to thinking differently or looking at a problem from a totally different angle or point of view. Like many terms that have a unique beginning and meaning but through over use become less relevant, like “paradigm shift,” thinking outside the box is quickly following that path.

The question then is what is the next step in thought process beyond “outside the box?” The title of this blog would indicate  that we eliminate the box altogether. If that is the case then what do we call this new form of thought process if there is no box? How about “augmented reality” or “augmented thinking?”  Does it matter? How about just listening to your customers and providing the type of products and services they want and need?

If you look at the list of companies that are still in business after 25 years you realize they have done something right to be around that long. Consistently performing up to and often exceeding customers needs would be one really important part of this “longevity” equation. After all, it is difficult to be in business long term without having repeat business and a constant stream of new business. It isn’t luck….its listening.

Today, your customers have a multitude of methods of providing you feedback on your products and service. All too often we get caught up in our own success and forget that the reason for the constant stream of customers is our ability to get it right 99% of the time. When we take that for granted everyone loses. With the tremendous impact of “social media” in our society, there is no reason you should not have a pulse on the buying tendencies of your target market. You mess up they will tell you and 500 of their closest friends. Of course, when you get it right….the message is also relayed to their followers. Instantly.

Pure Air Systems has been in business since 1985. For over 26 years it has been providing some of the highest quality, best performing HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems in the world. The PAS systems use the most advanced digitally controlled, ECM motor systems available along with commercial grade, certified HEPA filters and carbon media housed in heavy gauge, powder coated steel enclosures.

In 1995 Pure Air Systems developed its first website. Shortly thereafter an email system was introduced and then eventually a Facebook and Twitter account along with this blog were added. Customers have the ability to ask specific questions about their individual IAQ problems and convey their feedback on any aspect of the PAS products or their performance, using any of the aforementioned social media programs.

Customers will tell you what they need and expect from your company. You need to have a process in place to evaluate their current needs and ascertain if you can meet them or need to modify, change or alter your current product and service programs to accommodate their current and future needs. Pure Air Systems does.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems available please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com or follow us on Twitter @purairsystems or Facebook at. pureairsystems. Of course you can always call us on our toll-free line: 800-869-8025.

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Maid In Amerika

If you go to the comments section of any article published on-line that discusses the plight of the American manufacturing machine you find people complaining bitterly about the fact that nothing is made here anymore. In truth, the vast majority of major products are made here in the US. However, almost all of the consumer electronics and most of the general duty appliances are made outside the U.S., and therein lies the problem.

If you use a cell phone, computer of any style or type, tablet or other digital communication device, more than likely it is manufactured overseas. Yes, many of these companies, like Apple, are based right here in the U.S, but they have their devices made some place else. Small appliances also fit into the same category. Yet, it is interesting to note, consumers may complain about the perceived lack of American made products, but they will purchase the imported brands even if there is a similar product that is actually made right here. The main reason…price. Over time people have rationalized that one companies product is the same as another companies product and therefore price is the deciding factor.

Pure Air Systems has been manufacturing commercial grade, certified HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems since 1985. These units were and still are made right here in the USA. In 1989 PAS began putting “Made in the USA” stickers on each unit. It was our way of telling people this product was fabricated from all US made components. The intent was to assure the public that we were not importing the products from overseas.

Over the years a number of  U.S. based companies offered alternate air filtration technology based systems that in some case competed with our smaller units. The majority of these systems were fabricated overseas and they were usually of a lesser quality but also considerably less expensive than our systems. And even though PAS has repeatedly shown to meet or exceed the performance requirements of our customers, many individuals and some companies continue to purchase the imported products.

Today, Pure Air Systems continues to manufacture all of its systems here in the U.S. Some of the electrical components and a few mechanical components are fabricated overseas as these required parts are no longer made in the U.S. However, our products are still some of the most powerful, effective and sophisticated HEPA air filtration systems made today. Customers from around the world now use our filtration systems and our reputation for quality and performance is seldom challenged.

There is no doubt, that companies around the world have access to the same technologies and components and the need to continue improving our products has never been greater. However, we will never sacrifice quality and performance for price. We know what is required to provide our customers with the best available air filtration technology and they rely on us to maintain that premise.

For more information on our complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration products please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com or follow us on Twitter @pureairsystems or go to our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/pureairsystems.

 

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Bak to Skool

I do a lot of writing and publish a number of blogs on-line. I am always careful to check the spelling and punctuation since these types of mistakes will often make the reader less interested in the material. So it really bugs me when I see so many people, many highly educated, misspell a word or use a word incorrectly. And, as a result of so many of us using texting tools like our smart phones, iPads, tablets, Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc., we tend to use a “short hand” approach to form a sentence or thought. Hence the use of this title for the blog.

The problem isn’t that we do it…the problem is we accept it as a normal method of communication. And to a certain extent I understand the rationale. I use Twitter a lot and you have to be very creative to make a point with just 140 characters and include a link. But the problem extends itself into the way we now gather information and educate ourselves about someone or some thing. I have found, for example, that writing a blog that is under 500 words gets more reads than one that is 600 words long. It seems that people want to be informed in 500 words or less….even better if you just show a picture with a short caption. This is why it is so difficult these days to get someones attention long enough to make a significant point or properly inform.

Pure Air Systems has a web site that is designed to cover all aspects of readers attentions spans. We have a quick info section that allows you to see a photo of the product with 3 to 4 sections of information that can be selected with one click of the mouse. This information is short and to the point.  If you want more information you can go to other sections in the site that provide more details on the products and their applications and our installation guide.

However, the area that gets the most action is our “Pure Air University” section. This has a number of “chapters” covering all aspects of Indoor Air Quality, basics of air filtration, ventilation, motor design, etc.  This section provides a lot of basic knowledge that allows the end user to become better educated and thus allows them to make a more informed decision.

We also have a section that allows the end user or contractor to pose a specific problem or question. We read these daily and respond within 24 hours with an answer.  They can also pose questions on our Facebook page or through Twitter. Of course we have an 800 phone number they can call during office hours. Interestingly most people and contractors prefer to contact us via email or through the social media programs. And, many of those “digital” contacts are made on their mobile devices. Which means they want a quick, short answer. We will try our best.

For more information you can contact us at: www.pureairsystems.com, Facebook.com/pureairsystems, @pureairsystems. This is 500 words.

 

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Willie Make It…Betty Won’t

“Play on words” has been a popular tool of writers and journalists since newspapers were in print. The title of this blog, for example, is taken from some family get together’s when I was a young man. It seems there were a lot of what I call “goofy” phrases used in the early 50’s. This title is one of them. Maybe you have seen it before ….or heard it used. In either case use of this type of phrasing is a great way to get attention from readers.

In today’s world the vast majority of people get all their information, books, classes and social interaction online. The ability to capture your attention has never been more demanding. Getting someone to read something  for more than 8 seconds is now considered a real coup…and if you can get them to read your entire article, blog or product description you are in rare company.

Telling stories and providing helpful, insightful information seems to be one way to get people to view your material. It is for this reason that many companies now incorporate blogs into their websites, like this one, to provide updated and topical data to the market.

Pure Air Systems has published over 150 blogs in the past two years. Over time the number of people reading the blogs has increased dramatically. But most importantly the blogs provide topical information as well as directing potential customers to our website. This is important as all of the technical and operational information about our HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems are found there. Whether you are a contractor, end user or engineer, the data you need is located on the website.

In addition to the blogs, a special section on our website is designed to provide general information on all aspects of air filtration, indoor air quality, heating/cooling systems and ventilation. We call it “Pure Air University.”  We believe it is important to offer some basic knowledge on all things IAQ so that the public has the ability to make an informed decision when selecting an air filtration system. The information provided through this section is not designed to sell but rather designed to tell.

After being in business for over 25 years, you learn a lot about what information is important to potential customers. They have seen the hyped marketing materials from many of the companies that sell air filtration or air purifier systems. Many of those companies that sold “gimmick” based technology are no longer in business. It seems no matter what you say or how you say it…performance is the only viable marketing tool. We know this and that is why we are still here. Our systems perform as promised…period. No play on words needed.

For more information on our complete product line please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com.  Or call us at: 800-869-8025.

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See Water

If at first glance you think I misspelled the title of this blog and it should read “Sea Water” you are incorrect. This is about water in the form of water vapor or condensation that you often see on windows and where ever damp cold air comes in contact with a warm surface. When you “see” water condensing or water dripping from someplace it shouldn’t be you need to find out why.

One of the most common places in a home to find water in the form of condensation in on single pane windows or on walls or surfaces that are inside barriers for outside walls. Condensation forms when the dew point is relatively high…say 60 to 70 degrees and there is a lot of humidity in the air. Since warm air holds moisture better than cold air the condensation issue is usually found in the summer months. Although it can also be an issue in the fall or spring of the year.

One of the challenges with tight homes and office buildings is the limited amount of fresh, outside air that is introduced into the indoor environment. While constantly circulating the air with the HVAC  fan systems does keep the air moving,  it does little to keep the air from getting stagnant or reduce the indoor levels of  CO2. Introducing outside air, even small amounts over time, can be significantly help the occupied areas. However, if the outside air is hot or cool and humid, then the condensation issue can be a problem again.

Some of the newer variable speed drive, high efficiency HVAC systems incorporate a de-humidification function that allows the cooling coils in the air handler to get really cold during the AC cycle prior to turning on the air handler fan. This allows for more removal of the moisture that may be introduced as outside, fresh air through the HVAC unit.

One of the main reasons for minimizing the amount of “indoor” moisture is to reduce or eliminate the potential for mold growth. There are two main “needs” for mold to grow. Water and a food source. Take away either one and you will significantly reduce the chances of mold growing in the indoor environment. So when  you see water in the form of condensation on the windows in your home or office you can be fairly sure that there is moisture forming in other parts of the indoor structure. And….where there is water there is mold.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based fan powered air filtration systems since 1985. These units can be attached to  and HVAC system or used as stand-alone units in residential, commercial, institutional or industrial applications. For over 25 years PAS has used their units to introduce small amounts of outside air that is first past through the HEPA units then into the HVAC units. Since the PAS units are mixing small amounts of outside air (usually 50 to 80 CFM ) with large amounts of warm, unfiltered return air ( usually 300 to 800 CFM) there is little chance for moisture to occur.

This process has been used thousands of times since we first introduced the systems and has been very effective at not only cleaning all the air in the homes up to 48 times a day, but provide for some fresh air without the potential for adding moisture or inviting mold growth indoors.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com. Or call us at: 800-869-8025.

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The Future Is The Past

It has been said that advancements in technology doubles every five years. If the changes in digital communications is any indication of what is happening then that statement is probably correct. We used to have a few years, at least, to adapt to and learn to use new devices and processes. Today things are changing every six months. Or so it seems. For some of us the constant changes are exciting. But for many people the rapid changes clash with their thoughts of how things used to be.

While changes in technology will continue to make extraordinary advances, some things don’t change. Health care problems, for example, are still an issue and those people that suffer from allergies, asthma and airborne contaminants seem to be a constant. With all the advancements in medicine, the ability to cure the common cold or eliminate allergy issues continues to evade us. While there are newer anti-histamines and allergy medicines, people still suffer from all the old symptoms.

The changes in air filtration systems designed to eliminate or reduce airborne contaminants have made some advancements. However,  for the most part, the technology  to capture particles on a filtration media is still basically the same. Some technologies such as electronic air cleaners and HEPA filters have been around for over 50 years. HEPA filters, for example, were developed in 1941 and have set the standard for removal of fine, sub-micron airborne particles.

HEPA filters have undergone some major advancements in HEPA paper design. HEPA filters now share the stage with their cousins ULPA and SULPA. While the standard HEPA filter, which has a standard efficiency of removing particles 0.3 microns or less at 99.97%. The ULPA filters and SULPA filters have efficiencies as high as 99.99995% at 0.12 microns.

Pure Air Systems has been using HEPA filters as their standard media since 1985. Today, all of the HEPA filters used in the PAS systems are scanned HEPA filters, meaning they are 99.99% efficient on all particles 0.3 microns or larger. With over 25 years of experience and thousands of systems installed around the world, Pure Air Systems continues to keep the same high performance standards established at their origin.

It is interesting to note that when PAS introduced HEPA filters to the residential and light commercial markets in 1985, few people knew about these filters. Only the electronics and nuclear industries were actually using these filters. Today, Pure Air Systems customer list reads like the Fortune 500. Pharmaceutical, laboratory, military, government, institutional, micro-chip, optical, medical and many other types of companies use the PAS HEPA systems for critical manufacturing and processing operations.

Homeowners who have been dealing with allergy problems have found some relief in utilizing one of the many HEPA systems offered by PAS. The new HPS 350 and HPS 500 portable units now provide the same commercial grade HEPA filtration for small areas and individual rooms in homes and offices. For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com. Or follow us on twitter: @pureairsystems.

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The Powers That Be

The term “the powers that be” is a phrase used to refer to those individuals who collectively hold power over a particular domain. The phrase often connotes a sense of resignation or cynicism and is used when referring to a large corporate entity or government structure that has enough power to affect change even if it is not for the betterment of the populace as a whole. Many of us see this process take place with the corporations we work for and with laws passed by local, state and federal governments.

In today’s world of social media and instant information and instant feedback from anyone and everyone on every level we have the power to express our opinions and feelings about those issues that dramatically affect us and yet “the powers that be” continue to try to convince us that  we need to follow their lead. This is especially true in the area of indoor air quality and air filtration or air purifying systems.

For years the the most commonly used air cleaner for the residential market was the electronic air cleaner. This device was considered the standard in the industry and laid claim to a number of performance guarantees that were never achieved. Yet people continued to purchase it because this was the only system HVAC contractors new how to install. And,they required very little maintenance or cleaning. The interesting part is that people didn’t realize the poor dust removal performance until medial air filters entered the scene.

Electronic air cleaners only needed to be cleaned or washed down a couple of times a year. The one big selling point to the consumer was the fact that you didn’t need to replace anything…ever. Just clean the particle collecting plates or wires on a regular basis and make sure the power pack was working correctly. When high grade media air filters were introduced into the market the HVAC contractors fought their entry with a lot of energy. While electronic air cleaners were being sold for $600.00 to $1,200 dollars installed. A filter frame and filter media unit was only a few hundred dollars and more often than not just included in the price of the HVAC system installation.

Once homeowners began to realize that the air media filters, which were usually a pleated polyester or cotton fiber material, were more effective at remove the airborne dust particles the sales  of electronic air cleaners dropped dramatically. Even though air media filters had to be replaced once every three months or so, the vastly improved dust collection was preferred.

Pure Air Systems offers a complete line of HEPA, Carbon and polyester dual-layer ring panel air filters that are very effective at removing and reducing harmful airborne contaminants. These systems are normally attached to the existing HVAC systems and in many cases can used as stand alone units. It is interesting that today, “the powers that be” now recommend HEPA or other types of media air filters over any of the electronic air cleaners currently on the market.  For more information on the complete line of commercial grade air filtration systems available from PAS please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com. Or you can follow us on Twitter at: @pureairsystems

 

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Fresh Air

When we hear the term “fresh air” we often think about being outside next to the ocean feeling the breeze or on top of a mountain breathing the cool, crisp air. Or, when you are stuck indoors in a building or home for long periods of time you might say, “I’m going outside to get some fresh air.” If we really believe the air is better outside, why do we spend so much time indoors? And, more importantly, what is fresh air?

In reality the term “Fresh Air” is really a misnomer. While it is true that air outdoors is not prone to have that “stale air” smell you have indoors due to lack of ventilation, the levels of airborne contaminants and gaseous molecules outdoors is often not any lower. Yes, that is correct. Depending upon where you are outdoors the levels of harmful airborne particulate and gaseous pollutants can be extremely high.

You already know that during the spring and fall of the year various grasses, weeds, trees, etc. produce pollen of all sorts creating significant allergic reactions and health problems. Is this fresh air? You are outside…aren’t you? Or if you are in a downtown area of a large city you can sometimes feel some stinging in you eyes and throat. That’s usually caused by the high levels of gases such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and hydrocarbons from all the vehicles. Of course you also have all the airborne particulate that is produced by tires grinding dirt into sub-micron particles. So now that we have identified fresh air let’s take a look at the process of using outside air for ventilation and reduction of CO2 in homes and buildings.

Pure Air Systems has been manufacturing HEPA and Carbon based fan powered, commercial grade air filtration systems since 1985. These units were not only designed to filter the air in a room, home or commercial facility but also to concurrently introduce small amounts of outside air and filter that air prior to introducing it to the indoor environment. As we mentioned before, the term fresh air is really a misnomer. Unless the outside air source is filtered prior to mixing with the indoor environment, it is not fresh air.

The PAS product line is capable of introducing high percentages of outside air that is filtered by three different medias. First there is a polyester dual-layer ring panel filter that is designed to take out the larger particles. Second the carbon media removes many of the odors and gases. Third, is the HEPA filter itself which is a certified HEPA rated at 99.99% removal of all particles 0.3 microns and larger. This three stage filtration ensures that any outside air will be in actuality, “Fresh Filtered Air.”

So the next time you hear the term fresh air remember there are levels of fresh air and you need to make sure that you use the right filtration process to ensure you and your family are breathing fresh air.

For more information on this concept and the complete product line offered by PAS please go to our website at: www.pureairsystems.com. You can also contact us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Process Of Elimination

Whenever I have a problem with a mechanical device I try to use the “process of elimination” approach to resolve the problem. This is usually done by determining what the problem “isn’t” and then solve for what it could be. This process allows me to better isolate the real problem, since once you know what the problem is…the solution should not be far behind.

It is funny how many people have a pre-determined idea of what the problem is that they are facing based upon a one time incident that took place years ago. They automatically assume it is the same issue without even attempting to see if it could be something else. This is especially true with people who suffer from allergies and airborne contaminants. Many individuals will develop allergy  symptoms that they believe can only be caused by one allergen because their symptoms mimic the ones they suffered in prior experiences.

As an example: a woman who has suffered from contact with certain grasses or tree pollen has the same reaction when she is exposed to certain molds. She believes the problem to be grasses or tree pollen even though it is late fall when there is no pollen present in the air. This precludes her from looking at other possible allergens so she decides that the solution is just to stay indoors as much as possible. In reality, the mold in her HVAC duct system or mold that is growing behind walls that got wet during the summer rains due to the small hole in the roof is the real culprit….so the woman continues to suffer through the fall and into the winter.

Pure Air Systems has been manufacturing HEPA and Carbon based air filtration systems since 1985 and has supplied thousands of allergy sufferers with air filtration systems that have significantly reduced or eliminated their symptoms. Dealing with airborne particles that are invisible to the naked eye can only be accomplished with HEPA filters as all other mechanical or electronic devices are simply not effective in removing the small, respirable sized particles that cause most of the allergic reactions. And, because of the amount of experience Pure Air Systems has in dealing with allergy sufferers, we can offer some constructive comments on what we believe the real problems to be. We understand how to use the process of elimination to determine the real problems. This allows us to better select the best HEPA system for your specific issue.

Pure Air Systems has a significant amount of information on their website that will educate you on the types of allergens present in the air and the HEPA systems available from PAS that will assist you in removing or reducing these airborne contaminants. For more information please go to: www.pureairsystems.com.

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