The air we breathe at home, at school, at work and especially in care-critical environments such as hospitals is responsible for the spread of microorganisms and as such, a common vector for the transmission of harmful pathogens that pose a risk of causing infection and illness.
Hospital air filtration
AIRQON from Inivos offers a range of easy to use, effective solutions that filter and decontaminate the air, ideal for use in hospitals and other clinical environments as well as homes and businesses, without the requirement of any complex user training.
High Efficiency Particulate Arrester (HEPA) filters strip out solid particles that pose risks from the air intake, such as bacteria, dust and mould. UV air sterilisation systems work similarly, but instead use a process called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) which irradiates air when it passes through UV lamps, aiming to neutralise particulate matter rather than capture it.
Professional air purifiers for hospitals and clinics
AIRQON offers both HEPA and UVGI solutions – the HEPA-800 and COMBI-1200 models feature HEPA filters, however the COMBI-1200 also has the benefits of UV light disinfection. These are mobile units, designed for simple plug and play operation that blend into any environment and can maximise usage and coverage with their mobility. Built-in sensors take temperature and humidity readings, ensuring operators can make an informed choice when selecting from the multiple operating modes available. Lockable controls guarantee that only trained users can change settings, providing added protection when being used around children for example.
A UKAS accredited testing laboratory found the HEPA-800 “achieved an average 92.5% reduction of microbial contaminant in the air (CFU/m3) over 1 hour activity” against their own test method based around ISO 14698-1:2003.
The AIRIAL-1000 uses both HEPA and UVGI technologies within permanent fitted housing designed to discreetly fit flush to a ceiling. This unit enables uninterrupted air circulation and an even 4-way distribution of clean air through rooms and treatment space with no trip hazards or air-flow barriers (when positioned centrally).
The combination of tried and trusted HEPA filtration alongside the sterilising capabilities of UV-C light technology allow for fast air disinfection in a quiet and compact unit. The unit will comfortably service a room up to 100m3 while multiple units are recommended for larger spaces. Operated by remote control, the AIRIAL-1000 has a 5-stage filtration system with 4 speeds, including a quiet mode for night-time use.
The ceiling-recessed unit is ideal for use in spaces where elderly or confused patients may frequent, or in paediatric units, as these are out of reach with no trailing power cables to pose potential safety risks.
Customer questions, answered!
Are they really just plug in and go? What set-up is required?
The HEPA-800 and COMBI-1200 are fully mobile units with 2m long power cables; easy to push and navigate through corridors and doorways to the space you’re looking to treat. These units have 4 integrated wheels for full mobility. Set-up would involve positioning the units to an optimum location to suit the room layout, considering any access required or obstacles that may interfere with the system’s effectiveness. Then it is a case of simply plugging the COMBI-1200 or HEPA-800 in and setting the unit to the required purification settings to t (based on the shape, size and occupancy level of the room). Only very little training is required, AIRQON would recommend a 20–30-minute handover to staff using the system to ensure controls are understood, any questions are answered, and that staff know how to locate and care for the air purification systems.
The system is designed to be ceiling mounted, this can either be installed or fixed depending on the type of ceiling. The installation process takes between 4-6 hours per system, subject to the environment and location. Installation is a flexible process which can be arranged direct with AIRQON’s experienced engineers or via your own installer. Once installed, the system has a simple remote to control the system. We recommend that the system is set to the optimum settings at the time of installation and then very little modification or change to these settings should be required thereafter.
How do you test the units? What evidence is there around the efficacy of these systems?
AIRQON from Inivos is committed to ensuring the efficacy of all our products, and so, although there’s no specific standards to determine the efficacy of air purification or filtration units, we are working with a UKAS accredited testing laboratory (No. 22215) who have developed their own test method based on ISO 14698-1:2003 ‘Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments – biocontamination control – Part 1: General principles and methods’, for using an air-sampler to detect contaminants in the air. Their final testing report on the HEPA-800 unit concluded that it “achieved an average 92.5% reduction of microbial contaminant in the air (CFU/m3) over 1 hour activity”*. This means that the unit can reduce the number of aerial contaminants (expressed in colony forming unit per cubic meter, CFU/m3) present in the environment by 92.5% (e.g., from 100 to 8 colonies). The same test method was used to measure the efficacy of the Combi-1200 and the AIRIAL-1000, which in turn achieved 95.4% and 83.3% reduction of microbial contaminant in the air over 1 hour of activity.
You can view the full report for each AIRQON system below.
Would these units go into areas with no ventilation currently?
Yes, our air purification systems are primarily designed for use where existing ventilation is insufficient to reduce the risk of airborne contamination to a satisfactory standard within the space.
Are there any requirements that a space must meet before any of the units are used in?
Currently there are no specific requirements a space must meet before the units are used; however, we would recommend that we carry out a site survey first to ensure the space is suitable for the installation of our air purifiers.
How can I clean an air purifier filter?
The COMBI-1200 and HEPA-800 have two air intake pre-filters inside which must be replaced every 24 months. The pre-filters can be cleaned with compressed air every 3,000 hours, or according to the wear indicator on the unit. Depending on the level of dust in the room, do not hesitate to clean the pre-filters more regularly. Both units also contain two blocks of activated carbon & HEPA H13 filters, to be replaced every 6 months, or every 3,000 hours (refer to the wear indicator on the machine). Replacement filters are available to purchase from AIRQON.
What PPE is recommended when removing or cleaning filters? What related services do Inivos offer, if any?
AIRQON recommends that surgical gloves and FFP3 face marks are worn when removing filters however, local risk assessments and guidance should be consulted prior to removing the filters. AIRQON offer service level agreements to support with maintenance of the systems. This includes cleaning the pre-filters and systems, as well as carrying out filter replacement on a routine basis. For more information on this, please visit our website at airqon.com.
How loud are the AIRQON air filtration systems?
All AIRQON systems have multiple speeds to choose from, the higher the speed, the louder the system. At their fastest speeds the noise level does not exceed 65db(a) which is slightly quieter than normal conversation, or the noise you could expect in a general office environment.
The HEPA-800 at its quietest setting is little louder than a whisper, making it suitable for use throughout all hours of the day. A specific night-time mode is available on the AIRIAL-1000 providing minimal disruption to patient sleep. The table below provides more information on the decibel level of each AIRQON product.
|AIRIAL-1000||Level 1: <55dB(a), Level 2: <60cB(a), Level 3: <65cB(a)|
|HEPA-800 (at 2m)||31.6 dB(a) @ 250m³/h, 40.3 dB(a) @ 500m³/h, 47.4 dB(a) @ 800m³/h|
|COMBI-1200 (at 2m)||<65 dB(a) @ 1200m³/h|
Do air purification systems reduce the risk from infection on surfaces?
The air filtration units are created to remove harmful microbes from the air. The H13 filter in both mobile units removes up to 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. The UV-C lamps in the COMBI-1200 eliminate up to 99.9% of pathogens such as germs, viruses and bacteria from the air molecules that pass through it. These technologies remove microorganisms from the air before they land on surfaces but will not remove infectious organisms already present on surfaces, as this is not the designed intent of the systems. There may be some benefit to mobile surface contaminants, but there is currently no testing to prove this.