A crucial task of any business or commercial organization is ensuring that indoor air quality (IAQ) in their facilities is to the highest standard, in order to provide a safe and comfortable environment for both workers and customers.
The best industrial air filtration system must have a HEPA filter. However, there are many variables that must be considered before selecting a system for your shop, office, or industrial plant.
In the following article, we will explore the functions and strengths of various types of industrial air filtration systems, as well as the associated costs, options, and limitations.
We will discuss the relationships between types of filtration approaches and the health of workers at commercial and industrial sites.
We will also take up questions regarding the legal issue of air quality requirements in workplace settings. Let’s begin by examining the meaning and functions of industrial air filtration systems.
What is Industrial Air Filtration System?
Industrial air filtration systems are an important tool in maintaining sufficient IAQ for large open industrial spaces, including warehouses, organizational centers, and other large open-air workspaces.
Best Industrial Air Filtration Systems
1.XPOWER AP-2000 – Best Portable Air Filtration System for Large Rooms
2.XJ-2 – Isolation Room Air Cleaner
While many air filtration units utilize HEPA filters, not all systems are created equally, and some are better for certain contexts than others.
For instance, the XJ-2 HEPA Air Cleaner is a unit that is intended for use in medical settings, specifically in airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR).
The XJ-2 is designed with a motorized impeller that circulates air through the HEPA filters utilized by the system.
3.ALORAIR CleanShield HEPA 550 – Heavy Duty Commercial Air Scrubber
This Air machine has a Filters change the light, daisy chain GFCI Duplex, Stackable, and variable speed control and regulator. These features allow keeping track of the conditions of the work environment.
ALORAIR Cleanshield HEPA 550 Air Scrubber Ideal for home repair and construction sites, sewage remediation, water and fire damage restoration, a salon, and a print shop.
Ventilation vs. Filtration
A commercial building air filtration system differs from other tools that serve to offer high IAQ, such as ventilation(source).
Whereas ventilation systems function to properly circulate the air in a large industrial space, air cleaning/filtration systems utilize various types of filters or other mechanisms (such as HEPA or UV rays) in order to continuously clean the circulating air.
The size and number of particles removed from the circulating air will depend on the type of system, as well as the type of filters that the system uses. An industrial-strength air filtration system is often necessary for industrial contexts where the IAQ might be insufficient otherwise.
Industrial Air Filtration Costs
The cost of commercial air filtration systems can vary depending on several factors. The purchase and rental prices of different industrial air filtration units can differ in virtue of the specs that the particular system boasts, such as the type of filters it uses and the number and size of particles that the system removes from circulating air.
Some air filtration companies do not list standardized prices for the purchase of various systems but prefer to work directly with specific clientele to meet the needs of their industrial spaces.
However, larger-scale commercial building air filtration systems can sometimes cost tens of thousands of dollars to purchase.
Air Filtration Rental and Purchase
Smaller units can be found within the $800-1500 range or priced on a monthly basis for rent for around $100-200/month. However, for many larger open-air industrial spaces, these small stand-alone units will not be sufficient. When it comes to larger systems for larger spaces, costs increase due to the need for the capacity of the system to increase.
Maintaining adequate IAQ for larger volumes of air costs more. For instance, a commercial air filtration system for a gym may be leased on a recurring monthly basis for around $300-400 per month.
Filter Replacement and Maintenance
Regular upkeep and maintenance of an industrial air filtration system is also incredibly important. This ensures that the system is operating as effectively as possible and not circulating dirty air.
Offsetting the additional costs of replacing filters regularly and general maintenance is one reason that many industrial-strength air filtration systems are offered for rental on a monthly basis.
Sometimes, scheduled maintenance and filter replacements will be built into the monthly cost of renting the system. For those businesses that do decide to purchase a filtration system, regular servicing plans are also available.
Industrial Air Filtration System Manufacturers
Today, there are many top-level manufacturers when it comes to the production of commercial air filtration systems. While there are too many to provide an exhaustive listing, some of the most notable of these manufacturers include Amaircare, Fumex, ElectroCorp, OmniAire, and Larson.
These various manufacturers each offer different strengths and emphases regarding how their various products and systems function to provide high levels of IAQ.
Different Focuses and Strengths
For example, Amaircare is a Canadian company that offers industrial-strength air filtration systems and emphasizes quality, durability, and a focus on simple technological solutions to improving IAQ in both residential and commercial contexts.
Contrarily, ElectroCorp focuses singularly on air filtration in industrial contexts and utilizes a wide range of approaches to removing contaminants, pathogens, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air in commercial spaces.
Finding the right type of industrial air filtration system for a given commercial setting will, in part, depend on understanding the underlying business approaches of the various top-tier manufacturers. You will want to choose a reliable product from a manufacturer who specializes in meeting the specific needs of your industrial context.
What to Look for When Buying an Industrial Air Filtration System
When determining the air filtration approach and options that are right for your specific commercial or industrial setting, there several things to consider:
Physical Dimensions of the Commercial Space
The size, shape, and layout of your industrial setting will influence which approach to air filtration is right for your place of business.
The larger your open-air industrial setting, the larger the volume of air that your air filtration system will need to filter on a given day. Look for a system that can handle the volume of air that you will need filtering in the specific commercial space.
Most Common Contaminants in the Particular Industrial Setting
The types of contaminants that naturally arise from the particular day-to-day industrial activities taking place in your specific location should figure into the decision regarding the type of filtration system that will be most appropriate for your needs.
Some air pollutants are common and can appear in almost all commercial settings, such as mold, allergens, and other VOCs.
However, some contaminants are more heavily correlated with certain industrial processes. Industrial settings that produce particular contaminants (and therefore, that have particular air filtration needs) include:
- Food Services
- Chemical processing and manufacturing
- Graphic Design and Printing
- Construction and Renovation
Different air filtration systems use distinctive kinds of filters and technologies to capture particles from out of the air (for instance, UV germicidal filtration, HEPA filters, or activated carbon).
The kind of system and filters that will be most useful for your circumstances will depend on which types of contaminants are most likely to be produced in your specific industrial setting.
Regulations and OSHA Requirements
Ensuring appropriate IAQ in industrial contexts is not only about making the workplace more pleasant. It’s also about the ethical and legal implications of guaranteeing that workers have a safe and comfortable environment in which to operate.
Poor IAQ can cause both short-term and long-term negative health outcomes and can leave employers legally liable if they knowingly expose workers to contaminants or toxins that will result in negative health effects(source).
The process of choosing a type and size of the air filtration system will depend on all of these factors and the needs of various industries will be markedly different.
What is “HEPA”?
The acronym “HEPA” stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, which is an efficiency standard that is applied to certain air filters. Specifically, this designation refers to a type of air filter that is rated (in the U.S.) as able to trap at least 99.97% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
The technology behind HEPA filters was initially developed in the context of chemical gas masks during the Second World War.
HEPA Efficiency Specifics
HEPA filtration systems function by pushing circulating air through a filter that consists of randomly arranged microfibers. The randomization of fiber arrangement means that these filters also trap particles that are larger and smaller than 0.3 microns.
HEPA filters, because of the type of technology that they employ, are much safer than other air filtration options. HEPA filtration systems are less likely to result in negative by-products than are systems that utilize ionic or ozone filtration.
HEPA-like vs. TRUE HEPA
Some air filtration systems promote themselves as featuring “HEPA-like” or “HEPA-style” filtration. This type of language signals that these systems do not meet HEPA efficiency standards.
Unlike these systems, the XJ-2’s TRUE HEPA filtration provides some of the most efficient and effective air filtration of any system currently on the market. Because it is easily portable and runs incredibly quietly, it is ideal for medical settings in which rooms may need to be rearranged and patients will often be resting.
While the XJ-2 is just one example of an incredibly high-quality system, all of the industrial air filtration systems that rely on true HEPA standards of efficiency can provide superior IAQ in a range of industrial settings.
The Advantages of Portable Industrial Air Filtration Systems
In many commercial and industrial contexts, having a portable industrial air filtration system is incredibly advantageous. Whether workers are moving large palates across an open floor using forklifts or if a hospital isolation suite needs to be rearranged for patient access, being able to change the positioning of your commercial building air filtration system is an exceedingly useful option.
A portable air filtration system allows you access to consistently and reliably clean air, while avoiding the reduction in floor layout options and flexibility that an immobile air filtration system requires.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Many industrial air filtration systems are designed with lockable wheels on their bases, allowing you to adjust their positioning at any time for any reason. This mobility makes the cleaning of facilities more convenient and efficient.
For instance, industrial locations where daily processes produce materials like wood shavings or sawdust will need to be swept and cleaned often. The ability to move an air filtration system easily makes industrial cleaning in this context much more practical.
This is equally true for industries where processes result in material accumulation on internal walls and surfaces. A mobile air filtration system is ideal in these instances.
Maximize Floorplan Layout Options
Another advantage of a portable air filtration system is the fact that such systems provide the option of changing your workplace’s floorplan more easily.
This is advantageous in a range of circumstances, such as reorganizing the workflow on a warehouse floor or ensuring the possibility of rearranging fitness equipment by purchasing a mobile commercial air filtration system for a gym.
Commercial UV Air Filtration Systems
While HEPA filters work to remove and collect a variety of particles from circulating air based on their size (0.3 microns), UV air filtration systems focus on terminating the potentially harmful features of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with the use of UV radiation.
In the same way that natural sunlight can kill bacteria and other potentially harmful microbiological life forms, UV air filtration systems expose airborne molds, bacteria, and viruses to UV rays to render them inert. UV Air filtration systems provide an effective supplement to more traditional filtered air cleaning systems.
A Safe Workplace Means Healthy Workers
Because most commercial air filtration systems do not necessarily remove VOCs including mildew, molds, bacteria, viruses, and other germs, using a UV air filtration system can help to ensure that your workplace is safe and healthy for workers. Providing a safe workplace is obviously important from both an ethical and a legal perspective.
Healthy Workers as a Smart and Ethical Investment
Ensuring high IAQ by nullifying potentially harmful VOCs not only guards business owners against legal liability by ensuring that OSHA workplace requirements and regulations are met to the highest standard, it also proves to be advantageous from a financial perspective.
When an industrial setting provides a healthy and comfortable workplace for employees, it will be more efficient and will require fewer days off for personal health issues.
Although some portion of the health of a place of business requires individual action and responsibility (e.g., washing hands, proper hygiene, and not attending work when sick), if airborne pathogens are cycling through the air in an industrial setting, no amount of personal responsibility will be able to ensure the health of employees.
Utilizing a commercial UV air filtration system can alleviate many of the problems that can arise from low IAQ in the workplace.