Clean air technology: The future of workplace ventilation

Posted on 7 Jul 2021 by The Manufacturer

As the world is beginning to repair after the devastating effects of COVID-19, the importance of clean air has never been more important. After 18 months of reiteration of the benefits of fresh air in stopping the virus spread, companies are beginning to step back and look at how they can make the workplace safer. I caught up with David Moulton, UK Managing Director of Camfil to discuss the importance of clean air technology.

Camfil is a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, providing systems for air filtration and pollution control. Structured around their motto, ‘Clean air is a human right’, Camfil aims to benefit human health and help the environment. With clean air more important than ever, David walks us through the technology of clean air.

What is Camfil and its technology?

Camfil is a world leader in the manufacturing, supply and distribution of clean air technology. From air filters that are used in HVAC systems to high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters for controlled environments to clean air systems like HEPA air purifiers and industrial dust and odour removal systems, Camfil offers a range of solutions available to handle almost all airborne contamination risks.

Image courtesy of Camfil
Image courtesy of Camfil

How was Camfil used during COVID-19 and what were its results in terms of reducing infection rates?

In guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and many other organisations, Camfil solutions are recommended in two key areas for combating the spread of airborne viruses such as COVID-19. The first area of recommendation is in a facility’s HVAC system. The guidelines state that improving air changes in your facility with the right filtration levels are crucial. We have been seeing many of our customers upgrading their HVAC systems from ePM1 50 percent filters to ePM1 85 percent and above filters in their HVAC systems. The other range of products that have become important for creating reduced risk environments is HEPA air purifiers. According to all relevant standards, when your facility cannot meet minimum air change requirements or minimum filtration levels it is important to utilise HEPA air purifiers to reduce the risk of airborne transmission. The reason HEPA air purifiers are recommended is that they can capture 99.995 percent of airborne contaminants in one filter pass. This means that all buildings can be quickly upgraded (it’s a plug and play solution after all) and we don’t need to worry about recirculation contamination risks that can be present in other systems.

Why is filtration technology important? Why should employers and manufacturers prioritise it?

Air filtration technology has been around for a long time and has been proven to not only protect people from airborne viruses, but also protect them from other airborne contaminants (some workers can suffer from dust and pollen allergies). From an employer’s point of view this is important for a number of reasons. The first is obvious: reduced sick days. By protecting workers’ health, we can reduce the number of days that they may be sick, which can affect operational efficiency. The second, which is also the most forgotten, is that clean air has many health benefits, one of which being that we can perform better. A study conducted by Harvard University tested the performance of workers for cognitive tasks based on three different scenarios. The first was a “poor air quality office”, the second was a “good air quality office” and the third was an “optimised office”. The people working in the “good air quality office” performed 61 percent better than the people in the “poor air quality office”. The people in the “optimised office” performed 101 percent better than the people in the poor air quality office. So why is filtration technology important to employers? Studies suggest fewer sick days and improved productivity.

Image courtesy of Camfil
Image courtesy of Camfil


How can ventilation technology help the manufacturing and supply chain sector?

Clean air technology can help all businesses sectors. In the supply chain sector such as warehouses and distribution centres we see clean air needed to not only protect the people but also protect the products. Dust build up can lead to automated scanning failures and dirty boxes. These can slow down the operational efficiencies within these sectors. From the manufacturers point of view not only is clean air technology aimed at protecting employees from airborne diseases, but it can also help capture airborne contaminants created in the manufacturing process, thus protecting employees and the products themselves.

In what ways can Camfil help the environment?

We protect the environment in two ways: the first is the capture and removal of airborne contamination risks that are generated within a facility. Through our air filter range and industrial dust, fume and odour extraction systems we can reduce the levels of pollutants released into the environment. The other method is by helping our customers towards their Carbon Net Zero goals. By utilising our range of Low Energy air filters, we are able to help companies reduce their energy consumption, which in turn reduces their carbon emissions.

Image courtesy of Camfil
Image courtesy of Camfil

What’s next for Camfil? 

For Camfil our focus is on continuing to invest in our technology to ensure we are bringing optimized solutions to our customers. We have recently announced a large upgrade to our Flagship R&D facility in Sweden (We have six R&D facilities around the world). Bringing the best clean air solutions to face current and future air quality requirements is key.

What is the company’s overall objective?

Clean Air is a Human right has been our long-standing motto. We aim to help all our customers to ensure the air quality in their buildings is optimised. This optimisation is based on improved air quality but with lower energy consumption to really drive towards companies’ net carbon zero goals.

For more information on  Camfil technology visit the website.

David Moulton is the UK Managing Director for Camfil. David Moulton, UK MD Camfil