Take a deep breath. One of those breaths that you hold for a few seconds and then exhale slowly. Can you envision the molecules that are in the air, interacting with the capillaries in your lungs bringing clean, fresh oxygen to your body?
But what if, right now, you’re in a TSA line at an airport (or better yet on an airplane) or in the waiting area of the doctor’s office. Did you take a really deep breath, trusting that the air you’re breathing isn’t carrying some sort of bacteria, virus or mold that will make you sick? Or what if you’re on a casino floor waiting for a spot at a poker table, or in a hotel room traveling for business, or in an office, comingled with dozens of your co-workers. How about an aging building at a school, college or university? What other particles, gasses, contaminants are being transported by the air that you are breathing?
Did you take that breathe deeply and appreciate how clean and crisp the air felt?
Last week, I had a chance to visit the MN Wild’s new practice facility in St. Paul, MN. The facility opened last December in a former Dayton’s Department Store building, built in the early 60’s. To get to the space, we went down a freight elevator to the basement, crossed a parking garage and then entered the vestibule. Two steps into the space, the air was different. The deep breathe I took reminded me of the air in Vail, CO.
There is a science to why the air feels, actually is, fresh and clean. In the early 20th century, Albert Einstein discovered that air has natural conductivity. Air naturally contains ions. The ions are positively and negatively charged. Those ions find and attach to the contaminants and either make them too heavy to stay airborne or render them harmless.
If you live and work in the mountains or in a rural area near a forest or lake, then the air you breathe is naturally clean and crisp. There are plenty of ions to continuously scrub the air. Everywhere else, nature needs mechanical help in order for there to be reasonably healthy air inside an occupied space. Outside air is mixed with recycled (conditioned) air, filtered, and then pumped into the space we use for work, healthcare, traveling, exercise, education and more. But in many cases, there are still too many contaminants to achieve continuously healthy indoor air quality.
Dr. Einstein’s discovery led to the development of device that measured air ions, then eventually to a device that created them. That creative technology is called Bi-Polar Ionization. Over the past 50 years bi-polar ionization has been tested and validated as successfully disinfecting air for bacteria, viruses, mold and neutralizing particulates, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Today, with advancements in information technologies, connected devices, and smart applications, bi-polar ionization can be deployed and its effectiveness can be monitored and adjusted in real time to assist a building to maintain high levels of indoor air quality.
The MN Wild chose to add bi-polar ionization to their air handling system to give players cleaner, safer, healthier air. Wild players have mountain fresh air in a workout facility, in a basement, next to an underground garage, in a 60 year old building. The organization and its players have a more positive, productive work environment.
Wouldn’t every employee, customer, visitor, student, or guest want the same thing?
Rob Root is a Sales Director for AtmosAir Solutions located in Minneapolis, MN.