The Importance of Validation and Testing for Indoor Air Quality Technology

The importance of validation and testing for indoor air quality technology By Tony Abate, CTO, AtmosAir

Workers are returning to the office, residents are moving back to urban centers, and some amount of normalcy is returning. Amidst the COVID-variants that have arisen in recent months, the need for proper, fully tested and validated indoor air quality (IAQ) technology is in high demand, and is more important than ever. One of the few that offers actual, third-party validation through studies, certifications and standardized laboratory testing is AtmosAir Solutions, who have managed to remain in front of competition, in part due to their real-time monitoring investment strategy which has accelerated the transparency of continues IAQ data and emphasized the efficacy and validation of the technology as a health and wellness solution.

A key factor in business’ strategy moving forward for indoor air quality is to incorporate and meet enhanced, universal standards and protocols for public health and safety. More specifically, through validated efficacies, users of these technologies are able to have confidence in the value and consistency of their products and services. And this will be vital as employees slowly return to office, or continue in hybrid roles. The US Environmental Protection Agency refers to buildings with continuous air quality complaints as having “Sick Building Syndrome” and the agency states 30 percent of buildings could be considered to have this. Due to poor air quality, the US loses $60 billion per year due to lost productivity or absenteeism, per the EPA. Innovative technologies, such as AtmosAir’s new IAQ platform which will launch in Q2 of 2022, will streamline this process and ease concerns that owners and operators may have in meeting regulatory requirements and reducing costs.

These factors emphasize that indoor air quality products and technology are a necessity, not a luxury, and are here to stay in the property management and development industry. The IAQ industry is expected to grow by more than $10 billion by 2025, and technology and solutions companies that are able to offer validated and tested equipment will be in front of the pack. These kinds of tech can also assist in making buildings more sustainable, while also reducing energy and operational costs, and supplying an added layer of protection against viruses, bacteria and mold.

Consider the aforementioned AtmostAir, whose technology was tested against coronavirus, and showed that after just 30 minutes, the technology demonstrated a 99.92 percent reduction in the amount of the virus as opposed to without AtmosAir treatment . The percent reductions at sixty and ninety minutes are similar. Additionally, AtmosAir’s technology has received many certifications, including: Intertek ETL listed to UL 2998 Verified Ozone Free, CE Marketing (Europe), Intertek listed to CAN/CSA and USEPA US Energy Star Certification, among many others.

Moreover, AtmosAir has many industry associations and affiliations, including: the US Green Building Council, the Healthy Building Alliance and Energy Star Partner, to name a few, in addition to having undergone laboratory testing, field testing, industry peer-reviewed studies and a Microchem study.

What’s clear is that indoor air quality testing and real time IAQ monitoring will be at the forefront of sustainable building designs moving forward. When Intertek conducted their Air Cleaner Test for AtmosAir, the results showed an 85.8% effectiveness on reducing sub micron particles. More specifically, these are very small particles, like bacteria and viruses that only HEPA filters can capture.

While COVID remains an obvious factor in the decision to install IAQ systems or to improve existing systems, other sources of pollution and poor air quality remain as well. The pandemic has accelerated what many already knew: IAQ is top of mind already and will remain a part of the overall strategy for building operators moving forward. Properly vetted technology that has been thoroughly tested, validated and certified is one of many steps necessary to improve and also sustain a building’s sustainability and overall health.

Lastly, energy costs are rising sharply with oil at more than $100 per barrel and natural gas and electric rates rising as well. While outside air ventilation remains a strategy to improve air quality, conditioning outside air is the largest user of energy in any commercial building. The AtmosAir technology improves air quality without the need for added outside air ventilation and fits well into any sustainable building strategy to provide for a clean, healthy and energy efficient space.