Advanced Air Purification Technology
The advanced air purification technology utilized in CAP whole-house air purifiers
Whole-House Air Purifiers Feature State-of-the-Art Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Technologies to Target Airborne Allergens and Pollutants
Allergists and other medical professionals widely endorse a technique known as allergen avoidance to improve the health of sensitive patients suffering from respiratory diseases. The premise is simple: reduce exposure to pollutants that trigger allergic reactions and asthma. Central Air Purification (CAP®) units from Abatement Technologies incorporate one or more effective and targeted air purification technologies for this purpose:
- Mechanical particle filtration for removal of airborne particulates
- Activated carbon filter absorption to capture airborne odors and gas phase contaminants
- Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UV-C) to break down microorganisms
- Photolysis oxidation to neutralize organic odors
- HEPA filtration to capture micro-organisms and other microscopic particles
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 52.2 was developed as a standard method to test mechanical filters and measure their ability to trap airborne particles of various sizes. Filters are assigned a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating between 1 and 16. The higher the rating, the better the filter is at removing smaller particles from the air. A standard low-efficiency throwaway furnace filter rated at MERV 1 or MERV 2 is effective only for the largest size particles; a MERV 13 filter is far more effective for capturing much finer particles.
All CAP100 Series Inline Air Purification Systems and CAP600 Series and CAP1200 Series HEPA Air Purification Systems are equipped with MERV 4 first-stage pre-filters designed primarily to capture large, visible dirt and dust particles (50-100 microns or larger) and by doing so, extend the life of subsequent filters. These particles are too large and heavy to be respirable (breathed into the lungs), but can become a housekeeping problem when they drop out of the air and accumulate on surfaces.
Second-stage pleated particle filters in CAP100 Series, CAP600 Series and CAP1200 Series models primarily capture smaller, visible particles that can pass easily through most throwaway furnace filters. The high capacity, five-inch deep CAP100 Series second-stage filter (MERV 13) is especially effective against five to 50 micron particles, and can capture particles as small as one micron in size. Particles in this size range include soot, very fine dust, dust mite and insect remains, pet dander, some mold and fungal spores and pollens.
The VAPOR-LOCK® activated carbon filters utilized in CAP600 Series and CAP1200 Series models capture airborne gasses, volatile organic compounds (VOC) off-gassed from carpets, composite wood furniture and other materials in the home, and odors caused by pets, cooking or smoking. VAPOR-LOCK filters utilize a process known as adsorption, in which the gas-phase molecules of the contaminants are attracted to and chemically bond to the surface of the carbon.
CAP600 Series models are equipped with a standard-duty VAPOR-LOCK filter media that is typically sufficient for the light or moderate odor levels found in most homes. The larger CAP1200 Series models are equipped with a heavier-duty VAPOR-LOCK filter. A second VAPOR-LOCK filter can also be purchased and installed in place of the pleated particulate filter if a home experiences particularly persistent odor problems from cooking, pets, smokers, microbial VOC or other sources.
Learn how activated carbon filters can improve indoor air quality.
Ultraviolet energy is an invisible part of the spectrum of electromagnetic energy generated by the sun. There are three frequency bands within the UV spectrum: UV-A, also known as “black light” is harmless; UV-B rays can cause sunburn; UV-C also known as germicidal UV or UVGI, can in sufficient dosage create a chemical reaction that alters the structure of a microorganism’s DNA, and “kills” by destroying its ability to reproduce and replicate.
Direct exposure to the UV-C energy of the sun helps keep outdoor microorganism propagation under control. This phenomenon can be artificially replicated indoors by utilization of specially designed germicidal UV lamps. Germicidal lamps have been used for more than 50 years to disinfect the air in hospitals and to reduce bacterial contamination in food storage and pharmaceutical facilities.
CAP100 Series, CAP500 Series, CAP600 Series and CAP1200 Series Whole-Home Central Air Purifiers include “UV” models equipped with germicidal UV lamp technology. Microorganisms are irradiated to high levels of UVGI energy each time they pass by the lamp as the air cycles through the central HVAC system of your home. All CAP germicidal UV lamps are ozone-free.
Persistent molds and fungal odor problems can occur in homes with moisture or high humidity problems and in areas where these organisms can thrive and multiply, such as the damp, dark and dirty recesses of an HVAC system. Odor problems can also result from cooking, smoking, pets, fireplaces, wood stoves and other sources.
Each CAP Central Air Purifier product series includes a model equipped with our advanced, dual-frequency UV “Plus” lamp, which combines germicidal UV irradiation and photolysis technologies. The first frequency creates germicidal UV energy to irradiate and break down molds and fungi; the second frequency creates a controlled amount of trivalent oxygen (ozone) for enhanced odor-neutralizing capability.
The return duct installation of CAP products enables ozone to break down odors within the HVAC system, and dissipate quickly, so ozone levels in the occupied living space are not elevated. By utilizing the HVAC system as the "oxidation chamber", ozone gas can penetrate into the coil, drain pan and other downstream system components that are particularly susceptible to mold, fungal growth and odors.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters provide, by far, the highest level of capture efficiency available for microscopic particles and microbes, with the ability to capture even tiny, invisible particles that can pass right through a MERV 16 filter. That’s why every filtration system Abatement Technologies sells for critical air filtration applications such as hospital infectious patient isolation, asbestos abatement and mold remediation is equipped with a HEPA filter.
A true HEPA filter must provide minimum filtration efficiency of 99.97% against particles 0.3-microns (0.00014 inches) in size, in accordance with stringent standards developed by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST). Allergens and biological pollutants in this size range can include smoke particles, bacteria viruses, asbestos, and some mold and fungal spores.
Some other filtration devices such as electronic air cleaners can provide high initial efficiency when the collection plates are clean, but efficiency can plummet as they get dirty. The beauty of a HEPA filter is that its efficiency starts at 99.97% and actually improves as the filter loads. Because of the exceptional small-particle capture performance of CAP600 Series and CAP1200 Series models, these units are the most widely recommended for homes with family members who are asthmatic or have the highest sensitivity to respiratory allergens.
Click here to learn more about the advantages of HEPA filters.