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Clean Air Solutions Hamilton
The Difference Between HEPA Air Filters Versus HEPA Air Cleaners?
Which Do You Need?
Today is a strange time to be alive. Even as debate rages on over whether or not coronavirus is an airborne illness, we are simply trying to cope with daily changes we can't anticipate or plan for.
For most of us, we don’t have the time or energy to closely follow the finer points of the scientific community's ongoing international debate regarding how COVID-19 is transmitted and spread.
Our immediate needs are much more practical. In a nutshell, we need to know exactly what we should be doing right now, today, to reduce our risk of catching COVID-19.
HEPA technology is one potentially protective technology we can add to our indoor spaces now. HEPA stands for "high efficiency particulate air." HEPA is a technology that was first developed during World War II. HEPA filtration worked well then and is still a gold standard in the air quality industry today.
In this article, Clean Air Solutions addresses pressing questions that many of our customers have been asking about HEPA technology:
- What is a HEPA air filter?
- How is that different from a HEPA air cleaner?
- Which is better to protect against COVID-19?
How HEPA Technology Works
HEPA technology was first developed during World War II. The goal was to develop sufficiently dense filtration to prevent scientists from inhaling radioactive airborne particles.
It worked. The scientists stayed safe, and after the war ended, HEPA technology found important new jobs in military and civilian circles.
The term “HEPA” is a reference to a specific level of air cleaning efficiency. Any product or filter bearing a HEPA label must be able to remove solid airborne particles of a certain small size with up to 99.97% efficiency.
Therefore, HEPA filters feature both a very dense filter material and a very intense airflow.
The airflow pushes the air and its solid particles into the HEPA filter. Then the HEPA filter captures them and contains them.
HEPA filters can capture particles as small as 0.01 microns.
Can HEPA Trap Coronavirus Particles?
The virus that causes COVID-19 has a width of 0.125 microns. It ranges in overall size from 0.06 to 0.14 microns.
As you just learned, HEPA technology can capture particles as small as 0.01 microns.
For size-comparison purposes: a single hair on your head has a diameter of about 75 microns.
So HEPA technology definitely has the capability to trap infectious SARS-CoV-2 airborne droplets.
How Is a HEPA Air Filter Made?
A HEPA filter is a specialized, incredibly dense filter that makes it nearly impossible for trapped solid particles to escape.
HEPA air filters are made of microscopic glass fibres – imagine a very tiny spool of very thin thread made out of glass and you’ve got the right idea.
The fibres are first tangled up and then heavily compressed to form a mat riddled with tiny air pockets. These air pockets are what admit the solid particles that will be trapped.
The special properties of these glass fibres can trap microscopic solids in three ways: by impaction (direct impact), interception (trapping and sticking) and diffusion (sticking).
A HEPA air filter is a device that suspends this thick glass fibre mat inside a frame or case made of (essentially) molten plastic.
HEPA air filters work with HEPA-rated devices. These can include HVAC systems, vacuum cleaners and air cleaners.
NOTE: Only HEPA-rated devices can pair with HEPA air filters!
What Is a HEPA Air Cleaner?
A HEPA air cleaner is a specialized air filtration appliance specifically designed to work with a HEPA air filter.
These devices are sometimes also called HEPA air filtration systems and HEPA air purifiers.
NOTE: The term "purifier" is more commonly used to refer to technology that works on liquid or gaseous airborne toxins, such as this unit.
HEPA air cleaners can pair with any central (ducted) HVAC system whether it is HEPA-rated or not.
Alternatively, you can add a standalone HEPA filtration system to a non-ducted HVAC to get the same benefit.
What Happens If You Use a HEPA Air Filter in a Regular HVAC System?
Our team at Clean Air Solutions has gotten more than a few calls from customers who want to know if they can simply order a HEPA filter and use it with their regular residential or commercial HVAC system.
Unless your HVAC system is MERV 17 to 20 rated, the answer here is a solid “no.”
Pairing a HEPA air filter with a standard residential or commercial system that has a MERV rating of any lower than 17 is not recommended for two key reasons.
1. The first reason is that the HEPA air filter is so dense it will cause severe airflow restriction. This, in turn, will reduce the life expectancy of your HVAC system and potentially cause blower motor failure.
2. The second key reason is that requiring your standard HVAC system to work with a HEPA filter can potentially cause the blower motor to overheat, triggering a fire.
The Best Way to Add HEPA Filtration to Any Space
Regardless of the type of HVAC system you have, it is possible to add the protection of HEPA filtration to any space.
There are two main types of standalone HEPA air cleaners: central (ducted) and portable (room unit).
Central HEPA Air Cleaner
Central HEPA air cleaners work seamlessly with any central HVAC system by filtering the air before it enters your ducts to get distributed throughout your space.
Portable HEPA Air Cleaner
Portable HEPA air cleaners work with any space by using high intensity air flow to filter the air inside that space.
Get in Touch With The Experts At Clean Air Solutions
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we are considered an essential business and remain open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
We are now offering online ordering, curbside pickup and shipping. Are you looking to install a HEPA filter system for your home and/or workplace? Give us a call at 1-905-549-2470 or visit us online - we service Hamilton and the surrounding areas (including Ancaster, Burlington, Grimsby, Oakville etc.).
10 Antiviral Essential Oils to Purify Your Air & Protect Your Health During Covid-19
Sometimes it can seem like no matter what we do to stop it, coronavirus just keeps on coming back.
It is, however, important not to lose sight of one fact: here in Ontario, we are making progress.
In fact, even as you are reading this, Ontario is preparing to open back up – exciting news for many small (and large) businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
We also now know so much more about COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, and how to protect ourselves when we are in public spaces.
But there is always more to learn. In this week’s blog post, we tackle a favourite new topic here at Clean Air Solutions – how to boost your immune system in natural ways that will also purify your air and give you extra antiviral protection.
Powerful Anti-Viral & Immune Boosting Essential Oils
It is important to note that we don’t have any research yet that specifically links essential oils with COVID-19; however, we do know that certain essential oils have some ability to fight off other viruses, including some strains of influenza and related viruses.
There is also existing research linking the use of certain essential oils to an improvement in respiratory symptoms known to occur with COVID-19.
1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is a time-honored remedy for chest congestion, stimulating productive coughing that can loosen and thin mucus and clear the lungs and respiratory passages.
Cineole is the primary active ingredient in eucalyptus. Cineole can not only ease respiratory distress but is also known to ease muscle pain and tension that often accompanies illness.
2. Oregano Essential Oil
Carvacrol and thymol are the active ingredients in oil of oregano that can inhibit the growth and replication of viruses, bacteria and fungi.
If you prefer, you can also add oregano to your food to get the health benefits of these active ingredients.
3. Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger is another time-honored remedy for everything from gastric distress to respiratory infection. Ginger is also a natural aid to productive coughing that can clear the lungs and thin mucus to expel it from the respiratory passages.
Ginger can be taken as a soothing tea or added to food to get the health benefits.
4. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil is naturally sanitizing against viral, bacterial and fungal threats. Tea tree oil is often used as a decongestant and anti-inflammatory agent to ease symptoms of respiratory infection, bronchitis, colds and flu and allergies. It may also repel bacteria that can cause respiratory distress.
Tea tree oil can be quite harsh if used without being diluted in a carrier oil or diffuser. You can also add a few drops to a warm bath or a pot of steaming (not boiling) water and inhale it to get the benefits.
5. Citrus Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil and sweet orange essential oil are two highly recommended citrus essential oils to ease anxiety and fight inflammation while boosting immune system function against any threats.
Fresh lemon and orange can also be added to water, cold or hot drinks and food.
6. Lavender Essential Oil
Researchers primarily recommend lavender to ease the anxiety that can cause cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body to spike and depress immune system function.
Lavender essential oil, lavender tea and lavender-infused foods are all great ways to take in lavender.
7. Peppermint Essential Oil
Like eucalyptus essential oil, peppermint essential oil is a well-known and widely recognized remedy for easing respiratory inflammation and inducing productive coughing. Menthol is the active ingredient.
Peppermint can also be a support for gastric upset. You can take it as a tea, add it to bath water or a diffuser or mix it with a carrier oil and apply it topically.
8. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary has the same active compound, cineole, that is present in eucalyptus as well.
Rosemary has expectorant properties to help with productive coughing, opening up the bronchial passages and easing respiratory inflammation.
Cineole is being tested for use with patients diagnosed with asthma, COPD, bronchitis and other chronic lung and respiratory conditions.
Rosemary is also a great herb to use for cooking and as an addition to salad dressings to get the benefits of the cineole.
9. Clove Essential Oil
Clove is best associated with holiday goodies, but clove actually has powerful expectorant properties to help with expelling mucus, stimulating productive coughing, easing respiratory inflammation and providing relief from discomfort.
Clove oil can also ease the secondary digestive distress that often crops up with respiratory illness.
Clove oil tea can be especially soothing, especially when mixed with a little honey and ginger.
10. Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme is still best known as a cooking spice, but it has important properties for respiratory health as well.
Thyme is an antiviral and analgesic (pain-relieving) essential oil. The active ingredient of thyme is thymol, which has inflammation-reducing properties and is also recommended for pain-relief and as an expectorant for productive coughing.
Add thyme to steaming water with some fresh lemon for a soothing tea or add fresh thyme to recipes to enjoy the benefits.
Protect Your Home With Whole Home Ultraviolet Light Purification
Right now and through the end of July, get $50 off a whole-home ultraviolet filtration system at Clean Air Solutions that will work seamlessly with any central (ducted) HVAC system.
We are also offering 10 percent off any of our popular professional indoor air duct cleaning services until July 31, 2020.
Our Roto-brush system uses commercial-grade negative vacuum pressure to safely remove trapped toxins from inside your air ducts.
Get in Touch With Clean Air Solutions
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we are considered an essential business and remain open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
Safely Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home After COVID-19
It is absolutely a smart idea to clean and disinfect your home after you or someone in your family has recovered from COVID-19.
What you really don’t want to do, however, is end up infecting yourself and your loved ones when you do it!
Unfortunately, with a literal avalanche of cleaning and disinfecting guidance to sift through – not all of it accurate – many people find out only too late that they have combined the wrong cleaning products to get the job done.
This is especially worrisome given that COVID-19 directly attacks the respiratory system, which can be weakened by inhaling toxic combinations of household cleaners.
In this post, we cover essential tips for safely cleaning and disinfecting your home after COVID-19.
4 Biggest Exposure Threats from COVID-19 Cleaning Supplies
Health Canada reports a more than 100 percent spike in calls to local poison control centres as the pandemic continues on. Many of these calls are due to improper use of household cleaning products.
These are the four biggest COVID-19-related, cleaning product-related exposure issues that are leading Canadians to call poison control centres:
1. Swallowing the cleaning products.
2. Inhaling fumes from the cleaning products.
3. Splash-back from the cleaning products into the eyes.
4. Skin contact with the cleaning products.
Get Prepared: General Cleaning & Disinfecting Safety Guidelines
The place where most people let down their guard around household cleaning and disinfecting products is right at the beginning.
If you don’t handle these potent products correctly, they are absolutely capable of burning you, making you very sick or even killing you.
You absolutely have to take this preparation phase seriously.
Here is what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends to prepare to clean and disinfect your home after COVID-19:
1. Wear your PPE (mask and gloves).
2. Wear eye protection (safety goggles are ideal).
3. Wear long pants and long sleeves, boots or shoes with socks.
4. Open windows and turn on fans to provide extra fresh air and ventilation.
5. Use only room-temperature water (never hot water) for cleaning projects.
6. Read the labels on every cleaning product very carefully.
7. DO NOT MIX ANY CLEANING PRODUCTS TOGETHER - EVER!
We capitalize this last point because when you mix cleaning products together, this can release toxic gases into your air that can cause temporary or permanent respiratory and lung damage, and even death.
4 Huge Dangers to Avoid When Cleaning Your Home After COVID-19
There is a reason bleach is the recommended cleaning agent of choice when it comes to disinfecting your home after COVID-19. When used correctly, bleach can be a very powerful cleaning agent; however, when used incorrectly, bleach is also a very toxic and dangerous chemical in its own right. Use it in the wrong way, or mix it with something it should not be mixed with, and COVID-19 may be the least of your worries.
The same holds true for drinking or ingesting bleach or any other potentially toxic sanitizing or disinfecting product, including hand sanitizer (more on this below).
To stay safe yourself while keeping your family and home safe, you need to make sure to never do these four things when you are cleaning and disinfecting your home after COVID-19.
1. Do not mix bleach with hot water.
When you combine bleach with hot water, it causes the bleach to vaporize. The bleach will then be in the air you are breathing.
Breathing in vaporized bleach can cause coughing, shortness of breath, chemical pneumonia, burning and blistering of the skin, throat and lungs, permanent lung scarring, COPD and death.
2. Do not mix bleach with any other cleaning product or non-water substance.
If breathing in vaporized pure bleach isn’t already dangerous enough, consider what can occur when you mix bleach with another cleaning product.
When bleach is mixed with vinegar, it vaporizes into chlorine gas. Chlorine is the chemical added to pool water!
When bleach is mixed with ammonia, it vaporizes into chloramine gas.
Ingesting vaporized chloramine or chlorine gas can cause burns and blisters to form on the skin, throat and lungs. Coughing, shortness of breath, pneumonia (chemical pneumonitis) and death are also side effects.
3. Do not drink hand sanitizer.
The government of Canada recently issued a nationwide recall https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2020/73291a-eng.php of certain hand sanitizer products. These products were packaged in bottles that were repurposed from the beverage industry.
In some cases, the bottles looked like water, juice or soda bottles. In other cases, the bottles looked like liquor bottles.
In all cases involved in the recall order, consumers were sufficiently confused by the packaging that they mistook the hand sanitizer for a beverage and drank it, leading to accidental poisoning.
This can be especially concerning with young or elderly family members, so be sure to keep all hand sanitizer products in your home out of harm’s way.
4. Do not expose your skin or eyes to UV-C light.
Finally, while it is highly likely that short-wave ultraviolet band-C light has the potential to neutralize active coronavirus droplets, all recommendations regarding use focus on irradiating air or HVAC coils.
The International Ultraviolet Association strongly advises against exposing bare skin to UV-C light as it can cause burns, blisters, skin cancer and damage to the eyes.
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we do offer a range of ultraviolet purification systems for both central (ducted) and non-ducted spaces of all sizes.
We can show you how to safely use these systems to purify both your indoor air and your HVAC coils.
Contact Clean Air Solutions
Clean Air Solutions in Hamilton is open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
Interested in hearing about our recent product promotions? Right now, add whole-home ultraviolet air purification to your HVAC and get $50 off.
Need some professional indoor air duct cleaning done? Schedule our trained technicians and for air duct cleaning and get 10 percent off any of our three popular cleaning packages.