We all know we’re supposed to change our filter at some point to ensure good health, but what does it mean, and what will happen if we skip it? Replacing filters in air purifiers can pose a significant health compromise, not just because of what it fails to do - clean your air - but also what happens if not replaced.
What is a HEPA filter?
A HEPA filter, or "high-efficiency particulate air filter,” is a type of pleated mechanical air filter that can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm). Our HEPA Ray Filter is a unique patent exclusive to Aura Air devices. It features a 99.99% success rate in removing harmful particles, including SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A, the primary cause of seasonal flu.
Posing New Health Risks
Changing your filter is essential in preventing health threats in more ways than one. If your filter is not changed in time, it will be clogged with micro-organisms like bacteria, viruses, and mold particles. It won’t be able to clean new ones and only capture them on the filter’s surface.
As a result, the filter can potentially serve as a fertile breeding ground for new mold and bacteria, especially if the air purifier is not used in a while. These factors can potentially do the opposite of the filter’s main purpose and compromise your health on a daily basis in particular for people with breathing problems, allergies and aspergillosis.
So, what happens when you don’t replace your filter on time? Let’s start with the simplest consequence; the filter will be clogged and unable to capture and clean harmful airborne particles. Filter efficiency, airflow, and the overall filtration performance of an air purifier drop significantly when the filter media is clogged up through prolonged use.
Your air quality will be negatively affected by a 50% decrease in filtration levels after six months of use. Vacuuming will result in the fibers becoming loose, widening the gaps in between, and allowing more particles to flow through.
The last reason might not harm your health directly in the short term, but it will in the long run, in addition to hurting the environment and your bank account. A clogged filter makes the whole air management system work less effectively. Once the system can’t function at its best, the air has trouble moving through it.
With fewer air exchanges per hour, the system works harder to provide clean air, consuming more electricity and increasing your utility bills.
Of course, being energy efficient is also an environmental concern as global efforts are being made to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other pollutants as well as decrease water use to fight climate change and stop global warming. This aspect might affect your long-term goals of maintaining good air quality, but it's critical to any business leader with a solid ESG plan.
When do I need to change my Ray Filter?
The EPA recommends sticking to the manufacturer’s recommendations, with most brands typically recommending a filter replacement every 60 to 90 days. Aura Air has an exceptionally long-lasting filter, so you’ll only need to change it every six months with an easy replacement process that only takes a few minutes - click here for the replacement process - https://youtu.be/C2ICRh8Dgec
In conclusion, changing your filters is important for many reasons, including health, finances, and the environment. Seeing what’s in your air might be impossible at times, but ensuring it is clean and healthy is much easier with smart decision-making and routine maintenance.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the levels of indoor air pollutants can be as much as five times higher indoors than outdoors – and lockdowns have exacerbated that even further. The World Health Organization (WHO), report that around 3.8 million people a year die from exposure to household air pollution.
We believe that the next smart home and office "must have" will be an intelligent system that not only purifies and disinfects the air, but most importantly, provides continuous monitoring of real-time air quality in the home and workspace - working completely independent of existing air conditioning and HVAC systems. Not just a dedicated system for improving air quality and removing viruses, bacteria and irritants from the air, but continuously monitoring the air for dangerous conditions. An intelligent system that will most critically, take rapid, automatic, unattended decisions and also provide timely feedback. This may be something as simple as sending an e-mail alert to open windows in a Boardroom because the CO2 levels are too high (something that an air filter system cannot adequately address - even with a Carbon filter).
MONITORS ALLERGIES AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Aura Air provides a free App that allows home users to enter their family’s allergies and medical conditions, so that the system can respond and advise accordingly. For instance, if it is heavily polluted that evening, or the pollen count is high, it will suggest that maybe that run is not such a great idea and that it’s possibly actually healthier to stay indoors and watch a movie!
This capability is possible because Aura Air integrates with the third party Tomorrow.io App which provides up to date, local outdoor air quality data using your post code entry when you first sign into the App.
PATENTED, PREDICTIVE INTELLIGENCE
Aura Air filed an International Patent in October 2019. The patent "utilises the progress in the IOT and Al fields for an advanced prediction capability … to provide highly reliable monitoring and control of air pollution and hazardous substances." The current Aura Air firmware release allows totally unattended operation of the filter system. The system automatically detects and responds to poor air quality and hazardous substances. It also has an API for interfacing with existing HVAC systems as well as IFTTT integration to allow further AI customisation.
does your air filter actually deliver?
At the core of the Aura Air monitoring technology are 7 sensors, measuring key air quality parameters every 10 seconds - CO2, CO, VOC, PM2.5, PM10, Temp and Humidity. Unlike other filter systems which typically just display a red, amber and green light on the top of the unit, Aura Air allows you to see that it actually "does what it says on the tin”! The free SmartPhone and Tablet App provides friendly graphs to quickly spot air quality issues, as well as controls to easily switch to a “low” mode for Movie viewing, or to pre-programme “night mode” settings when the Aura Air unit is used in a bedroom.
for businesses - an air quality audit trail
In a workplace environment, the optional B2B Dashboard App, stores the vast amount of air quality data that Aura Air has gathered, across potential hundreds of units, in the Cloud for up to 12 months. You can can extract and review air quality data back in time on your computer, exactly like a CCTV recorder. This historical data is a very useful tool, should your business need to provide supporting evidence - if you are unfortunately involved in an air quality or COVID-19 litigation case. This data can also be used for risk assessment analysis.
staff and client peace of mind
Every room deploying Aura Air can also be provided with a QR code, which can posted on the wall, providing a room-specific URL, to allow staff to quickly view the air quality in that particular room on their SmartPhone or Tablet.
Finally (and we hope, becoming less important as we move out of this terrible pandemic), we would like to mention that Aura Air was the first air filtration/disinfection system in the world that successfully completed Clinical trials back in July 2020 on successfully destroying the Coronavirus.
AURA AIR set to become a unicorn start up?
In February this year, Aura Air was one of 10 companies selected by the Google Startup Growth Lab - companies that Google believes will fast track to become one billion-dollar companies.
In December last year, Aura Air signed a $30 million deal with Japanese distributor J-TEC. One of their target markets is Karaoke. The Karaoke Association says that there are 100,000 karaoke rooms all over Japan. Currently, most of them are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic…
With staff & students returning to schools next month, the emphasis on employers providing “safe” working spaces will be paramount given are awareness of the presence of more contagious strains of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the UK. With many “COVID-related” EL (Employer’s Liability) and PL (Public Liability) claims expected this year, employers need to reconsider what air quality measures are “prudent”, what constitutes “diligent”, “demonstrating foresight” and what represents a “reasonable level of professionalism” when seeking to operate a safe working environment.
Health & Safety regulations need to be re-assessed
With COVID-19, the Health & Safety at Work 1974 Act Sections 2 & 3 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work 1999 Regulation 3, need to be urgently re-visited and new consideration given to what can reasonably and practicably be expected of those responsible for the safety of others.
Firstly, what is “reasonably practical”? The last few months have firmly established that the virus is transmitted by airborne droplets that can remain in the air for more than 30 minutes, when there is an absence of adequate ventilation or suitable air purification systems. Coming into 2021, new air disinfection products have been announced that are easy to install, at low cost and most importantly have undergone clinical trials, proving their efficacy against the COVID 19 virus. Is there any reason why schools and colleges should not be deploying these systems out of a professional and legal duty of care?
Checking the effectiveness of air quality systems
Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 Section 2(6) requires a means for both the employer and employee to check the effectiveness of such measures. Very few air filter or disinfection systems have an integrated ability to monitor and display air quality readings. Parameters such a PM2.5 & PM10 measure particulate levels in the air that correspond closely to the aerosol droplet sizes known to carry the coronavirus. VOC measures fumes and other volatile gas levels. CO2 and CO are well known for their effects. But what is perhaps less widely appreciated is that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus thrives at high and low humidity levels.
The new Dashboard App, now available in the UK from Aura Smart Air http://www.aurasmartair.co.uk, allows seven key indoor air quality parameters (PM2.5, PM10, VOC, CO, CO2, Humidity & Temperature) to be monitored in real-time and recorded in the cloud, to provide a full audit trail of the performance of every one of their Air Filter systems installed in a school or college. Furthermore customised ‘alerts’ can be created to send e-mail messages to staff and management to warn them, not just of high PM2.5 & PM10 levels, but also other situations which filter systems typically cannot rectify, such as high CO2 levels, where the only effective solution is to open windows or doors.
There is now no excuse for a school to not provide air filtration/disinfection/monitoring systems to protect both their staff and students. Post pandemic there will no doubt be an enhanced awareness of the influence of air quality on student performance and health. On a commercial note, Insurance companies, in the near future, may offer reduced rates for those organisations pro-actively improving air quality inside their buildings and ALSO providing a full audit trail of critical events and 12 month traceability. They may even in the future make such measures a condition precedent to insurance protection.
Ensuring a safer and healthier environment via a compact, intelligent, clinically proven, air disinfection and filtering solution.