Social distancing is something that we have become highly aware of over the past couple of years. The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way we view group gatherings in confined spaces. In some instances, we are able to avoid this close contact, but sometimes it is difficult to achieve in the workplace.
Conference rooms in particular are areas where a large number of employees may have difficulty following social distancing guidelines. While wearing masks is helpful, it’s also important to ensure that conference rooms have good ventilation and effective air purification systems.
Some modern air purifiers not only remove hazardous particles–including coronaviruses–from the air, but can also completely neutralize infectious viruses and bacteria. This is vital to the health and safety of employees and for preventing the spread of disease for the good of our whole society.
Here we’ll look at some air purifier options to help keep your employees protected from harmful airborne particles while meeting in conference rooms.
Many office buildings have large HVAC systems installed. These systems provide air circulation in addition to heating and cooling. Because air flows through the system and is circulated through the building, including HEPA filters in the HVAC system is a convenient and efficient way to trap hazardous airborne particles. This will help reduce employees’ exposure to viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and other particles caught by the filters.
HEPA filters are highly effective at catching over 99% of all particles 0.3 microns in size. Some studies have shown evidence that HEPA filters are even effective in catching the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
HEPA filters are most effective when installed in an HVAC system that promotes air circulation throughout the building. This will draw air from offices and conferences rooms, pass it through the filter, and circulate the purified area back into the rooms.
While HVAC-installed HEPA filters are most effective, a portable HEPA air purifier is another possible option for the conference room. These units contain the same types of filters as industrial HVAC systems, but on a smaller scale within a self-contained air purifier unit.
The first downside, of course, is that these smaller air purifiers won’t handle an entire building on their own, but some models can treat areas well over 1000 square feet (92.9 square meters). Models with this capacity are suitable for even large conference rooms. The benefit of a portable HEPA air purifier is that these filters are easier to change than those that are installed in an HVAC system. For full building coverage, however, multiple units will be required.
An additional drawback of a system that uses only HEPA filters is that the harmful particles are not actually being neutralized. Instead, they are simply collected in the filters, which then need to be changed. So, while you won’t be breathing in the air while sitting in the room, there is some exposure risk to whoever changes the filter.
Another sub-category of HEPA air purifiers are portable units with ultraviolet-C (UVC) light built-in. These systems operate similarly to normal portable HEPA purifiers, but with the added function of disinfecting many DNA-based hazardous particles, such as viruses and bacteria.
The full picture isn’t quite clear on the effectiveness of UVC for coronavirus neutralization, as there has been limited research published on the subject. However, there is at least one credible experiment published by Cambridge University Press that suggests UVC is in fact effective against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
However, UVC light does have some potentially negative health effects, as direct exposure can cause severe burns and eye injuries. This is more problematic with UVC lamps in open space than in air purifiers with the UVC light contained within. With a portable UVC HEPA air purifier in a conference room, employees should be safe from harm as long as the product is being used in the manner for which it is intended.
AirOclear SOHO Air Purifier
Dusmit produces a number of air purifiers that use a denaturation process to neutralize harmful viruses and micro-organisms. This process uses thermodynamic properties to apply a high-temperature, high-pressure shock to viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other potentially hazardous DNA-based particles, causing the molecular bonds to break and providing 100% denaturation.
The patent-pending denaturation process developed by Dusmit has been laboratory tested and proven to completely neutralize mold, bacteria, dust mites, and viruses–including coronavirus. It is the only technology currently available that provides 100% sterile air.
The AirOclear SOHO by Dusmit is an air purifier that is suitable for both home and office use. It can treat an area up to 2700 square feet (250 square meters), making it an ideal choice for a conference room.
The AirOclear SOHO air purifier has several benefits that are specifically critical in a conference room setting:
The AirOclear SOHO also comes with an optional filter, which is beneficial for catching airborne particles after they are neutralized and for trapping non-DNA-based particles that may be in the air. The filter options range from a MERV 8 rating to HEPA. The AirOclear SOHO can be installed as a standalone machine or integrated into your existing HVAC system.
Employee Health and Safety is a Top Priority
While gathering in confined spaces not ideal in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have long found conference room meetings to be critical to their success. To keep employees safe both from COVID-19 and from other viruses, bacteria, and airborne pathogens, it’s important that conference rooms be outfitted with a proper air purifier.
This may come in the form of a HEPA filter, UVC disinfectant, the Dusmit AirOclean SOHO, or a number of other air purification methods. The important consideration is to choose a system that is safe, convenient, and highly effective for keeping employees healthy and safe.