Introduction: the air we breathe
As humans, we are powered by our breathing. We breathe in and out around twenty-two thousand times a day, and the quality of the air we breathe can directly impact everything from how long we live, to potential serious illnesses and even early death.
The air we’re exposed to needs to be understood, and taken seriously. Yet when people think of air quality, they naturally consider outdoor air pollution – smog-filled cities, or smoke billowing from factories.
Understandably, people assume that when indoors – in office buildings, for example – they are protected from the worst pollutants, and that their HVAC filters are providing them with clean air.
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Read on to learn more about the real damage air pollution can do, why you’re not safe indoors, the greatest misconception about filtered air, and how you can ensure that your colleagues and yourself have access to the purest air possible.
Air pollution and the massive damage it causes
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a jaw-dropping 99% of the world is breathing poor-quality air.
Dr Maria Neira, head of WHO’s department of environment, climate change and health, reflects this when noting, “After surviving a pandemic, it is unacceptable to still have 7 million preventable deaths and countless preventable lost years of good health due to air pollution.”
In fact, air pollution is classified as a “major global health crisis” and causes over 10% of deaths worldwide.
Most air pollution cannot be filtered
There are many different kinds of pollutants that cause these dire health issues. Fine particles are a cause, as well as chemical air pollutants that are generally gas molecules – such as NOx, CO, O3, VOC, and SOx.
NOx gasses for example are usually produced from the combustion of fuels, especially at high temperatures – like from car engines. Therefore in areas of high motor vehicle traffic, such as in cities, significant levels of NOx are a constant danger.
The EPA notes that “There is strong evidence that NOx respiratory exposure can trigger and exacerbate existing asthma symptoms, and may even lead to the development of asthma over longer periods of time.” Nox is also linked to heart and lung problems, stroke, lung and other cancers, and other serious diseases.
While some of the larger “fine particles” can be filtered by specialized air filters such as HEPA filters, gas molecules cannot be filtered at all by such filters.
Most people would be forgiven for thinking that all of this pollution is only relevant for people spending time outside. Inside, you’re safe from these fine particles, right?
What this means is that people working in office buildings – particularly in cities – are breathing in these pollutants constantly. Outdoor air pollution is getting sucked into your office building – and your lungs.
Offices are most at risk
Offices are actually one of the most at-risk places to be. They’re “wrong place, wrong time” – wrong place because they’re often located in cities, industrial areas, or main roads – close to sources of pollution; and wrong time, because people are usually in the office during the busiest, and hence most polluted, times of the day.
Already, most major cities have a serious air pollution problem, often seen in the form of smog, but even more often not detectable at all with the human eye.
Air pollution: you cannot run away from it
With this pollution being continuously sucked into your office building throughout the day – and conventional HVAC filters being ineffectual at removing the most dangerous pollutants – you’re leaving yourself and your colleagues exposed to these pollutants at the most dangerous time possible.
So how can you ensure that the air you breathe is actually good for you?
The answer is Urecsys.
Before we introduce Urecsys technology, we need to look to Mother Nature first. The Urecsys founders noted that certain leaves would adapt to environmental changes, sensing the right time to open their pores and let in air, or close them to protect themselves.
Fascinatingly, air pollution is not constant. It fluctuates – a lot. This is due to several factors, including but not limited to wind speeds and direction, environmental, and geographical factors.
That’s the genius of Urecsys – it uses analysis and artificial intelligence to accurately calculate air pollution levels, and much like the leaf in nature, it opens and closes the HVAC system to let in the best air possible.
Urecsys knows how to significantly reduce the most dangerous pollutants, while filters (even the most advanced) are unable to deal with them.
To summarize: Urecsys monitors air pollution and analyzes data collected in real-time. It then takes advantage of fluctuations in air quality – using sophisticated algorithms and AI software – to optimize the air intake of the HVAC system, so that it only brings in air when it’s at its cleanest.
The result? An average of 30% – 70% cleaner air, with no additional hardware required.
It works with existing Building Management Systems (BMS) and all HVAC systems, to provide Smart Air. The benefits?
- Longer lifespans
- A healthier work environment
- More energy, creativity, productivity, and focus
- Less sick days
- Air quality control and ensuring the supply of fresh air exceeds the ASHRAE and CIBSE standards
And because the system is so smart, there are huge energy savings too. In fact, Urecsys has been proven to provide over 25% energy savings on ventilation systems. Just for this alone, it’s worth installing (most Urecsys customers save more on energy than the cost of installing the system).
There are also a significant number of LEED credits available for adding Urecsys, along with compliance with the WELL standard.
In general, the combination of clean and healthy air, alongside energy efficiency, contributes significantly to ESG goals and makes buildings greener and more sustainable.
Imagine what cleaner air can do for your office
Real clean air is within reach – with one call, you can provide cleaner air for yourself and your colleagues to breathe the entire day you’re at the office.
Leave your details below, and a Urecsys Smart Air expert will get in touch.