Businesses, schools and hospitals are scrambling to return to normal in the safest ways possible. One local business claims to have an answer that could revolutionize the way we heat and cool our buildings, all while purifying the air.
HVAC Manufacturing and Technology in Athens has developed bipolar ionization technology that can attach to and deactivate airborne mold, bacteria, allergens, and viruses.
Through a complex team of physicists, engineers and boots on the ground, HVAC has patented and refined new technology that updates antiquated systems while addressing today’s current unprecedented needs.
The woman-owned developer and manufacturer of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning products has been demonstrating the product across the country, and already has orders for 100 units shipping to the National Football League.
“We make intelligent HVAC products,” said John Karamanos, president. “Intelligent Air Systems will change the way HVAC units operate in buildings.”
Schools and businesses are trying to get the technology and HVAC will be increasing staff members to accommodate the orders.
“People in the business are saying this is exactly what they need,” Karamanos said. “It is an organic environment and healthy. This air is good for you.”
Bipolar ionization technology has been around since the 1970s, but HVAC has increased its effectiveness through placement. Instead of placing the ions in the air handler like competitors, HVAC places them directly in the breathing zone preventing the technology from fading by the time it gets to people. These units are portable, plug and play systems that can be placed in a classroom or anywhere pathogens need to be annihilated. Eventually they will be integrated into the new IAV system as well.
“Current systems are good, but lose their effectiveness by the time they get to the source. We thought the best place to put them is in the breathing zone.” Karamanos said. “You have to kill pathogens at the source.”
Ions act as nature's disinfectant, scrubbing the air clean by destabilizing the viruses themselves, making them unable to attach to the host, or humans cells. The cells tell them ‘access denied,’ keeping the individual well.
Imagine spraying a wasps nest with insecticide, when it makes contact, the wasps fall. The airborne pathogens react in a similar way to the ions, except ions are healthy and pure to breathe, it also contains no detectable ozone, which makes it even better.
“You won’t see them, but it is almost like an ionization force field in the breathing zone,” said Elizabeth Theriot, project manager and engineer for this technology.
Typical buildings have units with an air change of four times per hour, but the ionization system streams a continuous supply into the breathing zone. This continuous streaming gives similar effects to a change rate that is much more frequent.
In order to demonstrate the ions being projected into the air, HVAC placed a fog machine at the intake point of the system to give the small particles a visual representation. Within seconds the system sucked in the fog and projected it into the room. Visibility was reduced in seconds. Now imagine those are invisible ions being projected into the breathing zone ready to destabilize the flu, COVID-19 or any other contaminant, including mold spores. There was not a part of the room that was not flooded with ions. During one study, within 10 minutes there was a 99% reduction in COVID-19 pathogens in the breathing zone through ionization.
“We are installing them in our building,” Karamanos said. “That is a big deal. We are installing them to protect our employees.”
Ions are sent into the air through the HVAC system in various ways. If you are in a conference room or assembly line, HVAC has a unit that focuses on the breathing zone in that area making it safe for people to work in close proximity, while breathing fresh clean air. Those working in a warehouse environment have options as well. These stand-alone systems are anywhere you need to be.