WINCHESTER — Clean Air Group Inc.’s AtmosAir Solutions is helping people breathe easier amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bi-polar ionization air cleaning system works with a building’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system and is proven to neutralize coronavirus by almost 100%, according to the company’s website.
Zach Franz, a regional sales representative for the Connecticut-based company, has been helping Virginia businesses equip their air flow systems with the technology, even before the pandemic.
AtmosAir was installed at the Handley Regional Library in Winchester last year and it was recently installed at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and some other businesses in Kernstown Commons. The Frederick County government also recently installed the technology in eight of its municipal buildings, Franz said.
Over the years, the company has done testing on different viruses, such as the bird flu (H5N1) and the swine flu (H1N1), as well as COVID-19.
Tests performed by Microchem Laboratory confirmed that the presence of coronavirus was reduced by 99.92% within 30 minutes of exposure to AtmosAir’s bi-polar ionization technology, according to data the company released in June. The testing replicated realistic conditions, exposing the virus only to the concentration of ions that would be present in an occupied building.
“We had a 99.92% effective rate in neutralizing the virus,” Franz said. “So, once that was confirmed and published, that became the emphasis to really get the technology out there.”
AtmosAir uses a dielectric barrier discharge version of bi-polar ionization. Bipolar ionization technology releases charged atoms that seek and fight against bacteria, mold, allergens and viruses.
The technology, which came to the U.S. in the 1970s, has been used to combat SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and other strains of the flu. It’s an air purification technology that allows multi-core composite tubes to go into the supplied air stream. When the air flows over those tubes, positive and negative ions are released and they work to rid the air of as many air-borne particles as possible, breaking them down and disinfecting the air. Franz said most air quality systems focus on the air return, which means the infectious particles must first go into the air system. But AtmosAir focuses on the supply side.
Franz said to think of the system like a game of “Pac-Man.”
“As long as your system is working properly, you’re delivering ions into that space,” he said. “It’s more of a proactive solution.”
The process uses no harmful chemicals, radiations or byproducts, according to the company, and the technology doesn’t involve filters or other invasive and high-energy-consumptive processes.
More than 7,500 locations across the world have installed the technology since its inception, including The Staples Center in Los Angeles and other sports venues, commercial companies, large office spaces, universities, hospitals, airports and more.
Technology that provides real-time feedback on air quality is also available through the company and can be monitored through a smartphone application.
“Not only are we changing the air, but we’re showing you how it’s done,” Franz said.
For more information, visit atmosair.com.