Air Purification and Indoor Air Quality for Retail Stores
February 23, 2021
As we continue to combat the spread of the coronavirus, evolving regulations and protocols continue to impact daily operations for retail stores. From social distancing and wearing masks, to increased sanitation requirements and occupancy level restrictions, these protocols provide visual proof to customers and employees that you are doing your best to protect them. However, airborne pathogens are invisible, and they may be found in places that offer no visual evidence of sanitation. We are talking about the very air occupants breathe while in your store. We now know that indoor air quality can play a large role in the spread of invisible, microscopic particles that can rapidly infect all those who inhale them. Below, the experts with Action Services Group help explain the important of indoor air quality and how you can help improve this with an air purification system for your retail store.
Indoor Air Quality in Retail Stores
Indoor air quality, or IAQ, in retail stores has become more scrutinized. In fact, in July 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO), released a report that brought IAQ to the attention of business owners, unions, industry professionals, and customers alike. This report explained how the SARS-CoV-2, more commonly known as COVID-19, can be rapidly transmitted from person to person in crowded, indoor spaces. It further explained that IAQ in retail can be significantly improved through upgrading air filters throughout the building.
IAQ In Retail
But what exactly is retail IAQ? It starts with airflow, but it is so much more than that. Aerosolized pathogens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dust, allergens, and other particle matter of varying sizes are all circulated throughout indoor air as ductwork cycles them through the system. IAQ in retail is about controlling those particles. Improving indoor air quality in retail stores means removing as many of these particles as possible in an effective manner, while boosting the flow of clean air throughout the facility. In many cases, this means upgrading air purification for retail to address a combination of ventilation, filtration, pressurization, and relative humidity.
We have done the leg work on making sure we offer you the best air purification product on the market. But don’t take our word for it, we have the clinical testing to prove it. To make this easier, we have broken down the terms, controls, and the findings in a way that anyone can understand. To see the results of the Halo Smart P air purification system efficacy report, click here.
Improved Filtration is Essential
As we learn more about the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, epidemiologists, biologists and engineers continue to provide potential solutions for IAQ in retail. Many suggest the use of Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 13, or higher, filters.
Understanding MERV Ratings
MERV is the accepted rating system for filters, as developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). A MERV 6 rating, for example, will eliminate 49.9% of particles, between the sizes of 3.0 to 10.0 microns. By comparison, a MERV 14 rating will eliminate 75%-84% of microns between the sizes of 0.3 and 1.0 microns; additionally, it will remove 90% or more of particles that are 1.0 to 3.0 microns. This ability to remove even the smallest of particles means that a MERV 14 rated filter will be more effective in preventing the spread of illnesses and other aerosolized pathogens, greatly improving indoor air quality.
The Halo Smart P air filtration system comes with a HEPA H14 filter. While a MERV 16 filter captures >95% of particles in the entire size range tested (0.3-10.0 microns), a HEPA filter captures 99.97% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns. The filtering efficiency of a HEPA H14 filter is even higher for particles larger or smaller than 0.3 microns. Learn more about the Halo’s HEPA filter.
Air Purification for Retail
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is believed to primarily be spread from person to person via “respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.” With regulations increasing, like social distancing, wearing masks, and more cleaning protocols – airborne pathogens can be harder to “sanitize” using standard practices. The use of air purification systems, however, can directly impact the level of airborne pathogens. MERV 13, or higher, filters, such as those used in our Halo products, are essential this sanitation process. Some retail chains have already started to address the importance of IAQ. Lidl, a German-owned grocery chain with roughly 100 stores in the US, has already started upgrading their air filtration systems nationwide. Others are following suit.
Protecting Occupants Today and Tomorrow
Investing in a quality air filtration system can be costly. In fact, some filters will range in cost, from $0.05 per square foot to $0.45 per square foot. These costs, which vary by location, may seem prohibitive. However, working with a reputable professional, such as Action Services Group, can ensure you not only make informed decisions on air purification upgrades, but also know what financial options are available. (Have you heard of the new, expanded uses for a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)? It an entirely forgivable loan that, when used for COVID-related upgrades and improvements, as well as payroll assistance for employees. )
Action Services Group also offers our customers a way to finance your air purification system. For more information on financing, please email [email protected].
While the push right now is to invest in air purification for retail because of COVID-19, these systems will continue to prevent the spread of illnesses and improve indoor air quality beyond the current epidemic. This means it is an investment that could continue to aide in our fight against pollution, diseases and respiratory damages for years to come.
Retail IAQ with Action Services Group
Action Services Group has been working with retail facilities across the nation for over 30 years. Not only through air purification upgrades, but also with ultraviolet (UV-C) disinfection applications. Intimately familiar with the SBA PPP guidelines, our professionals can help you not only identify potential cost assistance, but also the best solution for your needs. Contact Action Services Group today to learn more about retail IAQ and how you can improve it. Call 610-558-9773 or email [email protected], you can also schedule a call by clicking the button below.
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“We are thrilled with our new air purification system and our whole organization can rest easier knowing our buildings indoor air quality is 99.995% filtered of all pollutants. The installation crew was quick, professional, and they cleaned up after themselves. Thank you, Action Services group!” Director of Human Resources – Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center