The first and only patented indoor air quality product in America that is dedicated to improving the health of occupants by using fresh, outside air is now available. Designed and manufactured by Air Innovations, the HEPAir X100® ventilating room air purifier quickly and effectively dilutes, filters and reduces the indoor pollutants that are often cited as causes of asthma, respiratory irritations and allergic reactions.
“Good indoor air quality (IAQ) is critical to maintaining good health,” said Larry Wetzel, a licensed professional engineer, chairman of Air Innovations, and inventor of the HEPAir X100 “Poor IAQ has been linked to the high incidence of asthma, a disease that afflicts more than 22 million Americans, including 6.5 million children.”
Wetzel, who has spent his entire 45-year career in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning field, is considered an expert in IAQ and its applications in ultra-clean environments such as hospital operating rooms, pharmaceutical and semiconductor cleanrooms. He holds eight U.S. and European patents for IAQ products used in industry, health care and homes.
“Ninety-five percent of the families who participated in a recent HEPAir X100 clinical trial were so impressed with how well the product worked and how much better their children felt that they decided to keep the unit afterwards,” said Wetzel.
The commercial launch of HEPAir X100 will be welcome news to the millions of Americans who suffer from illnesses triggered by poor indoor air quality.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home.”
HEPAir X100 is a uniquely packaged combination of an energy recovery ventilator, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, heater and air conditioner that is conveniently window-mounted.
“These features are important because they allow the room to be treated separately from the rest of the house,” said Wetzel. “This prevents the home’s heating and cooling system from continuously re-contaminating the air with pollutants. Also, by isolating the room and providing a slight positive pressure, good air quality can be maintained by mixing and re-circulating room and outside air continuously through the HEPA filter.”
The window-mounted HEPAir X100 is most effective in single-room settings, such as bedrooms where people spend large amounts of time. HEPAir X100 has undergone several years of testing in the bedrooms of children who have physician-diagnosed asthma. The unit’s soothing “white noise” often blocks sounds outside or inside the house, which may help occupants sleep better.
HEPAir X100 research results have been published in two peer-reviewed journals and have been presented at several international indoor air quality technical conferences. The studies show that, within minutes, the unit removes and reduces the kinds of pollutants that trigger respiratory irritations and can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma. These include ultra-fine airborne particulates from cooking, sneezing and animal dander that drift around in the air for hours and are easily stirred up with a minimum amount of activity. A second category of contaminants that HEPAir X100 addresses are gaseous compounds like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde.
“The VOCs are mostly by-products of chemicals used in fuels and building materials such as plastics and paint. Even a computer contains hundreds of components that are made from organic compounds that will continuously release VOCs over time,” said Wetzel.
More than $2 million dollars in competitive grants and matching monies have been invested to further refine the product and expand clinical research in the area of asthma symptom mitigation. Sponsors include New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York State Foundation for Science and Technology, Syracuse Center of Excellence, and CenterState CEO. Research partners to date include Tufts Medical University, University of Buffalo and Clarkson University.
NYSERDA has invested $500,000 in HEPAir X100, in order to aid development and testing and to encourage commercialization efforts. NYSERDA, a state organization that promotes clean-energy technology, became interested in the system because it provides a more energy-efficient way to bring fresh air into a building.
HEPAir X100 is made to commercial standards for durability and longevity. For example, the exterior surfaces are powder-coated aluminum for weather resistance. Pre-filters help capture larger airborne particles such as animal dander. The unit, which runs on regular household current (115V), features cooling, heating or auto modes that are easily adjusted to the individual’s temperature preferences. Subtle blue lights on the display panel continuously indicate room temperature and humidity levels. Air nozzles on the top of the unit are fully adjustable and direct the air in a 360-degree arc to maximize distribution throughout the room. Switches are conveniently located on the front control panel to adjust the re-circulating airflow from low to high speed and to change between occupied and unoccupied room use, for occupant comfort and for energy conservation. A window sleeve, which supports the unit and facilitates installation, is included with purchase.
HEPAir X100, manufactured at Air Innovations’ headquarters in North Syracuse, N.Y., is ETL certified to Underwriters’ Laboratories and Canadian performance and safety standards. The unit is patented in the United States and has been cleared for international registration in 33 European countries and Canada.
HEPAir X100 may be reimbursable under customers’ flexible spending and health savings accounts with a doctor’s prescription. “Customers should check with their medical insurance company for other reimbursement possibilities,” said Wetzel.