January 20, 2021
More pollutants and contaminants are in the air than many of us realize. And it’s not just our outdoor air that’s polluted. Indoor air pollution is a genuine problem, and it can cause serious health issues for humans, as well as damage to delicate and valuable equipment. Air treatment and filtration systems have many uses and applications, from home air purifiers to industrial air filters for large buildings and manufacturing plants. Air treatment systems are also important for air compressors and can protect this type of equipment from corrosion and early wear and tear.
What Is Air Treatment and Filtration?
The air around us is full of tiny contaminants that we can’t even see. Some of these airborne contaminants can be harmful to our health if we breathe in a large quantity. Dust, pollen, mold and allergens can all be found floating around the air. In some cases, indoor air is far more contaminated with allergens, pollution and other airborne particulates than the air outside. This is because the indoor air gets trapped and does not have the same kind of ventilation and circulation that it has outside. So, dust and contaminants can build up more easily in an indoor environment. This is true whether it’s for a home or business.
This is why it’s smart to have air filters in our homes, as well as in other commercial and industrial applications. Air filters are used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and other home filtration systems to improve home air quality, reduce the amount of allergens and irritants in the air and help protect the health of all the people inside the building. Clean air facilities use various types of air filtration systems to keep the air free of dangerous contaminants and for worker protection and health.
Filters are just as important, if not more so, in commercial and industrial settings that use compressed air systems. Air treatment and filtration for compressed air systems protect the workers in the facility as well as the air compressor equipment. The dirt, dust, contaminants, vapors and other particulate matter are all filtered out, providing clean, dry air to your compressed air system and tools. Filtering all this out means your equipment lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
Benefits of Air Filtration Systems
Air filtration systems have many different applications and come with numerous benefits for human health. And when air treatment and filtration are used for air compression systems, it has added benefits of protecting the equipment as well. Here are the main benefits of using an indoor air filtration system:
Common allergens in the air include dust, pollen, tobacco smoke and pet dander. And anyone who’s sensitive to allergies experiences a reaction when they breathe in these contaminants. Air purifiers pull in the surrounding air and draw this air through a system of filters, sometimes with multiple different filters, to remove more allergens and other particulates from the air.
Some air purifiers also use ionizers to put negative ions into the air. These negative ions attach to positively charged particulate matter in the air, making them heavier so they fall out of the air. If allergies are a main concern, beware of air filtration systems that produce ozone, which can also be an irritant for allergy sufferers.
Removes Triggers for Asthma
Asthma and allergies often go hand in hand, but there are some additional airborne triggers that can make asthma symptoms worse. These triggers include dead skin cells, dirt, carbon monoxide, cooking smoke and certain chemical irritants like cleaning sprays, perfumes and other personal care products. Other asthma triggers in the air include off-gassing chemicals from new furniture and carpeting, mold and cockroaches. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a good choice for those with asthma because they are best at removing the tiniest particles that aggravate asthma symptoms.
Gets Rid of Tobacco Smoke
Inhaling cigarette and tobacco smoke, even if it’s second hand, comes with a host of health risks. It can make asthma worse, aggravate the lungs and lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and other serious complications. However, air filters can help remove smoke and residues from smoking in the air. The best air filtration systems for tobacco smoke utilize HEPA filters as well as activated carbon. The HEPA filters trap the tiny particles in the air, including from smoke, and the activated carbon traps even more.
Reduces Radon Gas
Radon gas is odorless and colorless, so it can easily go undetected in the air. It’s made through a natural process where pockets of uranium are found in rock, soil or water. This gas can seep into homes and other buildings through cracks in the foundation, walls or pipes and is very common in certain areas. However, radon is harmful to human health and can cause lung cancer with too much exposure. Getting rid of radon in a building involves sealing up cracks, improving ventilation and using air purification methods. Air filters can’t eliminate radon on their own, but they can drastically reduce the radon in the air and mitigate many of the health risks associated with this harmful gas.
Reduces Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos was used for insulation and other building materials in the past. Today, this harmful material isn’t used any more, but older homes or buildings may still have some in the walls or roofing. As these materials deteriorate, or if a building is modified or remodeled and the asbestos is exposed, small particles can get into the air. Breathing in asbestos dust can cause serious breathing problems and certain cancers. In known cases of asbestos exposure, professional abatement strategies are recommended, which generally include air filtration to remove as much asbestos from the air as possible.
Limits External Pollutants
The interiors of buildings are not immune to the pollutants in the air outside. Our homes and other buildings are not airtight, and it’s easy for air pollution to find its way inside. Exhaust from cars, diesel engines and factories is in the outdoor air and can easily seep inside and become trapped indoors. These pollutants contain carbon dioxide, black carbon and carcinogens that can all be deadly in large enough quantities. This is especially a concern for any buildings near freeways or in urban environments. Activated carbon and HEPA filters are especially good at removing external pollutants from the indoor air.
Reduces Carbon Dioxide
Humans and other animals regularly expel carbon dioxide gas during breathing. The gas is harmful to breathe in if it makes up a larger portion of the air. And unfortunately, the newer, more airtight doors and windows that are so much better for a building’s energy usage can actually trap more carbon dioxide inside. Large amounts of carbon dioxide inside a building can cause the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Excess sweating
In extreme cases, unconsciousness and death are possible. High-quality HEPA filters can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, recirculating healthier air to breathe.
Reduces Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds are dangerous chemicals found in paints, solvents, new furniture and carpets, air fresheners and dry cleaning chemicals. These harmful substances can cause nausea, breathing problems and irritated eyes and throat. Excessive exposure can lead to serious complications like leukemia and lymphoma. They can also be the source of funny odors in the home. HEPA filters can remove most VOCs from the air, making it much healthier to breathe. You can also avoid products that use VOCs to reduce exposure.
Shields Older Adults and People With Chronic Illness
More vulnerable populations, such as older adults or those with underlying conditions, may be more likely to be affected by contaminants and particulate matter in the air. Fortunately, air filtration systems can be used to clean up the air and make healthier indoor environments for these higher-risk groups of people, as well as help prevent the spread of diseases. This is why specialized air filters are especially critical in hospitals, doctors’ offices and other health care facilities. Clean air environments are essential for healthcare facilities of all types.
When air filtration systems are used with air compressors, they clean the air and protect the expensive machinery and other equipment in the facility. The dust and particulates in the air can cause corrosion and lead to early wear and tear on valuable equipment like air compressors. Specialized air filtration and treatment equipment can be used with air compressors to protect them and keep all contaminants out so they operate more efficiently and last much longer.
Air Treatment Products
For compressed air systems, treatment and filtration is an essential component that ensures clean air moves through the system. This protects the health of the workers at the facility and also shields the machinery and equipment from any contaminants in the air. The air treatment filtration process for compressed air can use a few different products to achieve the best results for different industries and purposes. Let’s take a closer look at the various air treatment products available:
Without a dryer present in a compressed air system, there is always the risk of condensation buildup. This excess moisture easily accumulates, making it easier for dirt and particulate matter to settle into the moisture and cause damage and contamination in the system. It can also lead to oxidation and wear out certain parts of the compressor more quickly. There are two main types of dryers used with air compressors:
- Refrigerated dryers: Most refrigerated dryers use a two-stage heat exchange system to cool down the moisture in the air, helping it to condense properly and then be removed from the system through a drain. Quincy Compressor is proud to offer four different types of refrigerated dryers — non-cycling dryers, cycling dryers, variable speed dryers and compact high-temperature dryers. These dryers are high efficiency and backed by comprehensive support and warranties.
- Desiccant dryers: With this type of drying system, the air is not cooled to condense and drain moisture. Instead, a desiccant material absorbs the moisture. At Quincy, we have several types of desiccant dryers available for use in compressed air systems. These include heatless dryers, heated dryers and blower purge dryers.
Air filtration units designed to work with air compressors help to remove all sorts of contaminants from the system. Quincy offers a wide variety of air filtration systems that enhance air compressor performance, including:
- Standard filters: These filtration systems can include particulate, coalescer and absorber filters, and they all have steel and aluminum components, a push-to-fit design and multi-wrap element construction.
- High-pressure filters: These special filters are perfect for heavier use and can be used in several industries and applications. The high-pressure filtration systems utilize two steps — a coalescer that removes liquid aerosols and activated carbon absorbers that reduce vapors and odors in the air.
- Mist eliminators: These specialized air filters remove oil, water and particulates from compressed air. Mist eliminators use impaction, interception and Brownian movement to remove particles and mists from the air.
- Specialty filters: Quincy also offers high-quality borosilicate glass microfiber elements that are compatible with most brands of air compression systems.
At Quincy, we also have additional parts for condensate management available. These include no-loss pneumatic drains, electronic drains and electronic timers for total coordination of your industrial processes. We also offer condensate purifiers designed to remove all compressor fluids, including polyglycols. These new units replace gravity separators and are much lighter and easier to service due in part to their easy-to-change disposable filter cartridges. Several sizes are available, so no matter how many air compressors you have in your system, these condensate management units can handle it.
Learn More About Quincy’s Air Treatment Products
Quincy Compressor is proud to offer a wide range of air compressors, as well as various accessories, including air treatment and filtration devices. We designed our air treatment equipment specifically to work with our compressors and provide excellent performance and efficiency. Quincy has some of the best air compressors for air treatment and filtration on the market today. We also provide comprehensive warranties on our air treatment products, so you can have years of worry-free use of your equipment. Get in touch today with a sales and service representative to help you find the right equipment for your business. Or for other questions, contact Quincy today.