Ad: Why indoor air quality is a key issue you should be addressing now

Healthy Air Tech is on the forefront of tackling poor indoor air quality by producing air purifiers for domestic, commercial, and public sector use.

Chunli Cao, Managing Director at Healthy Air Tech, speaks to Air Quality News about why improving indoor air quality is so important for health and productivity. 

How big of a problem is indoor air quality? 

It’s a significant worldwide issue that cannot possibly be understated. It’s a problem exacerbated in the UK because the population have such a lack of awareness about the issues surrounding the air that we breathe.

Our indoor air quality is negatively impacted by chemical pollutants, the exposure to outdoor air that permeates into buildings and objects like gas stoves producing air borne pollutants as well as all sorts of indoor products which release things like formaldehyde into our environment.

The other side of air quality is bacteria and viruses, The recent COVID-19 pandemic is the perfect example of this. Countless lives were lost and the entire economy had to be shut down because people had to be isolated to reduce the risk of spread and infection.

Having the ability to counteract these airborne future pandemics and the effects of existing constant air pollution is extremely important. The World Health Organisation statistic shows that 3.2 million people worldwide die each year because of exposure to household air pollution, whilst figures from the UK government show that between 28,000 and 36,000 people die due to UK air pollution each year.  This is an extremely high number and people are spending around 80% of their time indoors, making our indoor air a truly significant part of our health.

In the media we hear a lot about air quality in the stratosphere high above us that none of us will ever breathe, which is obviously important, but we’re also all living with the air inside our buildings which has an immediate impact on our health and wellbeing.

Looking towards the future, we all want to have eco-friendly buildings which is obviously a wonderful idea and something that we’re happy to see happen. But most people, even 100 years from now, are going to be living in existing “legacy” buildings and they need to be made healthier because they often have the worst levels of air quality.

How do your air purifiers work? 

Our purifiers tackle air pollution in 2 keyways. 

Firstly, we combine industry best practice HEPA filters, and combine them with two primary technologies. The first is our unique DNO catalyst, this is an activated carbon filter which operates at low temperatures to completely break down harmful substances like NOx, SOx, bacteria, viruses and formaldehyde, transforming them into harmless substances like water or CO2.

Secondly, We utilise CFD which is an existing airflow technology that’s used in Formula One car and aeronautical development. We use this process to design the optimal air delivery system, resulting in a mushroom cloud effect, with the air jetting up to the top of the ceiling to be distributed around the room. That way you don’t feel the airflow at all whilst it permeates the whole space with no dead spots. The DNO catalyst has been third-party tested and certified against a variety of substances, including flu and COVID-229e. The certification of the test results shows we can kill bacteria and viruses and eliminate any harmful substances at a highly efficient rate.

What makes your technology stand out against competitors? 

Many of our competitors who deal with bacteria and viruses often have problem with secondary release because of their purification process, where pollutants or microbes will re-enter the air.

Our DNO catalyst eliminates all chance of harmful secondary release. Two things we had to consider when creating the device was how it generates clean air and how clean air is delivered around the room.

The units have a very low energy consumption and are very quiet.

They deliver clean air around the room and won’t be impacted by furniture or other obstructions like people. As mentioned before, our CFD enhanced air delivery design ensures that there is a constant flow of air that cannot be felt by room occupants, so anyone in the room will feel naturally comfortable. Our technology can deliver 800 cubic metres of clean air per hour whilst consuming just 80watts, making it the most energy efficient machine available when considered with the clean air delivery rate.

What’s next in the HATL pipeline?

We are developing advanced connectivity for our machines through IoT solutions, so that we can be integrated into building management systems. The building management systems can monitor how clean the air is in certain locations, which means that our device will only be activated when it’s needed or our flow rate can be adjusted based on the level of risk, will positively impact on the energy efficiency of our systems in operation.

Our primary goals are to reduce energy the consumption of the buildings in which we operate, as well as reduce the amount of fresh air needed from outside for heating, cooling and ventilation systems.

What are the other benefits of installing HATL products in indoor environments?

Ever since the pandemic, ventilation systems must use considerably more outside air which has drastically increased their energy usage. Our machines can reduce that higher airflow requirement, lowering carbon impacts and reducing operational energy costs.

In addition, numerous independent research and studies have proven that a healthy indoor environment improves productivity, reduces stress and sickness levels within staff, resulting in a quick ROI on the investment of an air purification system, our machines further improve that payback by enhancing the protection of indoor spaces because of the way our machines work.

What clients do you tend to work with? 

We work within a range of different sectors, including hospitals, care homes, dentists and hair salons and event companies to name just a few, essentially any location where risk is a factor, which essentially is any indoor space.

For example, our machines are used in new-baby wards, as well as in IVF operation rooms, where the environment has to be very clean and solutions have to be unobtrusive.

Many other units just don’t have the ability to control how air flows around the room like our devices do.

We are also working with local governments, who are addressing air pollution.

For instance, Cornwall county council have bought many machines to address a severe air pollution issue created by road traffic. The road is owned by Highways England and not the council, so any hard engineering solutions would not only be expensive, but is out of the control of the council, and they needed to protect their residents from exposure to the pollution now. The council started a project to find the most effective air purifiers to address their situation and after looking at all options they approached us. The initial feedback is extremely positive, and the council / residents have noticed an improvement of the quality-of-life as a result of the installation of Healthy Air 500 and 800’s in their homes, despite living on this very polluted road.

Where do you see Healthy Air Tech going in the future? 

We would like to continue to be a leader in air purification, to that end we are investing in research to develop more advancements in improving air quality too. We have a lot of ambition, but we need to grow as a company to support our research capabilities. This mean developing the brand and a dedicated band of HATL consumers to come with us on this journey. The UN has just announced that people have a human right to access a healthy environment, which is a major step forward. We feel we can play a role in helping to deliver that right by providing the means to improve air all around the world.

Photos provided by Healthy Air Tech


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