As businesses begin planning to bring employees back to work under a “new normal” featuring widespread vaccinations and continued mask wearing, the industrial systems provider Honeywell is expanding its products for filtering the air inside commercial buildings such as warehouses, a key capability that health experts say could reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Honeywell has expanded its portfolio of tools to filter and disinfect commercial building indoor air quality by introducing Electronic Air Cleaners (EACs) with ultraviolet (UV) systems and a new line of indoor air quality (IAQ) sensors, the company said in a recent release.
The systems work by using an electric charge to help remove solid and liquid impurities without impeding air flow, the company said. Meanwhile, the UV System emits ultraviolet light to damage the DNA structure of certain microbes at the cellular level, thus inactivating various viral, bacterial, and fungal organisms.
That process is important for commercial facilities ranging from an office building, healthcare facility, or school to industrial sites like warehouses and distribution centers, Honeywell Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Manish Sharma said in an email. “As we continue to adjust to changing regulations and health recommendations, as well as see more reliance on online shopping and services, improvements to air quality can not only potentially help make a positive impact to workers’ wellbeing but also improve productivity and energy savings to support desired business outcomes,” Sharma said.
Due to their large, open spaces and high ceilings, buildings like warehouses and fulfillment centers often require customized strategies to manage air exchanges, ventilation, humidity, temperature, and filtration, he said. In addition, they may need specific air quality solutions such as a higher number of sensors and electronic air cleaners to fully cover the expansive physical square footage, he said.
Another application where air purification will see rising importance in 2021 is in cold chain warehouses, which will likely play a critical role in the massive logistical operation of distributing temperature-controlled vaccines to the coronavirus.
“Managing access control in these facilities is a critical component of maintaining low temperatures required to maintain the integrity of the products as well as managing product safety,” Sharma said. “That said, the air purification process doesn’t necessarily change—it’s a matter of distributing air purification devices strategically throughout the facility so that sealed-off and temperature-controlled areas are continuously filtered and monitored.”
Indeed, improving the air quality in larger buildings isn’t necessarily more difficult than smaller buildings; it just may require a higher volume and combination of filtration devices, enabling closer control over adjusting air exchanges and ventilation, and optimizing temperature and humidity control, Honeywell said.