IQAir Frequently Asked Questions
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Which IQAir System is Best ... ?
Q. Is a high "CADR" a measurement of a high quality air purifier?
CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to evaluate the effectiveness of its members’ household air purifiers. While the test attempts to provide a reference point, it has so many limitations that it fails to provide consumers with a reliable comparison tool, especially for high-performance air purifiers. These limitations include (and are not limited to):
1. The CADR test does not distinguish how an air purifier removes particles. While most experts and consumers agree that an air purifier should trap particles inside the air cleaner, many top-performing CADR air purifiers use outdated ionization technology. These air purifiers ionize particles, which causes particles to attach themselves to room surfaces and can increase particulate lung deposition. IQAir believes it is better to eliminate particles by permanently trapping them inside the air cleaners (using filters) rather than redistributing them from room air to room surfaces.
2. Another serious limitation of the CADR test format is that it does not evaluate long-term performance. Because CADR only tests how well an air purifier removes particles from the air in the first 15 minutes of operation, many manufacturers use air-cleaning technologies that sacrifice solid long-term performance for short-lived initial performance. Most top performing AHAM air purifiers use filters that heavily rely on electrostatically charged filters. Marketed under trade names such as HEPASilent, they can lose more than 50% of their initial particle filtration efficiency in a matter of weeks. In contrast, IQAir’s air cleaners actually increase particle removal efficiency with use.
3. The AHAM standard does not safeguard consumers from air purification products that produce the lung irritant ozone. Many air purifiers that are AHAM certified use air-cleaning technologies such as ionization that may produce ozone. IQAir believes that an IQAir purifier should not produce any measurable amount of ozone.
4. The CADR test measures less than 10% of common air pollutants. It does not evaluate removal effectiveness for ultrafine particles and gaseous pollutants, which make up more than 90% of all airborne contaminants.
Because of these serious shortcomings, IQAir feels it would be a disservice to both the consumer and the industry to support a testing standard that is misleading. That’s why IQAir is engaged in an international effort by the scientific community to adapt hospital operating room air cleaning standards to stand-alone home and commercial air purifiers. Until a valid comparative test format has been established for the industry, IQAir continues to subject all its air cleaning systems to specialized performance tests derived from hospital and cleanroom filter test methods.
Q. Which room system is best for people diagnosed with MCS?
IQAir recommends the GC MultiGas for individuals suffering from MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). The HEPA filter is located before the gas-phase filtration. This is best for chemically-sensitive people, as the glue contained in the HEPA filter can in some cases be bothersome when it is the last filter stage (for example, HealthPro Plus).
By design, IQAir systems do not release any particles. Because any gas-phase media filter may release particles after transportation, effective post-filtration is necessary. Post-filtration is provided by the HyperHEPA filter (HealthPro Plus) and by the Post-Filter Sleeves (GC, GCX and Dental Series). IQAir's final filtration stage provides the necessary post-filtration and keeps any particles from being released into the air.
For those who may be sensitive to potassium permanganate (KMnO4) which is contained in some of our cartridges, IQAir suggests switching to the IQAir VOC cartridges. This solution may work for some consumers because the VOC media does not contain potassium permanganate, only carbon. It does not work for all consumers, as highly sensitive individuals have different levels of sensitivities and thresholds for different chemicals.
Q. Which IQAir system is recommended for filtering airborne asbestos fibres?
We recommend the IQAir HealthPro for the filtration of asbestos.
Asbestos fibres are invisible to the unaided human eye because their size is about 3-20 microns wide and can be as slim as 0.01 microns (human hair ranges in size from 17 to 181 microns in breadth). The IQAir HealthPro is capable of filtering these particles because our HyperHEPA filtration is tested and certified by an independent third-party lab to effectively filter harmful ultrafine pollution particles down to 0.003 microns in size.
PLEASE NOTE: Air filtration should not be considered an alternative to remediation. It is vital to adhere to federal safety regulations regarding the removal and disposal of asbestos to minimize health risks.
Q. Which IQAir system is recommended for pesticide removal?
For pesticide removal, we recommend the IQAir GC MultiGas system. The GC and GCX Series are the world's most effective compact room air purifiers for the control of gaseous chemicals. Just like a professional gas mask, the GC Series relies on an interchangeable cartridge design for optimized gaseous pollutant control. And while molecular control is a particular strength of these systems, the GC and GCX Series also offer excellent filtration efficiency for particles.
Q. Which IQAir system is recommended for odor control in a restaurant?
We would recommend the IQAir GC Multigas system for a restaurant application. The GC Multigas will help eliminate if not significantly reduce the cooking odors associated with many international cuisines.
Q. Which system will filter Chinese drywall out of my home?
Chinese drywall refers to defective or tainted drywall imported from China from 2001 to 2007 that emits sulfur gases (identified emissions of the sulfurous gases carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide). These gases usually (but not always) create a noxious odor and are believed to corrode copper and other metal surfaces, thereby damaging your air conditioner, electrical wiring, copper plumbing, appliances and electronics. Chinese drywall can also cause adverse health effects, although experts disagree whether these effects are merely irritants or present a more imminent or chronic health hazard. Hydrogen sulfide is a hazardous gas that, in high concentrations, can be fatal. Not all Chinese drywall is defective.
IQAir suggests using the GC MultiGas for control of wide range of gaseous organic and inorganic chemicals resulting from the presence of Chinese drywall.
Filters, Efficiencies, Etc.
Q. IQAir is so meticulous about providing particle-filtration efficiency rates. Where can I find similar details about IQAir gas-filtration efficiencies?
IQAir does not publish specific information about chemical or gas removal rates because gas filtration is affected by many factors. Several factors play into the removal amount or percentage for a specific chemical(s). The ambient concentration (measured in ppb or ppm) of the chemical(s) or gases is one factor. Also weather conditions, such as temperature and humidity, figure in as well. In contrast, particulate filtration is more precise and unaffected by other environmental nuances.
Q. What are some of the ozone-producing technologies used by IQAir competitors?
One commonly used but risky technology is Electrostatic Precipitation, in which particles are first charged and then collected on oppositely charged flat plates. This system allows for high airflow and no filters to replace. As the plates get soiled, collection efficiency drops. They also require regular cleaning. Of great concern, they may produce ozone, a lung irritant. This technology can also produce airborne ionized particles that cling to the lungs. Other air purifiers use a technology called Charged Media Filtration in which a meshwork of synthetic, electrostatically charged fibers attracts particles. Again, this process may also produces ions that cling to the lungs.
Q. What is the EN 1822 Test to which IQAir submits its air purification systems?
The EN 1822 test is the most modern HEPA filter test in the world. It creates a worst-case scenario for a HEPA filter. It has two parts: The first part determines which size particles go through the filter the easies; the second part challenges the filter with exactly these size particles. The IQAir HealthPro Series is the world’s first air cleaner to use EN 1822 rated HEPA filters.
Q. How does IQAir compare to other air room air purifiers?
IQAir is in a class of its own. IQAir is the only air purifier proven to filter the most harmful particles (ultrafine particles). People often ask if it's the Mercedes or Cadillac of automobiles, but that's an inaccurate comparison. A better comparison would be comparing a skateboard to an airplane. They're both means of transportation; However, an airplane is able to fly over water. A skateboard can't.
Similarly, IQAir is the only purifier proven to filter the ultrafine particles that are known to be the most harmful to our health. At the same time, these smaller particles represent the bulk of the pollutants in our air (over 90% of airborne particles are 0.1 microns or smaller).
Q. How is the V5-Cell more effective than the competition, when they claim to have 3 to 5 times more carbon in their machines?
The effectiveness of gas-phase filtration heavily relies on effective prefiltration. In order to compare apples to apples, prefiltration should be first compared.
After prefiltration is compared, the next step is to compare types of gas-phase media. Adsorption is the process of binding gas molecules to a large surface. There are three main types of adsorption used in air cleaners:
Zeolite: Cheaper than activated carbon, but less effective according to scientific data. This is commonly used as a filler in many air cleaners.
Activated Carbon Pads: Carbon dust is glued onto a fibre pad or cardboard structure. It contains too little carbon to be effective.
Granular Activated Carbon: Mostly made of coconut shell, which creates a lot of dust because it is very soft and irregular in shape. It's also reported to commonly trigger allergies.
IQAir uses a special Pelletized Activated Carbon mainly made of bituminous coal (not coconut shell), which is more regular in shape and harder than coconut shell carbon. IQAir does not use any coconut shell carbon or zeolite in any of its filters or cartridges. IQAir only uses media that is scientifically proven effective.
The other medium in the V5-Cell and GC MultiGas Cartridges is Alumina Impregnated with Potassium Permanganate (used in airports and other critical commercial applications). This is used to filter out some of the chemicals that the carbon misses, such as formaldehydes (the most common VOC found in households), sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Potassium Permanganate is the inorganic chemical compound with the formula KMn04 and is a strong oxidizing agent that does not generate toxic byproducts.
Due to effective prefiltration, the most advanced coal-based carbon and the most effective media for formaldehyde and other aldehydes, the V5-Cell is more effective than other gas-phase filters.
Q. Does IQAir make a smaller air purifier for small rooms?
We have designed and engineered the best air purifier to be as compact as possible. The HealthPro Compact is our smallest air purifier and is designed for small rooms. There is a big misconception that small rooms don’t need high quality air cleaning. Granted, a single IQAir air purifier can clean the air in a room up to 900 sq. ft. But we feel you can never have the air "too" clean. There are additional advantages in having an IQAir system in a smaller room. For example, you can use lower fan speed settings, which makes the air cleaner silent or barely audible.
Q. Are replacement filters expensive?
A unique feature of IQAir filters is that even when the lights are red and require a filter change, they are still fully efficient. Unlike other brands, our filters do what they are supposed to do throughout the entire filter life. Most other brands require very frequent filter changes to maintain their claimed efficiency. On average, in the United States, the HealthPro's and HealthPro Compact's annual filter cost is $128.17 (based on 10 hour daily usage at speed setting 3). The HealthPro Plus' annual filter cost is $202.34 (based on 10 hour daily usage at speed setting 3). The GC MultiGas' annual filter cost is $274.78 (based on 10 hour daily usage at speed setting 3).
Q. What can I do to extend filter life even more?
1. Consider running the system at a lower fan speed. Filter life is determined by fan speed and time used. For general air cleaning purposes, ensure two air changes per hour (ACH) are maintained.
2. Consider using the Day-of-the-Week Auto Timer. This timer can be used to set the system to run on certain days of the week. For example, based on your air cleaning needs, the system could be set to run on five days of the week instead of seven.
3. Consider the fan speed of the Auto Timer. The Auto Timer allows for setting two fan speeds for two different time periods. For example, you could run your room system Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on speed 1 or 2 (while you're at work) and then start it to run on your normal fan speed (3 or 4) an hour before you get home. This way, by the time you get home an average room would have already been filtered several times.
Note: At least one day of the week must be activated with a star to enable the Auto Timer.
Note: For environments with elevated levels of course dust, the IQAir PF40 Kit should be considered for superior and effective course dust pre-filtration, which would save the pre-filter from clogging or loading early with those larger particles.
Q. Any plans to introduce UV or PCO technology?
Absolutely not. All IQAir products use a 100% Safe Technology that is tried and tested in critical environments.
Looking for more? See our overview of IQAir products, or if you have any questions about air purifers, call Aviva toll-free at (866) 947-6789.
Health Disclaimer. Copyright IQAir ©2012. Published with permission.