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‘Air Filtration for best in class hospitality experience’

By PKSV Sagar, MD, Camfil India

Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 12:07 Hrs  [IST]

Global air quality is deteriorating day by day and India is no exception. Mass urbanisation is one of the defining trends of our generation which has brought home an increasingly frightening reality: air pollution in the city risks, making it unliveable. As the city keeps growing, building and traffic density increasingly results to indoor and outdoor pollution.

We breathe every four seconds, around 22,000 breaths a day. In the highly-polluted areas of inner cities, we breathe in more than 25 million particles with each breath. We inhale fine dust, viruses and bacteria, exposing us to countless other health-endangering particles and gases. The greatest risk to human health from air pollution is related to breathing PM1, the smallest and most dangerous particulate matter, which by number is predominantly comprised of nano and ultrafine particles.

These PM1 and PM2.5 particles can be stopped much more efficiently with the usage of ISO 16890 certified air filters- introduced by the ISO organisation- which are much more aligned with real world pollution than existing standards. Thus, there is an urgent need for India to adopt this global standard for general ventilation system to improve Indoor Air Quality and maintain recommended level of particles and contaminants for occupants to stay heathy indoor of any air-conditioned commercial building.

Background and Problem
According to European Union ECA report, people spend up to 90% of their lives indoors and indoor air can be up to 50 times more polluted than outdoor air. Putting this into perspective with the Indian hospitality industry, indoor air quality is a crucial part to an overall good experience for clientele. Being in direct proportion with reputation and profitability of the industry. In fact, a 2012 survey by Expedia found that more than 60% of consumers will give better ratings to hotels with high indoor air quality and robust sustainability efforts. Furthermore, four in 10 of those surveyed, listed indoor air quality as highly important.

The reason being Poor IAQ further reduces workplace productivity, increases absenteeism and affects customer satisfaction, leading to an increase in guest complaints about stuffiness, and odours from cleaning products and other sources. Airborne germs are another major risk in high-traffic areas, as research shows that one sneeze or cough can expel pathogens into the air for extended periods of time. Most hotels are equipped with smoking rooms, but the exhaust systems are usually shared with other non-smoking facilities, thus resulting in indoor pollution.

A survey of frequent travellers conducted by Opinion Research Corp., indicated that more than 2/3 were concerned about air quality in US hotel rooms and 42% had complained to the hotel management about air quality conditions. The larger picture tells us that the life and health of all the people housed by these commercial buildings are at stake without proper air filtration. Hotels, resorts, restaurants and many other travel/tourism institutions need to
provide the best indoor air quality while at the same time keep the overhead costs low.

The need for Air Filtration
With both indoor and outdoor air pollution, there is an urgent need of an effective and efficient air filtration system in the hospitality sector, to remove all the harmful pollutants and provide a clean and healthy environment. Targeted air purification is the most efficient way to clean the air on a room-to-room level. Its recommended to use ISO 16890 certified, PM1 and PM2.5 efficient air filters in HVAC system. In addition to this, Air purifiers can be installed in each room to remove up to 99.9% of airborne contaminants. That way, hoteliers can rest assured that guests and staff are exposed to fewer pollutants and germs overall.

With new air filter technology, Camfil is continuously working towards addressing these issues, substantially reducing energy costs, and extending the time between change outs. Being a leader in providing clean air solutions, Camfil products allow hospitality sector to maintain optimum air quality, by reducing air pollution hazards like PM2.5 and PM10 and harmful gaseous like NO2 and SO2. Camfil products not only provides staff and guests with a healthier environment, but also provides the best air quality regardless of location.

The hospitality industry has at its disposal, the ability to provide their clientele with a better indoor environment through increased levels of air filtration. Air filtration products and equipment, both particulate phase and gas phase offer a solution for a variety of indoor air problems facing the industry. Cigar and cigarette smoke and odour removal is possible with proper application of products and periodic maintenance procedures and allows a facility owner/manager to have both smokers and non-smokers accommodated in the same area. A side benefit to the increase in particulate and gas contaminant filtration is increased quality of the indoor air. This should be the first concern of all building owners and is even more critical in industries that must accommodate a wide array of people and diverse cultures.

The views expressed within this column are the opinion of the author, and may not necessarily be endorsed by the publication.

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