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Interview: Rising popularity of air cleaners creates growth opportunity for installers

Interview Installation & Construction Magazine Belgium – March 2022

The corona outbreak made air cleaners more popular than ever. The trend had already begun, due to a growing awareness of the importance of indoor air quality. Ventilation offers a first answer within that framework. However, we cannot simply place ventilation units everywhere, and ventilation in busy rooms is often inadequate. This creates commercial opportunities for HVAC installers who also offer air cleaners.

Even in offices where not every desk is occupied all the time, air cleaners provide additional air purification on a very local and temporary basis, in addition to the ventilation system.

Marco Balkema, Business Developer Euromate

Solution for older buildings

In buildings such as schools, hospitals, offices and industrial environments, indoor air pollution quickly builds up, with adverse effects on health. That is why ventilation has been compulsory in new buildings in Belgium since 2006. But what about older buildings? “Installing a ventilation system in existing buildings requires major work. Air cleaners are a budget-friendly alternative without any demolition work. We offer various models: stand-alone devices, built-in and surface-mounted systems, both on/off and automatically controlled. So we have a suitable product for every situation,” says Marco Balkema.

Supplement to ventilation

According to health standards, indoor air must be completely renewed 4 to 5 times every hour. On average, this happens twice an hour maximum in ventilated rooms. With high occupancy rates, for example in canteens, meeting rooms or classrooms, ventilation is therefore often inadequate. Ventilation flow rates are calculated on the basis of the room volume and if there are more people, the systems will not run any faster, unless they are CO2-driven. Air cleaners are an interesting addition to ventilation systems, to sufficiently purify the air in each room without increasing the ventilation flow.

Reduction of heating cost

The Euromate devices work by means of recirculation: they draw in indoor air, filter it and send it back into the room purified, without heat losses as with natural and mechanical ventilation, which draw in outside air. Moreover, an air cleaner redistributes the air in the room and thus also the heat from the upper air layers. “Especially in buildings with high ceilings, this provides a significant temperature gain and you can certainly turn the heating down a degree without loss of comfort,” confirms Balkema. And since every degree less is an energy saving of about 4%, that can really count.

Stand-alone air cleaners are a good solution in old school buildings where installing or modifying a ventilation system is impossible.

Installer plays major role

Because the ‘home installer’ knows the existing electrical and HVAC installations well, he is the right person to install an air cleaning system. Euromate gives installers technical assistance and training on capacity, installation and maintenance. Placed Euromate systems are adaptable to the changing needs of the customer: for example, an air cleaner that used to filter tobacco smoke in a smoking room can now be used with another filter to combat virus-carrying aerosols.

Reliable local manufacturer

Euromate develops and produces all devices in house, with as many European components as possible. This results in reliable quality, allowing the Dutch manufacturer to offer a five-year warranty in combination with a maintenance contract. All products are tested in independent test centres and accredited by the Belgian government. This is often different with the new air cleaner manufacturers that are mushrooming due to the exponentially rising demand.

Together with the purified air, air cleaners blow the heat from the top to the bottom. In this way, they also provide significant energy savings.

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