Ventilation accounts for approximately 20% of the global energy use for providing an acceptable indoor environment. The requirements for ventilation in the most standards and guidelines assume acceptable quality of (clean) outdoor air.
Worldwide, there is an increasing number of publications related to air cleaning and there is also an increasing sale of gas phase air cleaning products. This puts a demand for verifying the influence of using air cleaning on indoor air quality, comfort, well-being and health. It is thus important to learn whether air cleaning can supplement ventilation with respect to improving air quality i.e. whether it can partly substitute the ventilation rates required by standards. Finally, the energy impact of using air cleaning as supplement of ventilation needs to be estimated. This project will focus on gas phase air cleaning. The project will not include filtration.
In many locations in the world, the outdoor air quality is so bad that it is better to avoid ventilation. In such cases, the alternative to use ventilation is to substitute it with air cleaning so that the indoor air can be kept at high quality. Even when outdoor air is of a good quality, the use of air cleaning substituting ventilation air could reduce the rate of outside air supplied indoors and thereby energy for heating/cooling the ventilation air and for transporting the air (fan energy) can be saved.
Since it is expected that air cleaning may in parallel improve the indoor air quality and reduce energy use for ventilation, it should be considered as a very interesting technology that can be used in the future. There is however a need for better evaluation of its potential to improve indoor air quality (and substitute ventilation rates) and the energy implication of using gas phase air cleaning. There is also a need to develop standard test methods of the performance of air cleaning devices. Consequently, it is proposed to form a new annex on the use of gas phase air cleaning technologies.
The proposed Annex should bring researchers and industry together to investigate the possible energy benefits by using gas phase air cleaners (partial substitute for ventilation) and establish procedures for improving indoor air quality or reduced amount of ventilation by gas phase air cleaning. The project shall also establish a test method for air cleaners that considers the influence on the perceived air quality and substances in the indoor air.