The world has long sought solutions to improve indoor air. In the age of COVID-19, indoor air quality has only become more critical.

“People are acutely aware of the importance of indoor air quality now, maybe more than ever before,” said Charlie Waddell, founder and chief technology officer of Global Plasma Solutions (GPS). “In fact, buildings may soon have to begin meeting a minimum indoor air quality level in order to stay up to code.”

Waddell invented the company’s patented needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI®) technology. NPBI reduces airborne particles, including certain odors, viruses and bacteria. The system is an affordable, easy-to-install addition to a building’s existing HVAC system.

Here are 10 quick facts to help you get up to speed on NPBI.

1. It’s a versatile solution for almost any type of building. NPBI technology offers multiple applications for commercial and residential settings. Within the commercial space, education, entertainment, offices and transportation represent just a portion of vertical markets already benefiting from improved air quality.

2. It’s easy to install. NPBI products are designed for no-hassle installation across many indoor environments and conditions. Single systems can be installed in 30 to 60 minutes without any special tools.

3. It targets particles. When ions introduced by NPBI disperse throughout a space, such as an office or a schoolroom, they combine with particles suspended in the air. This creates a snowball effect in which particles of opposite polarities begin to cluster together, making them easier to capture in filtration systems.

4. It tackles odors. NPBI reduces odor-causing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and leaves indoor air smelling fresher.

5. It reduces certain viruses and bacteria. During the ionization process, contact with ions disrupts the surface proteins of certain viruses or bacteria, making them inactive and unable to spread. Scientists now understand that SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) can be transmitted via aerosolstiny droplets nearly 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. A third-party laboratory study showed GPS NPBI technology reduced active airborne SARS-CoV-2 by 98% in 60 minutes.

6. It doesn’t replace masks or social distancing measures. Instead, NPBI works with these precautions and others, including hand hygiene and cough etiquette, to reduce risks associated with certain viruses and bacteria in indoor air.

7. It’s enables lower energy usage. Fewer particles in the air mean HVAC systems can operate more efficiently.

8. It does not create harmful ozone. Some types of traditional ionization technologies have been known to produce ozone. But GPS offers UL 2998 certified products, which is the ASHRAE qualification standard for zero ozone emissions.

9. It requires no ongoing maintenance. GPS auto-cleaning air ionization systems ensure optimal long-term performance, because no replacement parts or ongoing maintenance is required. This means the benefits of GPS NPBI technology won’t degrade after installation. In contrast, the electrode tips in conventional direct current (DC) bipolar ionization (BPI) units become contaminated with particles over time — and eventually erode.

10. It’s affordable. Low product and installation costs help create a total indoor air quality solution that’s affordable as well as highly capable. NPBI technology also upgrades the performance of HVAC filters. In fact, using NPBI can make a MERV 8 filter perform like a MERV 13 filter. MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, measures a filter’s ability to capture particles of various sizes and ranges from one to 20. MERV 13 filters can cost substantially more than MERV 8 filters over time.

NPBI is currently used in over 250,000 locations around the world including schools, offices, healthcare facilities and community event spaces.