The world has long sought solutions to purify indoor air and net energy savings by reducing outdoor air intake. In the age of COVID-19, air purification 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 purifies indoor air by reducing airborne particulates, odors and pathogens while lowering energy consumption and carbon footprints. 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, dependent care, education, entertainment, health care, hospitality, offices and transportation represent just a portion of vertical markets already benefiting from cleaner, safer air. These project spotlights outline results from various community spaces.

2. It’s easy to install. NPBI products are designed for no-hassle installation across many indoor and outdoor environments and conditions. Multiple mounting options include at the fan inlet, in the ductwork or zone diffuser, or between the evaporator coil and filter. 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 breaks down chemical, pet, cooking and other odors into basic, harmless compounds. This process substantially reduces odor-causing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and leaves indoor air smelling fresher.

5. It reduces pathogens. During the ionization process, contact with ions disrupts pathogens’ surface proteins, making the pathogens 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. This underscores the pivotal role ionization plays in efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. GPS NPBI technology is the only product to achieve 99.9% efficacy after 30 minutes, based on independent laboratory testing.

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 prevent the transmission of pathogens such as COVID-19 by making indoor air safer.

7. It’s good for the planet. In addition to making the air safer to breathe, NPBI technology lowers a building’s carbon footprint. It also nets up to 30% energy savings through reduced outdoor air intake, which allows HVAC systems to operate more efficiently.

8. It does not create ozone. Historically, ionization technology has been known to produce ozone. But GPS NPBI technology is the safe and effective solution for air ionization. The company offers UL 2998 certified products, which is the ASHRAE qualification standard for ozone-free emissions.

9. It requires no ongoing maintenance. Make sure to read the fine print. GPS manufactures the only auto-cleaning air purification system that ensures optimal long-term performance, because it requires no replacement parts or ongoing maintenance. 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, the NPBI process removes particles from the air so effectively it 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 up to 75% more than MERV 8 filters, not including fan energy costs.

GPS NPBI technology helps with all aspects of indoor air quality. In addition, unlike many other solutions on the market, it’s also safe for occupied spaces. This means building occupants can get back to work, school and more in a safe manner.

NPBI is currently used by Boston Children’s Hospital, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Clemson University, Google’s headquarters and many others. Learn more about NPBI.