The COVID-19 pandemic made us all more aware of the importance of clean indoor air. But indoor air quality (IAQ) is nothing new to Charles Waddell, founder and chief technology officer of Global Plasma Solutions® (GPS®).

Waddell started the company in 2009 with a clear vision: to create a proactive IAQ solution that is effective, safe and dependable. His patented needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI®) technology checks all the boxes and is needed now more than ever. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic cast a spotlight on the importance of clean indoor air, quickly transforming the IAQ landscape.

How COVID-19 Changed the Indoor Air Quality Conversation

Until recently, most people equated IAQ with energy efficiency and cost savings, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed the value proposition almost overnight.

“People are acutely aware of the importance of indoor air quality now, maybe more than ever before,” Waddell said. “Pathogen control is the number one concern. People want to know that the air they’re breathing indoors is clean.

“That’s not going to change anytime soon, if ever.”

Waddell, like many others in the industry, has watched awareness of IAQ and pathogen control grow within the commercial market over the last year.

“People also want to get back to work safely, so business owners need options to give their employees peace of mind to return to the office.”

With this heightened interest in IAQ, customers are doing their own research into the different products and technologies available. To help them understand the benefits of ionization, Waddell offers a simple explanation:

“Ions are naturally occurring molecules that are constantly working to clean the air outdoors, but the number of ions inside is significantly lower. NPBI makes ions and brings what occurs naturally outdoors to the indoor environment.”

An Effective, Safe and Dependable Solution

For the immediate and post-pandemic new normal, GPS is uniquely positioned to address IAQ and pathogen control challenges by providing an effective, safe and dependable solution.

Effectiveness

NPBI actively cleans the air by generating and releasing ions into the existing HVAC system’s airstream. Through a process called agglomeration, ions attach to pathogens and particles in the air, including viruses, bacteria and mold. The HVAC filter can more easily and consistently trap and remove the resulting clusters from the air. Additionally, the ions have the ability to disrupt pathogens’ surface proteins, rendering them inactive.

The ability of NPBI to tackle pathogens grabbed a starring role in 2020, as the coronavirus swept the globe.

“COVID-19 is top of mind, of course, including the different mutations of the virus we’re seeing come into the United States,” Waddell said. “NPBI creates additional peace of mind during this evolving pandemic.”

Safety

Ions are a natural part of the air we breathe, but some ionization technologies generate harmful byproducts. Waddell said competitors in the IAQ field have ramped up their marketing efforts to capitalize on widespread interest and demand, but it’s critical to evaluate products for safety as well as efficacy.

“You can produce a lot of ions and be very effective at addressing pathogens, but you may also be creating new problems, like generating dangerous ozone,” Waddell said.

“On the other hand, GPS takes extra measures to ensure our products do not produce ozone and are equipped to operate in a variety of real-world environments. All of our products are UL registered, CE compliant and UL2998 certified to be ozone-free, so customers can feel confident that they aren’t creating new problems while trying to solve another.”

Dependability

Once installed, GPS self-cleaning NPBI products require no maintenance or replacement parts. This frees up customers’ time and resources. It also means the technology cleans the air just as effectively on Day 1,000 as did on Day One.

Looking Ahead

Waddell believes the coronavirus pandemic left the IAQ landscape forever changed, but he’s optimistic about our ability to combat challenges, now and in the future.

“COVID-19 was a wake-up call,” he said. “I started GPS because I understood the importance of good IAQ, but now everyone is more aware. And, with that knowledge comes a motivation to do something proactive to improve indoor air quality — for ourselves, our families and our staff. I want our technology to reach as many people and places as possible, from offices and stores to stadiums and schools.

“This pandemic may be the first most of us have seen, but it won’t be the last, and we need to be prepared. That’s why GPS is committed to science and ongoing research to ensure we have the safest, most effective technology on the market.”

Learn more about NPBI technology.