How do we know our products work? It’s a fair question. Our customers expect their Aerobiotix air purifiers and disinfectors to work and we never want to let them down. It’s a matter of health and we don’t take that job lightly. Nathan, Daniel, and I all came from the medical device industry. In that industry, it was strictly forbidden to make any claims which you cannot prove or were inconsistent with the labeling of the device.
In the residential air purifier market, the veracity of claims made by various manufacturers boggles belief. We won’t name names, but let’s say there seems to be some disconnect between claims made and what the products themselves seem to deliver in the real world. This is especially true with cheap air purifiers which do little more than make noise in the real world. Even independent testing has it’s limitations, since these tests really don’t measure real world performance. In our specialty, which is air disinfection, there is no generally accepted disinfected-air delivery test . So we had to develop our own.
Enter the biological environmental test chamber. Nathan had a lot of fun building this! (see picture). It’s an approx. 1000 cubic foot steel room (about the size of a cell in your local penitentiary or an average New York apartment ). It’s a sealed chamber with tightly controlled temperature, humidity and airborne particulate levels. Advanced biological and non-biological air particle detectors are connected to the room, as well as injection ports for introducing airborne nastiness.
Now please bear with me while a geek out for a moment. First we evacuate all airborne particles from the chamber. We happen to use a modified version of one of our own commercial HEPA/UV products for this. Then we turn off everything and introduce airborne particles or bacterial aerosol into the chamber. For a biological test organism, we use spores of the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis. First, the airborne contamination spikes, and then gradually decays over time. The decay is a logarithmic function, so it goes down fast at first and then tails off. Using some fancy math, we come up with a number called the control decay constant (K) which describes this tailing off.
Then, we clean out the room and put one of our products, such as the new AeroCure DNA system in the room and repeat the test the exact same way. Same temperature, particle concentration, etc. This time the decay is faster, and the difference between this experimental decay constant and the control constant tells us the purification power of our unit.
See, isn’t that simple? We use this type of testing for product development and quality control. I wonder how many residential air purifier companies have this kind of setup and perform these kinds of tests. Probably none. We are devoted to sound science and our products are superior because of it.
Till next time, keep breathing easy!