County utilizing technology to clean air, limit COVID spread

March 15, 2021

Ionization system installed in Garfield County facilities kills bacteria, inactivates viruses

Garfield County has taken another step to ensure the health and safety of its employees and residents visiting county facilities by installing an ionization air-cleaning system designed to eliminate pathogens and particulates The system utilizes Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) technology to clean the air inside of county buildings, effectively killing bacteria and mold spores, filtering smoke, and inactivating viruses, such as COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2), helping to limit the chance of spread.

Installation began in January and the system is now operating in all county buildings. The ionization is especially useful in killing pathogens and can inactivate the COVID-19 virus within 30 minutes.

The technology uses an electronic charge to create a plasma field comprised of positive and negative ions that attach to particles, pathogens and even odors. The ions kill pathogens by depriving them of hydrogen and break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water. The ions also cluster sub-micron particles, making them large enough to be filtered from the air, increasing the efficiency of the county buildings’ HVAC systems.

Federal CARES Act funding covered the $83,828 cost of the system and installation, which was performed by local vendor Diamond H Enterprises.

“We’ve been looking at a similar system for a couple years that used ultraviolet light to clean the air in our buildings,” said Garfield County Facilities Director Frank Coberly. “We had an engineering firm check our buildings and it suggested the ionization system, which is a better and faster system to clean the air. It does its thing and you don’t even know it’s there.”

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