In this CleanAlert interview, Robin Zoufalik offers his take on why FilterScan is an ideal solution for Facility Managers, Ops Managers and Plant Managers looking to reduce energy waste and cut utility bills.
Tell us about the problems that the FilterScan device solves for facility managers, operations managers and so on.
Robin Zoufalik: Well, the biggest problem that it solves is reducing the energy used with air handlers. If you have a filter that is clogged, you're going to use more energy to move the air, and that can be a significant saving, based on some studies done nationally. Also ... if your filters are clogged, your indoor air quality goes down. It's been shown in many studies that poor air quality leads to productivity loss in the occupants of the space that the air is being delivered to.
In extreme cases there can be equipment failure due to low airflow through the system, so there's really three things that are clearly identified that can be consequences of not doing the filter changes effectively.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the ideal target market for FilterScan and other CleanAlert products, and why people should use the remote air filter monitoring technologies.
Robin Zoufalik: Well, most facilities, commercial facilities, have air handling units, and all air handling units are going to have filters. In the broad scope of things, the market is basically across the commercial spectrum. That could be institutionals, it could be hospitals, could be retail, all of that type of thing. Now, our target market is probably in the mid-sized, the small-size commercial entities that would have either a very stretched facilities staff or perhaps no facilities staff at all. A lot of the larger institutions like a university or a health system will have mechanics that check the equipment on a regular basis, and they have a pretty good track record of their system.
We're best applied in places where ... in two cases. One, let's say that you change the filters on a calendar schedule, so you may change the filters every three months or every four months. In some cases you're changing the filters too little, and in some cases you're changing too quickly. If you don't have a staff to be knowledgeable in that, you're basically changing filters and you don't know what the consequences are and the cost that you're experiencing.
The other target market is those managing multiple buildings who may be on a regular route or need remote access to the information.
The FilterScan is very simple to install, and through the Wi-Fi, you basically get information at any time on the percentage of clogging of all of the air filters that you are monitoring, and so you could be in an office and have five other offices that are, you know, a distance away, and you could check on a periodic basis what the status was. As you see clogging get up to 60, 70%, you could then start to look at, "Okay, I'm going to probably need to be changing filters at that facility."
Now, if they do clog, you get an alert from an air handlers. Let's say that you have 10 air handlers in that building and you get an alarm for one. You then would go and check the other nine, and let's say that 50 percent of them are near clogging, so that you'd go ahead and arrange for the filters to be changed for the 50 percent of the units that are in clogged condition.
Those are really the targets. It's really any facility that has an air handler, but the most benefit is for those that either don't have a large maintenance staff or no maintenance staff at all.
Read more articles with Robin at the CleanAlert blog.