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The best way to remove aerosols created by dental procedures is to create a stream of air focused close to the source. Source capture as it’s known is more efficient since we’re pulling a concentrated source of contaminants. Each unit of air that you are paying for “works harder” in this manner.

From this point, there are 2 choices: exhaust the air, or recirculate it. Here’s a list of pros/cons for each system.

 PROCON
ExhaustNo worries about viral and other contaminants being spread inside
Exhausts conditioned air
Requires Installation
Very Quiet
Can be designed with lots of airflow to provide a purge between patients
RecirculationRequires expensive HEPA filters
More expensive
No Installation Required

The system shown below exhausts to the outdoors.

Typical Aerosol Exhaust System Installed in Attic or Interstitial Space (click image to expand)

Let’s go through the parts starting from the intake (left to right):

  • Intake cone: A plastic cone to pull aerosol from around the patient’s mouth
  • Self supporting flex duct: Typically a 4″ diameter flexible duct that “self supports” – holds its last position
  • Thimble: This is just a neat way to allow the inside duct to be removed and cleaned without system disassembly
  • Flexible insulated duct: This duct has a plastic liner and can be easily installed
  • Filter box: The CFB-6-OS contains a prefilter and a MERV15 filter. Even though we’re exhausting outdoors, it’s good practice to remove most of the particulates. The MERV15 filter is in the range of a N95 face mask.
  • Inline fan: We really like this powerful fan that is capable of high static pressure (sucking ability) and high flow (CFM or cubic feet per minute). The fan can be adjusted for flow for two modes: a) Patient aerosol removal b) Room purge between patients [VERY USEFUL AND PROBABLY WILL BE CODE MANDATED]

References

More Information

There is an invisible problem in the dental profession which has the potential to be harmful to medical professionals, patients, office staff and family members. Indoor air within dental offices may contain unhealthy and infectious airborne particulate resulting from transmittable bacteria and viruses. Dental offices are high traffic, publicly accessible, commercial spaces and the multiple daily interactions between patients and staff, can introduce bacterial, viral and fungal infections into the air. Ultrasonic instruments, along with the constant cleaning and disinfection of contact surfaces can create bio-aerosols which contaminate the indoor air and degrade the air quality of air in a dental office.

Risk vs. Income — Looks at Dentists !
(courtesy https://www.visualcapitalist.com — click image to expand)


Indoor air quality contamination has been a known concern for many years, especially within hospital and dental manufacturer’s environments. Operating rooms of all hospitals and surgery centers have a cooler and filtered positive air flow within each surgical suite. Manufacturers of surgically implanted hardware (orthopedic) and dental implants have source capture devices on their equipment and “Clean Rooms” as part of the final sterilization process to preserve the surfaces of the implants before packaging. The manufacturers of these products invest heavily in the design of air quality controls to ensure they meet industry, regulatory and governmental standards and to protect their staff and the end user of their final product.


Source capture of dental bio-aerosols effectively collects airborne contaminants that are often present in dental offices; including such as oral aerosols, ultra-fine particles, disinfectant odors, mercury vapor, drill aerosols and abrasion powder and provide an added layer of safety by improving air quality in the immediate vicinity of interaction between individuals. This “source capture” feature helps protect doctors, dental technicians and patients alike.


During a regular dental visit, patients and providers are exposed to bio-aerosols which can originate from contaminated patient care items. In dental offices, the oral cavity constitutes the highest reservoir of infectious organisms with over 350 different types of bacteria. During dental treatments, the use of high and low speed instruments drilling into teeth, bones and tissues create hazardous bio-aerosols. Aerosols containing microbes from the saliva, blood, and sub-gingival fluids are dispersed in the air. The dispersal of fine droplets, which may contain pathogens, can stay airborne for hours. These pathogens are easily inhaled and become a potential source of infection for everyone within the dental office. The amount of time these droplets remain suspended in the air, how far they travel, and their level of contamination should be a concern for everyone, and especially when treating highly vulnerable patients – children, pregnant women, older people, and patients with COVID specific co-morbidity factors, hypertension, obesity, COPD.


A typical dental office can see 40-50 patients in a day. These patients are another source of air pollution from the tiny particulates of skin which that are continually exfoliated from the skin. Researchers believe that the majority of Staphylococcus aureus, one of the leading causes of infection, is transported mainly on these shed skin particles, readily disturbed from floors and other surfaces as microscopic specks of dust which thousands of pathogens use as a transmission vehicle.

Despite the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MRSA (Multi-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) epidemics which profoundly affected healthcare mortality and infection rates, concrete actions to prevent the spread of aerobiological viral and bacterial infections have not been taken.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that every employer, including medical and dental offices, has a general duty to protect employees. OSHA industrial hygiene includes references to ventilation and replacement air for the protection of the workers. There should be adequate ventilation by either natural or mechanical means, in order that the atmosphere does not endanger the health and safety of workers. The replacement air shall be free from contamination with any hazardous dust, vapor, smoke, fumes, mist or gas. The discharge of air from any exhaust system shall be in such a manner so as to prevent the return of contaminants into any workplace.


Microbial air pollution is a health hazard and source capture filtration units can play a role in significantly reducing the transmittable bio-aerosols. In many medical and dental office environments, the most practical and convenient solution is to have source capture systems.

References

More Information

In case you were wondering why we should wear a mask in public and filter the air around us, check out this demonstration of suspended micro droplets.

Micro droplets suspending in air from MixonK on Vimeo.

Our CFB HEPA Filters are currently being used by a number of hospitals to create negative pressure isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients. They are typically paired with an inline fan to exhaust the contaminated air from those areas, filter and then discharge it safely outside. Discharging the air without any filtration is considered risky since you are spreading/distributing the virus particles extracted from the patient areas. If you have questions on how to build negative pressure isolation rooms give us a call.

What is a HEPA?

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate arrestance. To be classified as a HEPA, the air filter must remove at least 99.97% of particles whose diameter is equal to 0.3 μm. Classification at 0.3 μm is important because this is the weakest point in the filter’s performance – typical HEPA filtration efficiency increases for particle diameters both less than and greater than 0.3 μm.

Image courtesy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Virus particles, due to their small size, typically fall in the diffusion regime of HEPA collection efficiency. Specifically, the virus that causes COVID-19 is approximately 0.125 μm in diameter. That diameter is perfectly within the particle-size range that HEPA filters capture with great efficiency: 0.01 μm and bigger (see the NIOSH diagram above).

Want to ready more about HEPA and how they filter particles the size of viruses? We found the Submicron and Nanoparticulate Matter Removal by HEPA-Rated Media Filters by NASA study is a great source of reliable technical info. Page 7 of the paper has an excellent illustration of filter efficiency as a function of particle diameter for sizes 0.01 μm and above.

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HEPA Filtration for Hospitals

On April 13, 2020, in filtration, IAQ, news, by radek
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How times change…

A few weeks ago our sister company AirScape Fans (airscapefans.com) was ramping up whole house fan production for the summer season. Now they are very busy making HEPA filtration units for hospitals, and yes, observing Covid safety protocols. Masks [check], distancing [check], good ventilation [check], doors open for extra air dilution [check], hand sanitizer [check], outdoor breaks in the sun [check]. They (as did we!) spent a lot of time writing procedures on how to stay safe.

Stay safe and healthy out there!

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Winter is here and with it so are higher energy bills. Are you looking for ways to cut energy costs and save money? Is there a room or area of the house that you rarely use? Do you like certain rooms to be kept warmer or colder than the rest? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be time for you to zone control your home with Suncourt ZoneMaster™ Fully Adjustable Motorized Dampers.

ZoneMaster Adjustable Motorized Airflow Control Damper

WHAT DOES A MOTORIZED DAMPER DO? Motorized Dampers are mounted in duct-work to control the amount of airflow in the duct in order to zone control your home. Zone control refers to regulating the temperature in one single room or space. In other words, zone controlling your home allows you to send heated or cooled air to an area of the house when you need it, when you want it.

WHY DO I WANT TO ZONE CONTROL MY HOME? Increased comfort, control and lower utility bills. Would you control your entire house with 1 light switch? No! So why would you control the temperature for your entire home with one thermostat?

GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF HOW I WOULD SAVE MONEY: Why heat a guest room that you only occasionally use to 70°F all winter long, or cool it to 76°F all summer? Keep it instead at 55°F in the winter and 85°F in the summer. Same story for a bedroom. Like to sleep in a 64°F bedroom and keep the rest of the house at 70°F? During the cooling season you may want the room for the baby a little bit warmer than the rest of the house. The possibilities are endless.

HOW MUCH MONEY COULD I SAVE? Zone controlling a home can save homeowners up to 30% on a typical heating and cooling bill, according to the US Department of Energy. It is estimated that heating and cooling makes up 40% of the monthly energy bill.

WHAT MAKES SUNCOURT MOTORIZED DAMPERS DIFFERENT THAN THE REST? Suncourt’s patent pending adjustable damper has 0°- 90° adjustment capabilities for BOTH powered and unpowered positions providing full control of airflow to any specific room. A safe, UL listed 24 VAC 15 VA stud mount transformer is included with each damper sold by Suncourt for ease of installation. Suncourt dampers are proudly made in the USA.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Suncourt’s website: www.suncourt.com
ZoneMaster Motorized Damper Product Overview video: https://youtu.be/U6aP6SL6Mlo
ZoneMaster Motorized Damper Product Installation Video: https://youtu.be/ZSxEgMHDpzg
Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/suncourt-inc/

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The Stack Effect

On November 20, 2019, in did you know, news, by Nicole
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Do you feel like your home doesn’t retain heat well, or is just plain cold and drafty? Are your energy costs during the winter months out of control? It could be because all your heat is escaping through your attic.

Improper sealing and insulation of the attic space in a home can lead to a great deal of your warm air escaping. It is known that heat rises, so this makes sense. Heat rises to the highest point in a confined space, the same as it would in a hot air balloon to make it rise.

As warm air escapes out the top of the house, the negative pressure created by this action sucks cold exterior air in through lower areas of the house, often times the basement and crawl space areas. This occurrence is known as the stack effect (also called the chimney effect) and can be the primary culprit in loss of warm air in many houses that haven’t had energy-saving upgrades.

Properly sealing the attic can help your home retain much of its heat. In addition, your home should have controlled ventilation to keep the air fresh and reduce pollution in your home. This can be attained through HRVs or ERVs or other ventilators.

HRVs and ERVs are essentially mechanical ventilators, but with a heat exchanger. This allows them to transfer heat between air streams, allowing for proper ventilation without sacrificing efficiency. They can take some of the load off your heating and cooling systems because of how they pre-warm and pre-cool air before it enters your home. HRVs can remove stuffy air from rooms with limited airflow and ERVs reduce humidity in the summer and help retain moisture in the air in the winter.

How HRVs and ERVs work.

Keeping a good temperature in your house, while properly ventilating is a delicate balance, but this is why there are so many products on the market to help you achieve the correct ratio, while also saving on energy.

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New Product from Vortex Powerfans

On September 16, 2019, in news, by Nicole
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Inline fans are installed in ducting and generally used to exhaust warm air out of your home or business, or boost airflow. Because they are engineered to work with ducting they will retain a greater percentage of their advertised capacity in comparison to basic extraction fans.

VMF800 Fan

The Vortex Powerfans VMF series are specifically designed to maximize the airflow performance with minimal noise levels in a small, compact housing. These fans incorporate a powerful mixed flow impeller and internal air vanes located at the discharge end of the fan housing. This impeller and guide vane combination provides a smooth laminar air flow which in turn minimizes turbulence and noise and generates an excellent air flow to static pressure performance ratio.

VAT800 Fan

Vortex Powerfans VAT series inline fans are axial in-line fans ideal for boosting airflow. These compact, powerful and quiet fans come completely wired with junction box, strain relief and power cord. Light weight and easy to install, they are fluted on both ends to ease connection to ducting.

Benefits of an inline are that the fan is located further away in the roof space and not directly above you. Furthermore if your roof space is well insulated its one of the quietest ventilation solutions available. Inline fans are also available in large sizes with very high power motors. Quite often this type of power is not available from a standard ceiling mounted or wall mounted extraction fan.

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Fantech Pro and Pro Plus Series

On August 16, 2019, in cool products, news, by Nicole
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Efficiency, quiet operation and ease of installation characterize both the PRO and PRO PLUS series. Both series are certified to the rigorous California Title 24 building energy code, as well as ETL/c-ETL, HVI, and Energy Star standards. The PRO Series operates at just 2.0 sones while the PRO PLUS is barely audible at 0.5 sones.

Sound levels are rated in sones where the lower the rating number, the quieter the fan. Typical economy fans are rated at about 4.0 sones or more. One sone is equivalent to the sound of a quiet refrigerator and a quiet bathroom fan will be rated at about 1.5 sones or less. This makes the PRO PLUS one of the most quiet bathroom fans on the market.

PRO Series offers three models with a ceiling grille and damper for airflow of 80, 100 or 150 CFM. The PRO 80 & 100 fans have a unique plug and play concept that allows you to add accessories such as a humidity sensor and LED light without changing the fan.

PRO PLUS has adjustable CFMs 80/90/110/140 with a ceiling grille, backdraft damper, humidity and motion sensor. It uses 6″ flexible duct. The product is provided with an adjustable 12-24″ bar hanger for ease of installation.

We have added videos on how to assemble our CFB and unboxing our Balanced Make-up Air System components. It is part of our ongoing goal to share new and interesting content and information to help you with your next project. What is a CFB? What is a Balanced Residential Make-up System? Lets break them down for you.

CFB Series MERV-13 Inline Filter Boxes

A CFB filter box is a high-performance solution for any application requiring in-line filtration. Constructed from 5052 H32 aluminum, the CFBs holds a standard 4″ filter and are designed to fit either 6″, 8″, 10″ or 12″ diameter duct. The lid attaches securely with latches, and opens easily for quick filter replacements. MERV-13 filters are included with every unit, but you can also upgrade to a MERV-15 filter. The higher the MERV rating the better the filtration and the cleaner the air will be in your home.

balanced make-up air system is designed to “make up” the air in your interior space that has been removed due to process exhaust fans. This type of HVAC solution pulls in fresh, tempered air from outside your building to replace existing air that cannot be recirculated. The International Residential Code (IRC) requires that makeup air be provided for kitchen hood exhaust systems with a capacity of 400 cfm or greater. Our balanced make-up air system can be customized to fit your needs with silencers, electric heater for cold climates and wall/roof caps.

Both provide better air filtration for your home to keep the air clean of allergens, smoke odors and particulates in the air, as well as provide the in-home air circulation that you need. You can check out our videos by clicking the links below.

CFB Assembly Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qkl7OS8g-hI

Balanced Make-up Air System Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcLffEHe58c

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Vine Thermostats New and Improved

On May 9, 2019, in news, by Nicole
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Model TJ-919

Vine Smart Home has improved on its thermostat design with a touchscreen display and remote capabilities via a WiFi App interface!

Vine thermostats put comfort, convenience and control in your hands. The Vine Smart Thermostat offers a bright colored 3.5″ or 4.5″ LED touch screen, large classic dial, programmable nightlight and a friendly UI. Each day can be customized with different options to ensure optimal comfort around your schedule. Download the app on your smartphone to control the Vine Smart Thermostat on the go. They support both Android and iOS devices and now come Alexa and Google Home compatible. On average consumers save approximately 23% annually off their energy bill with the scheduling program to lower or raise temperature during peak and off peak times of the day. Settings and schedules are saved on the cloud, so your preferences are backed up in the case of a power outage.

Receive up-to-date weather reports broken down by the hour or as broad as a 5-day forecast. Set up a daily program to optimize your home’s temperature to meet your daily schedule and lifestyle needs. Receive alerts for severe weather conditions, excessive temperatures, reminders to alter your HVAC equipment filters, etc.

Model TJ-610

Features:
– Alexa and Google Home compatible!
– 3.5″ and 4.5″ color LED touch screen
– 2 stage Heat (with Aux/Emergency heating) and 1 stage Cool, Heat Pump
– Programmable nightlight
– 7 day/ 8 period programming
– Wi-Fi enabled with iOS and Android Apps (control remotely)
– Power Source: 24VAC (20V~30V AC)
– 3 year warranty

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