Do You Understand Filter Expiration?

Whether we notice them or (more likely) not, air filters are all around us–in our cars, homes, offices, and many more applications. When they are working correctly, air filters serve to protect people, pets, processes, and equipment (think engines) from all of the crud that floats around. The trouble is, air filters are almost always out of sight, and as such out of mind. Consequently, it’s often hard for users to pin down the purpose of air filters, much less understand the importance of timely replacement.

Looking at just one application, when our beta customers were asked why and how often they change their furnace (HVAC) filters, the overwhelming majority stated they changed it because “they’re supposed to” and admitted they probably don’t change it enough.

These responses echo results from a survey we conducted last year, which probed 82 respondents’ understanding of why filter replacement is important. The answers fell into categories such as air cleanliness, energy efficiency, cleanliness and energy efficiency, or fire hazard. Of the respondents, 63% indicated they understood dirty filters could impact the efficiency of their furnace. However, digging a bit deeper there is some ambiguity regarding whether the key issue is energy efficiency, filtration efficiency, or damage to the AC unit or furnace itself. As it happens, each represent important reasons for regularly replacing an HVAC filter.

More specifically, what then are the benefits of proper use and replacement of air filters?

  • Clean air! Reducing the levels of annoying, irritating, or even downright dangerous contaminants in your air;
  • Saving energy! Reductions in total costs of heating and cooling up to 5-15% (source);
  • Protecting your HVAC system from premature failure (low airflow can cause heat exchangers to crack and condensation build up)

Serionix’s Colorfil™ filters remove harmful contaminants such as toxic chemicals and odors from your air, and change color to indicate expiration, eliminating the ambiguity in air filter replacement. You will know exactly when your filter needs a change without the guesswork. Fresh, clean, safe air. Peace of mind. That’s Colorfil™. (source)

Want to try one today?

Is Green Air Filtration Possible?

Air filtration is all about making the air cleaner. And what could be greener than removing contaminants from the air? In this post, we’ll take a look at why that may not necessarily be the case, depending how the air is filtered.

Activated Carbon: A Dirty Solution for Cleaning Air

Activated carbon is one of the most common materials used for cleaning chemicals from air. In 2016, 577 million tonnes of activated carbon will be used for air purification purposes, mostly for the industrial market. And especially in this industrial market, it is certainly very green to remove contaminants from air used in polluting processes. However, producing the activated carbon itself is not a particularly green process.

Activated carbon is derived from elemental carbon or some kind of other carbon-rich precursor.  This precursor is then either given a high-temperature chemical treatment, or is treated via pyrolysis and then oxidation. After the activation process, the activated carbon may be further treated with a polymer coating or impregnation with other elements to increase its functionality.

A summary of the activated carbon production process. There are a number of high-temperature and resource-intensive steps throughout the process.

 

 

Serionix Wins Cozad Competition

Story courtesy of News Gazette’s Don Dodson.

CHAMPAIGN — Serionix took the top monetary prize at the Cozad New Venture Competition this past weekend.

The company — which has come up with filter materials to remove perchlorate from drinking water — took first place in the Most Fundable Venture category, earning the firm $15,000.

Jim Langer, the firm’s president, said he hopes to use the winnings for intellectual property development, such as filing patent applications, or business development, such as meeting with customers on the West Coast.

Langer said Serionix started a year ago as a result of taking part in the 2011 Cozad competition. But last year, the firm didn’t make the finals.

“That served as motivation for us to work hard, and the results this year indicate it paid off,” he said.

Before taking part in last year’s competition, “we had no clear direction of what we really wanted to do, but as a result of the competition, and exposure to and connection with mentors, we were able to craft pieces for what ultimately became the company,” he said. “Cozad was the spark that set it off.”

Serionix recently won the Student Startup Award at Champaign County’s Innovation Celebration and was a finalist for the Lemelson-MIT Illinois Student Prize.

Photo By: The News Gazette
Jim Langer, left, and Weihua Zheng of Serionix, which has developed ion-exchange fiber composite materials to help remove perchlorate from drinking water.

Other monetary winners at this year’s Cozad competition included:

— GlucoSentient, which won a $10,000 prize as the Burrill Best Digital Healthcare Application. GlucoSentient aims to improve the lives of patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who take theophylline. It proposes home monitoring through use of a blood glucose meter.

— Transplants Without Donors, which won a $7,500 prize as Best Social Venture. That team invented a life-saving therapy based on the creation of artificial organs from the patients’ stem cells and biomaterials.

— HigherMed, which won a $5,000 prize for second place in the Most Fundable Venture category. That team plans to develop and market an easier-to-use prescription pill bottle cap, primarily for people with decreased dexterity.

— Oso Simple Technologies and Prawg each won a $2,500 prize for Best Mobile Application. Oso Simple aims to reduce the water used on lawns and gardens, while Prawg focuses on real-time interaction between TV shows and their audiences. Prawg also won a $1,000 prize for Most Patentable Idea/Venture.

— StudyCloud won a $2,000 prize for third place in the Most Fundable Venture category. StudyCloud is an online collaboration platform poised at integrating social web technology with online education.

Twenty teams took part in the competition’s semifinals, and nine advanced to Saturday’s finals, held at the UI’s Business Instructional Facility.

The finalists were: Easy Go Dispenser, EscaWheel, GlucoSentient, HigherMed, OceanComm, Serionix, StudyCloud, Transplants Without Donors and uZee.

The annual competition is named for V. Dale Cozad, founder of Cozad Asset Management. The program was established through an endowment from Peter and Kim Fox and is administered through the UI’s Technology Entrepreneur Center.

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