Article by Jeff Fellows, building and grounds manager for Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church in Binghamton. The author and church building are pictured above (2017 photo).
Trinity Memorial Church in Binghamton, like most of our older churches, has a steam heating system, no air conditioning, and few options for air flow. This presents a formidable challenge as we are carefully moving towards reopening our sanctuary, and eventually opening more of our rooms, for services and community outreach. How do we ensure healthy air?
Doing some research, we found one company in St. Paul, Minnesota, that had been asked to develop a free-standing Air Filtration System for the Mayo Clinic at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: Iso-Aire Clean Air Technology, a new division of Ducts & Cleats Sheet Metal.
The units they developed are portable, plug into any outlet, and do not have to be exhausted outside. They come in different sizes, which can be matched to room size. Many churches, schools, and businesses all over the north east have been acquiring units like these.
The company owner, Chuck Albers, was very helpful in every aspect of our search.
The units are designed to draw the air in at floor level, pass it through an ultraviolet light and then on through a HEPA Filter. Finally, the air is then passed through an ionization unit killing all particles of virus, flu, mold and allergens. The air is then blown twelve feet up into the air and the ionized air attacks any foreign particles, dropping them to the floor.
Trinity Memorial purchased seven units of various sizes for all public areas of the church buildings. Individual units range in price from $2,600 to $6,500 each, depending on their capacity.
Particularly now, as we all consider carefully reopening for in-person services, we felt that this was yet another level of protection for our congregation as we could not have achieved good airflow in some of our rooms.
We plan to continue using the units as we move forward. For one, we aren’t out of the pandemic yet. And other infectious, airborne diseases, like colds and flu, will return. Clean, fresh air, free of allergens and infectious particles is a blessing we now can offer year round.
This approach may not work for all churches, but it may just work for some.
Iso-Aire has a comprehensive website at iso-aire.com, or call (641) 224-5428 and ask to speak to Chuck Albers.