Is iWave the best air purifier solution for your commercial or residental HVAC? Air purifier solutions are exploding due to Sars Covid-19 spread concerns and needlepoint bipolar ionization air purifiers are serious contenders. We all benefit from better indoor air quality whether to reduce odors from pets and cooking, to reduce allergens, or to kill mold, bacteria and viruses. My HVAC dealer shared some iWave literature with me when we were discussing indoor air quality problems and solutions.
iWave Product overview:
IWave products by Nu-Calgon, St Louis, MO, are installed in your existing HVAC system. There’s a model for every type of A/C system from ductless mini-split to commercial systems. Nu-Calgon, formerly part of Calgon Corporation and Calgon Vestal Laboratories, has been a leader in the HVAC aftermarket for the past 70 years. The iWave uses Global Plasma Solutions (GPS), of Charlotte, NC, patented technology which targets airborne particles, pathogens and odors to clean indoor air scientifically.
Global Plasma Solutions Certifications: UL and cUL approved. GPS’s NPBI technology has been certified in accordance with UL 867 and UL 2998 as ozone-free. iWave-R example UL certification is here. https://productiq.ulprospector.com/en/profile/2138463/qqch2.e346998?term=iwave&page=1.
How iWave works:
Needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) technology.
When the fan is on, the iWave creates equal amounts of positive and negative ions which disburse through the HVAC system into the air. They seek out and bond with particles, making them bigger so more can get stuck in your air filter and less ends up on coils and in ducts. When the fan is off, the system is inactive. NPBI technology generates ions without producing ozone or other harmful byproducts just like ions created from natural waterfalls.
iWave effectiveness vs claims:
“When the ions come in contact with viruses, bacteria or mold, they remove the hydrogen molecules – without them, the pathogens have no source of energy and will die. The ions also attach to allergens like pollen and other particles, causing them to band together until they are large enough to be caught by your ventilation system’s air filter. This process is proven by independent laboratory testing to be both safe and effective.“
REVIEWER: See FDA generic statement and other comments below.
“iWave air purifiers will kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Through independent lab tests, iWave has been proven to kill 99.4% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within 30 minutes.”
REVIEWER: The tests prove it can inactivate SARS-CoV2 on a surface in a lab, not the air. Also, confusing is the difference between pathogen test results wording on iWave.com, vs the studies highlighted on GPS web site. The 99.4% does match a June 2020 press release. Both results are referring to reduction rate on a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) surface strain, not inactivation in the air. It might inactivate in the air, but it’s not proven by these particular tests.
“Kills mold, bacteria and viruses; Reduces allergens, odors, smoke, static electricity and other airborne particles. Keeps coil cleaner.”
REVIEWER: We did not try the product. Reviews are mostly positive 4 and 5 stars on Amazon. It’s good enough that reputable HVAC dealers are using for their clients and GPS has lots of big clients using.
“iWave has proven to be the best air purifier on the market.” I’m going to cry FOUL on this claim after identifying multiple companies using the GPS technology and marketing air purifiers under different brand names, therefore the products would be equal, plus there is insufficient data and explanation to support what about the iWave is the better than others. It’s possible GPS patented technology is the best professional HVAC solution to improve indoor air quality.
What others say:
- Consumer Reports did not include the brand in their air purifiers reviews, probably because they are not standalone units, but instead require professional installation.
- FDA on Air Cleaners, HVAC Filters, and Coronavirus (COVID-19: In order for an air cleaner to be effective in removing viruses from the air, it must be able to remove small airborne particles (in the size range of 0.1-1 um). Provided manufacturers have data to demonstrate efficacy, manufacturers of these types of devices may market this technology to help remove viruses, including SARS-2-CoV, the virus that causes COVID-19, from the air, or to facilitate surface disinfection of surfaces within a treated area. This is an emerging technology, and little research is available that evaluates it outside of lab conditions. As typical of newer technologies, the evidence for safety and effectiveness is less documented than for more established ones, such as filtration. Bipolar ionization has the potential to generate ozone and other potentially harmful by-products indoors, unless specific precautions are taken in the product design and maintenance. If you decide to use a device that incorporates bipolar ionization technology, EPA recommends using a device that meets UL 2998 standard certification (Environmental Claim Validation Procedure (ECVP) for Zero Ozone Emissions from Air Cleaners). https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/air-cleaners-hvac-filters-and-coronavirus-covid-19
Cost: Amazon and other online prices in the $260-700 range depending on the model. Since the warranty required professional installation, best to buy from the HVAC company as they may not install yours.
Safety: There no known safety concerns when professionally installed.
Maintenance: None. Stated life expectancy is about 10-15 years.
Warranty: For a valid warranty claim within three years, proof of purchase and proof of installation by a licensed HVAC or electrical contractor must be provided.
iWave Reviewer Summary:
A widely respected HVAC contractor introduced me to the product line as something they have in their toolbox of solutions. That being said, he also says the industry is still looking for solutions or technology certified by recognized authorities such as EPA or ASHRAE, not third party labs hired by the manufacturer. It seems like a good product. Unlike EPA List-N products that are approved for fogging and misting to kill airborne pathogens like Sars-CoV2, in typically 1-10 minutes, air purifiers do not have the same type of certification. I can see both solutions being used in the same buildings. For example, when someone tests positive in a classroom or office and then exits, fogging the room is the most proven reliable way for quick re-entry.
- To view the most up-to-date list of EPA-registered disinfectant products, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
ESG Safe staff searched the internet to learn more about the referenced products. The images shown contain content from cited manufacture and distributor web sites. Note, disinfectants are regulated by the EPA under the category pesticides as there is no specific category for disinfectants.
Products distributed by ESG Safe always meet government requirements and are verifiable on various agency web sites.