Lets Talk Clean air
Clean air and Energy costs

Clean air and Energy costs

Created Monday, November 1, 2021

Clean air and energy costs transcript

For your convenience, here is a 90% accurate automated transcript of the podcast.

Mattias Utbys  0:02  
So we made some changes to the filtration grades, we made some changes to the filters, and we managed to save a lot of money in energy, we managed to save the time between filter changes so they could save some money on buying filters as well and also improved their indoor air quality.

Dusty Rhodes  0:44  
Hello there and welcome to Let's Talk clean air our regular look at how clean air can affect the quality process for you and the workplace. On this episode, we're talking about how increased levels of air quality can impact your energy costs. My name is dusty Rhodes. And joining me to explain more about this is Mattias Utbys from Camfil in Sweden. Mattias has been in the industry for many, many years, and he has been with Camfil specifically for the last seven. He is a business development manager. So more kind of familiar with the financial end of things and the perfect person to chat with today about clean air and energy cost matters before we get into the whole financial side of it. Global warming and the air quality is such a huge thing at the moment. How do you think global warming is one of the most important issues on the planet and the role that clean air plays in that? 

Mattias Utbys  1:41  
Well, it's kind of a big question, but they are strongly linked together. In my opinion. Global warming comes from many different reasons. Indoor air quality has never been more important than today. I've been in the business for 25 years, it's never been more discussions regarding it. There's a clear link, I would say and a lot of things that we're able to do quite easily to help in both situations.

Dusty Rhodes  2:08  
So when you say there are a lot of things that we can help quite easily what kind of things are in your head?

Mattias Utbys  2:14  
Well, for starters, we can save a lot of energy in our air handling units, we can create good indoor air for all our people living or working inside going to school or whatever, we can create good indoor climates. For us.

Dusty Rhodes  2:33  
Another phrase that is used commonly global warming, and then you have net carbon zero and buildings. What does net carbon zero mean to you?

Mattias Utbys  2:44  
In my opinion, for me, it means saving energy, lower energy consumptions within the buildings and still maintaining a good indoor air quality.

Dusty Rhodes  2:58  
Alright, so it's all about reducing the amount of energy that you are using. That's kind of where your focus is. And the other thing I was going to ask you about just to kind of give us a base of your opinion, and how you see the world. Indoor air quality, of course, is hugely important. What is indoor air quality to you?

Mattias Utbys  3:18  
In the air quality? One of my favorite words, actually, one of the most important things we can give to our fellow human beings, I would say, I mean, we in very few ways we can inflate people's health, their performance, their lives in a big way to speak. I mean clean air, the right amount of air, makes people happy. Makes people live longer makes people feel better. It's a great thing, actually.

Dusty Rhodes  3:52  
I'm a great man for spreadsheets, and if you were cold and calculated, and you'd say okay, well, if I put this system in with cleaner air, I will get X percentage more out of my employees, and therefore it's the profit line. And that's kind of what you're saying. You're not cold hearted like me. But that's it. You mean?

Mattias Utbys  4:10  
Actually, yes. Yes, indeed. I mean, it's it's not cold hearted, actually. Anyways, I mean, not everyone can be a doctor or a firefighter or a police officer or something like that. But me I mean, we all can do something and we work in this industry can make cleaner for people inside. That's a big thing

Dusty Rhodes  4:32  
It is a big thing. And as you say it's good for people's health and it's good for the owners wealth. Let's get into that. Then tell me how is clean air in buildings and energy costs linked.

Mattias Utbys  4:44  
They are quite strongly linked together. Sometimes even people try to lower the quality of the air inside to save energy. I mean, that's not a must. I mean in my opinion, we can have both good indoor air quality and save energy. We just need to look at our air handling units and see and sometimes change some things with inside of them. In my case, I would suggest filter filters filtration,

Dusty Rhodes  5:17  
OK, how important then is that filtration in the overall efficiency of an air con unit?

Mattias Utbys  5:26  
I would say they are essential. I mean, the filters are the only thing protecting us people or some kind of process or what we have inside from all the pollution outside. I mean, they are essential to this. It's always possible to have higher graded filters to take more pollutions. But the higher filtration, we have the higher efficiency of the filtration. Most of the time, it costs more energy. So it's always some kind of there's a bit of a payoff. Yes, indeed, indeed.

Dusty Rhodes  6:02  
And then the kind of things progressed in the last 10, or maybe even 20 years, because technology is constantly progressing and constantly improving, how have air filters and air filtering systems changed from say, the turn of the century, 21 or 22 years ago to today, 

It's been a great improvement, I would say, mostly in the energy side, we have been lowering the resistance or the pressure drops, as we say, we get more air through the filters bar while maintaining the same filtration efficiency. So we remove the same kind of amount of pollution, but we transport the air much more easily. So we save a lot of energy in this.

And do you have any examples of where those kind of huge energy savings were made?

Mattias Utbys  6:55  
I do actually, I have one that I'm especially proud of. And that's one big hospital here in Stockholm, where I'm based the Nordics biggest hospital. We it was built a few years ago. And last year, we were called to come there and make a filtration overview. Okay, so we went there, me and a few of my Cabinet colleagues. And we made a system review of the total installation,

Dusty Rhodes  7:22  
And what kind of a system did they have in there?

Mattias Utbys  7:25  
They had a lot of different air handling units. They had the filters of another brand, and some of ours. So we made some changes to the filtration grades, we made some changes to the filters, and we managed to save a lot of money in energy, we managed to save the time between filter changes, so they could save some money on buying filters as well. So they would last longer. The Yes, okay. And we also improved their indoor air quality. So it's quite a good pay off on this one.

Dusty Rhodes  8:03  
At the same time. So then give me Have you any idea percentage wise, what kind of a saving the hospital made on energy costs?

Mattias Utbys  8:10  
I think it was about 30% of the air handling units.

Dusty Rhodes  8:15  
Wow. And did they keep the initial hardware in place? But it was the filtering system that the changed? Yes. And that was the enormous difference that was made. Wow, wow. It's a very big amount. Financially, I suppose that's one measurement of how successful it is, if you were to look at a system and to kind of say, Okay, what if we change the filters, which I suppose is the key component? But how are these filters actually measured for energy? 

Well, there's a standard, there's an ISO standard, all over the globe, that tells us how to measure and test filters. And there's an also an standard from the eurovent, the European body that tells us how to rank filters and the device. It's kind of funny, because you will recognize them if you go to buy some electric hardware.

So if you were to buy a fridge or a dishwasher, I mean, for me just a normal person, you've got a scale of A B C, D, and the closer you get to a the more efficient and less money it will cost. Are you saying that they do filters with the same scale?

Mattias Utbys  9:28  
Exactly. And you will also have the important function of this. So it's not just an energy label, you will also have, you will know that it's also tested and you will do the work.

Dusty Rhodes  9:40  
Okay. And this is part of the ISO specification is it doesn't just measure the energy of measures measures the effectiveness. 

Mattias Utbys  9:48  
Yes this is part of the Euro Vent, and it's combined with ISO standards.

Dusty Rhodes  9:52  
Okay, so tell me more about the Euro Vent standards.

Mattias Utbys  9:57  
It's as as I mentioned, graded from A plus now To E, filters are tested, all the suppliers, who's part of this program will send their filters regularly. And each time we make upgrades, of course, we will sell new ones. And also yearly, the filters will be tested and reviewed. So it's quite a quality mark to have this.

Dusty Rhodes  10:21  
So if we have somebody listening to our podcast today, and they're thinking for their facility that I would like to improve the air quality, and I also want to reduce the energy costs, what kind of systems do they need to be thinking about? To achieve that?

Mattias Utbys  10:37  
I would use the Eurovent certification, I would like them to be aware of if we look at the lifecycle cost of an air filter, about 70% of the total cost of ownership of an air filter is energy.

Dusty Rhodes  10:54  
Explain that more for me. Why? 

Mattias Utbys  10:58  
Because the higher filtration efficiency we have in a filter, the more resistance to the air. So we need to turn up the engine to make the engine go faster in the fan. And the more energy we put in, the more the higher costs.

Dusty Rhodes  11:16  
Okay. All right. So how have the filters changed, then? So that you can run the fans at a lower speed and keeping your energy costs down?

Mattias Utbys  11:24  
There's been a big difference and a big development in this area. I mean, if we take your filter from the century, 20 years ago, it's hardly any visible difference. We if we look at them, but that's a major difference on how they work today from that area. 70% is energy 15% Is the filter cost? So it's quite a low point.

Dusty Rhodes  11:51  
Mattias, tell me, how did you get into this business? Because you've been doing it a long time, even before you came to Camfil. What what is it about this business that you like,

Mattias Utbys  12:01  
I mean, it's a big possibility to make changes and difference to people. I mean, I go to visit a school, sometimes from the customers. And I mean, kids, children are the most important for our future. Sometimes I get actually a bit angry when looking into schools and their ventilation systems. There's a lot of changes to be made to improve for our children. For one thing, it's quite easy. I mean, it's not rocket science, we need to focus energy, we need to focus indoor air quality, to make a good environment for everyone to breathe. I love this I, I had big possibilities to make changes, possible possibilities to make difference for people.

Dusty Rhodes  12:53  
So then, in all of your years, and I won't just include Camfil in this but other employees that you would have had beforehand. What's the thing you're most proud of that you've done?

Mattias Utbys  13:07  
I'm most proud of the changes to the business. I mean, I'm not the only one working with this, but I have seen the difference the last 20 years. And it's a big difference. quality wise. I mean energy is one thing but indoor air quality makes people breathe very good, makes people healthy. That's a big change. And I've been a part of this here in Sweden. I really love this. That's a great thing that makes me proud.

Dusty Rhodes  13:39  
Very well put. Mattias. Thank you so very much for sharing your time and your knowledge with us. If you'd like to find out more about this, just follow the links in the show notes. You'll find them in the description of this podcast on your phone or whatever device you're listening to us on. They include links and contact details Matthias has got his LinkedIn details in there as well. So you grab it them. Our podcast today was produced by Camfil, a world leader in the development and production of air filters and clean air solutions. To stay up to date on how clean air can affect the quality process for you and at the workplace. Do click follow or subscribe so you get our next show automatically. Until then for myself dusty Thank you as always for listening and take care.