Contemporary lifestyles dictate that people spend between 60 and 90% of their daily lives indoors. For those living in warm climates, air conditioning is thus considered a necessity. Air conditioners function by removing hot and humid air from building interior and replacing it with cooler air. Microorganisms are considered among the most important sources of poor quality of indoor air, and contamination of this air by microbial pollutants is being increasingly recognized as a public health problem and a probable cause of the so-called sick building syndrome. In this regard, microfiber glass panel filters are considered to provide an effective solution for air filtration and have been demonstrated to improve air quality in many applications. However, recent research has demonstrated that certain microorganisms are able to colonize panel filter surfaces. Studies on selected microbes isolated from the most commonly used filters have revealed that the bacterial and fungal moist masses carried on sponge-type filters are greater than those carried on polyester and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Moreover, microbial moist mass has been found to increase with increasing incubation time. In addition, recent research has shown that certain microorganisms, particularly fungi, can colonize the materials used in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems (HVAC).
Part of the book: Low-temperature Technologies