In partnership with IQAir (a world leader in air filtration) Hawaiian Experience Spa is in the process of upgrading its air filtration throughout the spas in Goodyear, Chandler and Scottsdale, Arizona. On June 25th, we purchased high quality HEPA air purifiers for each treatment room. We also placed a subsequent order for HEPA air purifiers for all rooms in the spa that do not receive a lot of air circulation from the HVAC system or from the outside. The safety of our guests receiving massage therapy, facials and spa services, as well as the safety of our employees, is our top priority. You can read more about our BlueAir HEPA air purifiers by checking out our other blog post here.
These were due to arrive yesterday, however, had to be rescheduled for Monday. They will be in the spas by Tuesday, July 14 at the latest. We have now started focusing on our HVAC filtration, by reviewing the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) guidelines and recommendations for air filtration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To further address the air purification within the spa, we are upgrading all of our HVAC filters to the level of air filtration that is used in hospitals. Here is some information from ASHRAE (with the link provided from the CDC) from an article specifically speaking about COVID-19 and air filtration:
“The fraction of particles removed from air passing through a filter is termed “filter efficiency” and is provided by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) under standard conditions.
• MERV ranges from 1 to 16; higher MERV = higher efficiency
• MERV ≥13 (or ISO equivalent) are efficient at capturing airborne viruses
• MERV 14 (or ISO equivalent) filters are preferred
• High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are more efficient than MERV 16 filters.”
MERV 13 filters are identified as an acceptable filtration level for airborne viruses. HEPAs are the most effective, but it is difficult to achieve that level of filtration in a normal HVAC system. Yesterday, the spa placed an order with IQAir for MERV 16 filters for the spas. Some of the spa’s air conditioning units require modifications to accept these types of filters, but while these modifications are taking place, those air conditioning units will have MERV 13 air filters in them. MERV 16 air filtration is generally above the standard filtration that is used in hospitals and is at the level that is used for general surgery. Here is a little information from IQAir that shows why we selected these filters:
“NanoMax filters exceed MERV 16 requirements per ASHRAE 52.2 standards, designed to capture up to 95% of even the smallest and deadliest airborne particles: PM2.5 (< 2.5 microns) and ultrafine particles (< 0.1 microns), which can get into your bloodstream and cause systemic health effects, including dust, mold, viruses, bacteria, allergens, and harmful traffic pollutants.”
Both the HEPA air purifiers, and the new filters, are a substantial investment for the spa. The real expense is the on-going costs for electricity, filters, and increased maintenance/repairs of the spa’s AC units. However, the spa strongly feel that these upgrades are worth it not only to help with the current crisis, but also as an on-going measure to help make the spa a safer and better environment overall, helping to address everything from airborne illness transmission, to asthma and allergies. Hawaiian Experience Spa’s goal is to be the safest place to receive lomi lomi massage, general massage therapy, Eminence Organic Facials, body wraps and body scrubs. The spa will continue to remain focused on the safety of everyone that visits us during these difficult times. Visit our new safety page for an overview of what we are doing.