How do you prevent COVID-19 from traveling through hospitals? Powerful air filtration is essential to stopping the spread, but many hospitals only have these systems in certain areas—like isolation rooms. In cities with the worst outbreaks, there are far more patients than rooms with safe air.
Carrier Global Corporation—a Florida manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as refrigeration and fire and security technologies—used their expertise to help convert normal rooms to air isolation rooms by developing the OptiClean negative air machine.
The specs: Powerful air filtration systems are usually hard-wired, making them impossible to transport. Carrier’s OptiClean device, on the other hand, is unique, featuring:
- A wheeled base, allowing it to be moved to different hospital rooms as needed;
- A cord that plugs into a standard 115-volt outlet, so it can be used in pretty much any room;
- A 100% seal, which keeps unclean air from bypassing the filters—making it as powerful as traditional air filtration systems that are hardwired into isolation rooms; and
- A two-way system that allows it to serve as either 1) a negative pressure machine, drawing in clean air from outside a hospital room while pumping contaminated air into a contained exhaust system, or 2) a “scrubber” in an open-air temporary hospital, by pulling air in, removing contaminants, and sending cleaner air back out.
The timeline: In just two weeks this March, the Carrier team developed a prototype and shipped four models to hospitals across the country for field trials—a process that would ordinarily take up to a year.
The result: Carrier has been producing OptiClean devices since April and has already fulfilled orders for hundreds of units.
What’s next: Carrier is hoping OptiClean devices will be used in homes, businesses, assisted living facilities and elsewhere in future to provide cleaner air and protect vulnerable populations.
Across the country, manufacturers like Carrier are helping people breathe easier.