1. Air Handling In The Workplace: The Importance of Facilities Management

    Leave a Comment

    In today’s fast-paced workplaces, amidst pressing deadlines and high productivity, one critical element often goes unnoticed ­– the quality of the air we breathe.

    Although it might not be as noticeable as office equipment and decor, the air we inhale within our workplaces plays a pivotal role in our health, well-being, and overall productivity. This fundamental aspect, often overlooked, is a core facet of Facilities Management.

    In this article, we uncover the significance of air handling in the workplace, looking at how it affects not only the physical health of employees but also the efficiency and sustainability of businesses. Through this exploration, we shed light on the pivotal role that Facilities Management and advanced air filtration solutions play in cultivating healthier and more productive work environments.

    Proper air handling is far more than just a technicality in workplace management – it’s a fundamental pillar upon which the health and productivity of employees stand.

    Understanding ISO 16890 Testing

    Air handling is a multifaceted process integral to various industries, involving the movement, distribution, and regulation of indoor and outdoor air. It encompasses ventilation, heating, cooling, filtration, humidification, dehumidification, and control of air quality. This comprehensive approach ensures that the air within a specific environment is of high quality, maintaining optimal conditions for the occupants or processes within that space.

    This complex system of air handling caters to different industries in distinct ways, shaping their environments and operations in a variety of customised approaches.

    Significance of Air Handling in Different Industries

    Healthcare Industry

    In healthcare facilities, air handling systems are vital for maintaining sterile environments and preventing the spread of infections. Proper ventilation and air filtration are crucial in places like hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, where patients, staff, and sensitive equipment are highly susceptible to airborne contaminants. Air handling systems help control pathogens and maintain a safe atmosphere for both patients and healthcare professionals.

    Manufacturing and Industrial Sector

    Industries relying on precision and consistency, such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, and food processing, require controlled environments. Air handling systems play a pivotal role by regulating temperature and humidity, ensuring dust and contaminants are filtered out. This is vital for maintaining the quality of products and preventing equipment damage, especially in cleanrooms and manufacturing facilities where even microscopic particles can disrupt processes.

    Commercial Buildings

    Air handling systems in offices, shopping centres, hotels, and other commercial spaces enhance the comfort and well-being of occupants. They regulate temperature, control humidity, and filter pollutants, ensuring a pleasant atmosphere. Energy-efficient systems not only create a better environment but also contribute to cost savings for businesses.

    Education Sector

    Schools, colleges, and universities benefit from efficient air handling systems to create conducive learning environments. Proper ventilation and air quality contribute to the health of students and staff, creating an atmosphere better suited for concentration and academic performance.

    Data Centres

    Data centres, housing sensitive electronic equipment, rely heavily on precise air handling. Maintaining an optimal temperature and humidity level is critical to prevent overheating and equipment failures. Air filtration systems are employed to keep out dust and contaminants, ensuring the continuous and reliable operation of servers and networking devices.

    Hospitality Industry

    Hotels and restaurants utilise air handling systems to maintain a pleasant atmosphere for guests. Proper ventilation and air filtration enhance the overall experience, ensuring that guests are comfortable and safe from allergens and pollutants.

    By tailoring these systems to specific industry requirements, businesses can create environments that are conducive to health, productivity, and the overall success of their operations.

    The impact of poor air quality on employees’ health and well-being

    Poor air quality in workplaces goes beyond being a minor inconvenience; it profoundly affects employees’ health. Exposure to indoor pollutants like dust and pollen can cause allergies, asthma, and chronic respiratory issues. Allergies often lead to common symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes. Inadequate ventilation hampers cognitive functions, impacting concentration and causing fatigue and memory problems. Long-term exposure increases the risk of severe illnesses like respiratory diseases. Uncomfortable air quality also elevates stress levels, affecting emotional well-being and job satisfaction.

    Recognising these risks highlights the crucial need for proper air handling systems and effective filtration. Investing in clean indoor air isn’t just about health; it’s the foundation for a productive workforce, creating environments where individuals can thrive both personally and professionally.

    Common pollutants found in indoor air and their sources

    Indoor air pollution is a complex issue influenced by various factors. Understanding the common pollutants and their sources is essential for mitigating health risks and ensuring a healthy indoor environment. Here are some prevalent indoor air pollutants and where they originate:

    Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10)

    Sources: Dust, pollen, pet dander, mould spores, and particles from cooking and tobacco smoke.

    Health Impact: Respiratory problems, allergies, and aggravation of pre-existing conditions.


    Sources: Tobacco smoke, fireplaces, burning candles, frying foods.

    Health Impact: Cardiovascular and respiratory effects.

    Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS)

    Sources: Cleaning products, paints, varnishes, disinfectants, air fresheners, and office equipment like printers and copiers.

    Health Impact: Eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and long-term exposure can cause damage to organs.

    Carbon Monoxide (CO)

    Sources: Incomplete combustion from gas stoves, heating systems, tobacco smoke, and car exhaust in enclosed spaces.

    Health Impact: Headaches, dizziness, nausea, and, in severe cases, can be fatal.


    Sources: Furniture, carpets, particleboard, plywood, and some cleaning products.

    Health Impact: Eye, nose, and throat irritation, allergies, and potential carcinogenic effects with prolonged exposure.


    Sources: Soil under buildings, especially in areas with high uranium content in the ground.

    Health Impact: Lung cancer; radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

    Mould and Mildew

    Sources: Dampness, water leaks, and high humidity provide ideal conditions for mould growth on walls, ceilings, and carpets.

    Health Impact: Allergies, respiratory issues, and irritation of eyes, nose, and throat.

    Tobacco Smoke

    Sources: Smoking indoors releases thousands of harmful chemicals into the air.

    Health Impact: Respiratory problems, increased risk of cancer, especially for passive smokers (non-smokers exposed to smoke). Identifying and minimising exposure to these pollutants is crucial for maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Proper ventilation, regular cleaning, and using HEPA filters where appropriate, can significantly reduce indoor air pollution and its associated health risks.

    The Role of Facilities Management

    What is Facilities Management?

    Facilities management is the multidisciplinary approach to ensuring the functionality, safety, comfort, and efficiency of the built environment – encompassing everything from buildings and infrastructure to people and processes. It involves integrating people, place, process, and technology to optimise the functionality of an organisation. At its core, facilities management strives to create an environment that strategically aligns with the organisation’s objectives while providing a safe and productive space for its occupants.

    The link between Facilities Management and air handling

    At the heart of facilities management lies the vital responsibility of managing indoor air quality through effective air handling systems. The connection between facilities management and air handling is paramount, especially in environments where the health and well-being of occupants are non-negotiable, such as healthcare facilities, commercial spaces, educational institutions, and industrial complexes. Facilities managers play a pivotal role in ensuring that indoor air quality meets required standards, creating an environment conducive to the health and productivity of the occupants.

    Facilities managers play a central role in air handling, collaborating with HVAC specialists to design tailored systems based on building requirements. They oversee regular maintenance, ensuring filters, fans, and ducts are functioning optimally. Utilising advanced monitoring technologies, they track air quality parameters and adjust ventilation and filtration processes as needed. Additionally, managers stay updated on regulations and standards, ensuring compliance for a healthy indoor environment.

    Achieving Cost Savings and Energy Efficiency with proper aid handling and filtration

    Implementing proper air handling and filtration systems not only ensures a healthier workplace but also translates into substantial cost savings for businesses. By efficiently regulating indoor air quality, companies reduce the risk of employee sick days, increase productivity, and enhance overall workforce well-being.

    Well-maintained filtration systems significantly prolong the lifespan of equipment and reduce energy consumption by optimising ventilation. Lower maintenance costs, reduced energy bills, and enhanced productivity collectively contribute to substantial financial savings in the long run.

    Proper air handling isn’t just an investment in health; it’s a strategic move that pays dividends by fostering a healthier bottom line for businesses.

    Westbury: Pioneering Air Filtration Solutions

    With a rich history dating back to 1969, Westbury is an industry leader in the field of air filtration.

    What sets Westbury apart is our customised approach to solving air quality challenges across diverse industries. Our tailored solutions address these specific needs, offering businesses not just generic products, but precisely engineered systems.

    By analysing the distinct demands of each industry, we deliver solutions that ensure optimal air quality and safety, with a commitment to client satisfaction.

    For further advice on how filter test standards have evolved and for a clear & honest conversation about the points discussed above, contact Westbury today.

  2. Westbury Recognised As Top Supplier For Air Filter Supply Framework

    Leave a Comment

    Westbury are delighted to confirm our recent award as supplier of air filters and associated products to the North West Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC). After a rigorous review and tender process, Westbury has been successful in Lots 1 and 2 of the newly invigorated Facilities Supplies framework, which covers both air filter supply and associated fitting, maintenance, removal & disposal.

    Westbury’s successful offering represents a continuation of a long-standing supply relationship that goes back many years and reflects our wealth of experience in the education sector. As a proud member of previous NWUPC frameworks, the renewal of the facilities agreement is seen by Westbury as the foundation for our continued presence in this sector and demonstrates our committment to assisting facilities managers to optimise their approaches to air filtration.

    Thanks to our dedication and experience, we are proud to have been named as the top-scoring supplier in both lots of the framework and we relish the opportunities this will undoubtedly bring for us to collaborate further with existing and prospective stakeholders in universities across the country.

    The NWUPC framework also provides the basis for many other purchasing consortiums across the UK and allows Westbury to demonstrate the ways in which we can add value for educational establishments from kindergarten right through to further education and beyond!

    Contact us today to discuss how our experience can save you money, assist your net-zero ambitions and deliver the clean air that we all deserve.

  3. Join us at Surface World 2023 this October

    Leave a Comment

    Westbury will be exhibiting at the forthcoming Surface World trade show at Birmingham’s NEC on the 4th & 5th October 2023.

    The show is a great opportunity for professionals from all aspects of the surface finishing industry to get together, share ideas and discuss the latest technologies in the sector.

    In the past, the show has always been a hive of activity and this year’s show promises to be bigger and better than ever!

    Westbury and its sister company Total Filtration will be exhibiting our innovative air & liquid filtration technologies on stand K10 across the two days.

    Registration for visitors to the event is open now and free to attend. You can contact our process filtration expert Mark Longworth on 01282 410252 to discuss further – we’d love to know if you’re planning to attend!

    For more information, please visit

    See you at the NEC!

  4. Westbury receives prestigious Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance award

    Leave a Comment

    Westbury Filtermation’s commitment to good practice in Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance (ESG) has been recognised, with Avetta nominating Westbury as one of its ESG leaders.

    The award confirms Westbury’s “dedication to sustainable practices and strategies” and cements the progress that the business has made in these areas in recent years.

    Avetta is a platform which aims to create transparency between supply chain and client partners to mitigate environmental and social risks. Westbury’s work to align our commitments with Avetta’s core values – Safe, Sustainable and Secure – allows Westbury to provide our key clients with the reassurance that our approach is sustainable and founded on ethical business values.

  5. Comparing Air Filter Performance

    Leave a Comment

    Indoor air quality has become a growing concern in recent years as people spend more time indoors.

    Properly specified and maintained Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems can play a crucial role in ensuring that people and processes are properly protected. Air filtration within HVAC systems is critical in ensuring the air we breathe is clean, but how can users verify the performance of their air filters?

    Understanding ISO 16890 Testing

    ISO 16890 is the globally recognised standard for evaluating air filters used in HVAC systems. In 2016 it replaced the previous EN779 standard and provides users with a useful tool for comparing the filtration performance & energy efficiency of air filtration solutions.

    The results of air filter testing against ISO 16890 are expressed in relation to particulate sizes (1 micron, 2.5 micron & 10 micron). This allows users to assess the efficiency performance of filters against particulate size and make straightforward comparisons.

    Reputable filter providers will have access to an ongoing program of independent filter testing and should be able to provide ISO 16890 guidance on request.

    Beware of misleading claims!

    Despite the best efforts of industry leaders and filtration experts to implement ISO 16890 in a way which increases transparency for users, there remain many misleading claims within the air filtration marketplace.

    Caution should be exercised where filter providers claim that additional approvals are required to deliver “compliance”. Any claims that further approvals or trade-body memberships are required are false and should be dismissed.

    Similarly, any reputable filter provider should be conversant in the terminology of ISO 16890. Many users of air filtration products are still most familiar with the terminology of previous filter standards and our role as industry experts is to be able to talk both “languages”, for the benefit of air filtration users.

    For further advice on how filter test standards have evolved and for a clear & honest conversation about the points discussed above, contact Westbury today.

  6. Air Filter Maintenance Guide

    Leave a Comment

    Air filters are often “out of sight, out of mind”, however many users do not realise the enormous cost savings that are achievable through air filtration optimisation, including appropriate maintenance.

    Maintaining your air filters is essential to ensure smooth performance of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

    1. Check the filters regularly
    It is important to check your filters regularly to ensure that they are not clogged with dirt and debris. Whilst visual checks can be beneficial in spotting any air bypass or incorrect fitment, because the air filters are removing particulate that is invisible to the naked eye, differential pressure should be monitored using manometers, magnehelic gauges, or similar. The differential pressure is the best way to determine when a filter is approaching the end of its economical service life.

    2. Replace dirty filters
    Dirty filters can reduce the airflow in your system, leading to higher energy costs and reduced air delivery. Once your filters reach the end of their service life they should be replaced as soon as possible. Westbury can provide guidance for users on optimum change-out points as well as additional support on responsible and compliant disposal of waste filters. You can read more about Westbury’s licensed waste disposal services here.

    3. Choose the right filter(s)
    Choosing the right filters for your system is essential for maintaining optimal performance. Not only should filter selection be appropriate for delivering the quality of air needed in your application, but also bear in mind that filters protect and prolong the service life of many other components in the ventilation system such as coils, dampers & ductwork. You can read more on selecting the right filter for your application here.

    4. Schedule routine maintenance
    Routine maintenance is essential for ensuring the correct performance of your HVAC system and maximising the longevity of its components. Visual inspections should be carried out in conjunction with regular monitoring to spot any issues that need attention. You can read more about Westbury’s on site services including filter fitting, equipment servicing and ensuring regulatory compliance here.

    Appropriate maintenance is critical in allowing your HVAC assets to perform at their best. A filter is always a small part of a larger system, but filters are a key component in providing protection for people and processes as well as offering straightforward opportunities for reducing costs and extending the service life of the whole HVAC system.

  7. Air Filter Selection Guide

    Leave a Comment

    When it comes to selecting HVAC air filters, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right options for your application:

    1. Filter Efficiency
    The first selection consideration is the efficiency rating, or the capability of the filter to capture particulate. The higher the efficiency, the more effective the filter will be in capturing smaller particles. You can read more about filter efficiency here.

    2. Airflow Resistance
    Resistance to airflow is crucial factor to consider when selecting any air filter. Higher efficiency filters generally have a greater resistance to airflow, which brings with it increased energy consumption. Filter selection should also be considered in the context of the HVAC system as a whole, to ensure that the fan and other components can deliver sufficient quantities of air, allowing for the resistance to airflow that the filter(s) present.

    The ideal filter selection should deliver a low resistance to airflow to minimise energy costs. A filter that can maintain low resistance for a long period of time, will deliver the lowest costs of operation. You can read more about minimising life cycle costs by clicking here.

    3. Particle Size
    The size of the particulate that the filters will be exposed to should also be considered when selecting air filters – different filters are designed to capture specific particle sizes. In many cases a multi-stage approach is preferred, with coarse pre-filters removing large particulate and higher efficiency secondary filters positioned downstream to remove finer particulate.

    4. Environmental Factors
    Local environmental factors, such as the concentration of particulates and proximity to sources of air contamination should also be considered when selecting an air filter. It is important to remember that these factors are variable and will be influenced by factors such as seasonal changes, nearby construction works, time of day, etc.  This should be considered when selecting filtration and planning appropriate maintenance regimes.

    Taking these factors into account demonstrates that appropriate filter selection is vital for achieving and maintaining appropriate air quality and optimal system performance. Consideration of filter efficiency, airflow resistance, particulate size and environmental conditions will all be important. The correct selections in the balance of these considerations will ensure that your systems can operate efficiently and effectively to recover lost revenues, reduce costs and deliver improved efficiencies. 

    Contact Westbury today to arrange for a FREE of charge site survey to assess how your systems can be optimised.

  8. Energy Saving Through Air Filtration Optimisation

    Leave a Comment

    Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems play a critical role in maintaining indoor air quality and thermal comfort. However, HVAC systems also account for a significant consumption of energy in many buildings. One way to reduce energy consumption and improve the efficiency of HVAC systems is by optimising the air filtration used in such systems.

    How HVAC air filtration systems work

    Air filters are an essential component of HVAC systems, performing a crucial role in protecting people and processes by removing pollutants such as dust, pollen and bacteria from the air. However, any air filter(s) will also create a resistance to the air flowing through the system, which increases the energy consumption of HVAC systems. The higher the resistance, the more energy is required to move air through the system. Therefore, it is vital to select air filters that provide an appropriate filtration efficiency whilst also minimising resistance to airflow.

    Optimising Air Filtration for Energy Efficiency

    There are several ways to optimise air filtration and reduce energy consumption in HVAC systems:

    Choosing the Right HVAC Air Filters

    The selection of air filters should be based on the needs of each application. A higher efficiency filter will provide better air quality, but it will also create higher resistance to airflow and increase energy consumption. It is essential to select air filters with the right balance of filtration efficiency and resistance. You can read more on selecting the right filter for your application in our guide to air filter selection.

    Regular Maintenance and Replacement

    The dirtier a filter becomes, the more resistance to airflow increases and the more energy consumption rises. It is crucial to maintain and replace air filters regularly to ensure that they perform at their best. Regular maintenance can help to reduce airflow resistance, improve air flow, and reduce energy consumption. You can read more on appropriate air filter maintenance.

    Consider HVAC Air Filtration Retrofitting

    Air filter retrofitting involves replacing existing filters with filters that have a lower resistance to airflow. In many cases this is straightforward and will deliver improved air quality, whilst drastically reducing energy consumption and allowing more air to be delivered through the system. Retrofitting can also help to extend the life of HVAC systems and reduce maintenance costs. Discover the transformative benefits of air filter upgrades.

    Optimisation of air filtration is a highly effective way to reduce energy consumption and improve the efficiency of HVAC systems. A combination of correct selection, appropriate maintenance and consideration of filtration improvements can all combine to deliver reduced energy consumption. In this way building owners can save money on energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and improve the overall sustainability of their buildings.

    Contact Westbury for Your Free Energy Consumption Assessment

    Ready to enhance your HVAC energy efficiency? Contact Westbury today to discuss getting started with your FREE energy consumption assessment and discuss how optimised air filtration can save you money, reduce your carbon footprint, and enhance your building’s sustainability.