It’s no secret that consumers are demanding products that are safer and healthier for themselves and their families. But many brands are capitalizing on this by making health claims that are scientifically unfounded. What separates the companies that are delivering on their brand promise from the ones that are not, and how can companies tighten their messaging to cut across the noise?
Here, Allergy Standards’ Digital Marketing Manager, Léa Daulan, interviews leaders, brand managers, and marketers who are part of a global movement towards healthier products that are rooted in rigorous science. In this interview, meet Jay Ayers, IAQ Product Manager, HVAC Residential HVAC & Supply at Ingersoll Rand.
Léa Daulan: The CleanEffects™ is the very first whole home air cleaner to earn the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Mark, making Trane an innovator in its field. Why was it important for Ingersoll Rand to fill in this gap and to become CERTIFIED?
Jay Ayers: We felt like we had the best premium whole home filter product on the market, so we wanted to partner with an advocate as dedicated to clean indoor air as we were and who was promoting its importance, especially to those with asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) offered the very best program in collaboration with a third-party standards body, Allergy Standards, so the validation was totally independent, and the standards to meet the program requirements were very stringent. Getting CERTIFIED by this program validated our hypothesis that the Trane CleanEffects™ whole home air cleaner is a very good product.
Léa: What type of scientific testing did the CleanEffects™ undertake to become asthma & allergy friendly® CERTIFIED?
Jay: To be included in the program, our product was tested by Allergy Standards via one of its partner labs, Airmid Healthgroup. The tests are very specific and unique because they test in a simulated home environment, whereas most filters are tested in air duct chambers and rated for efficiency at a distance only 4 inches away from the filter. By using the certification methodology, we can see not only the measured efficiency of the filter but the filter’s effectiveness over time. We call that the Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR for short. It is one thing to say that your filter is efficient, but it is another thing to say that your filter is efficient and effective at removing particulates and pollens from the indoor air.
In order to become CERTIFIED, the CleanEffects™ was required to pass a specific percentage of removal of dust mites, cat allergens and grass pollen from the test room within a 30-minute period. These are three of the most common indoor allergens that trigger respiratory distress in allergy / asthma sensitive people.
It also was important to verify that Trane’s reusable collector cells (filter) are long lasting and deliver a lower maintenance cost than the competition’s air cleaners that require filter replacements at least annually. The Certification Program tested the recovery rate of our air cleaner and reported a 98% recovery rate of the original efficiency level before cleaning. This test was repeated over 10 use and clean cycles, which means that consumers can expect 5 years of efficient performance before purchasing new replacement cells.
The main takeaway from these rigid tests is that our filter can take a lot of dust and still maintain effectiveness without costing consumers the monthly filter replacements.
Separately, Trane wanted to carry the testing even further by testing for removal of common influenza virus, which makes people sick, by filling a test room with 3 times the amount of influenza virus that could be expected in a normal home. The results proved a 99% reduction of the influenza virus in the room within 30 minutes of turning on the CleanEffects Air Cleaner.
Léa: Was the data you received from the testing report with the high performance of your product against our scientific standards helpful to enable you to differentiate your product; and how have you translated the leading technological features of the CleanEffects™ in your marketing messaging?
Yes, it helps us differentiate our product tremendously because we are the only whole home air cleaner product that has passed these rigorous standards.
So, we really emphasize the effectiveness of CleanEffects™ for taking things out of the air. Not only does our product remove pet dander and allergy pollen from of the air – which are in the 2- to 5-micron size particle category (and many of less efficient media type filters do a good job at that level), but but the CleanEffects™ also takes out the sub-micron (less than 1) particles that go into people’s lungs such as mold and influenza virus. Those particles are the ones that most affect people suffering from asthma and allergies, and that’s our differentiating message.
Léa: In what ways do you utilize third party Certification Marks and testing programs to validate claims?
Jay: We added the asthma & allergy friendly® trademark on all our marketing literature and we have added the label on the product door as well as the outer packaging. We also have shared our story with consumer and trade media through paid and earned opportunities. Plus, we have featured the Certification Mark at all our national trade shows.
The mark is a true differentiator for our product.
Léa: Do you feel that consumers are becoming more concerned about air quality in their home?
We recently participated in a survey of American homeowners and found almost to 60% of those surveyed ranked indoor air quality concerns as 8 or higher on a 10-point scale, with 10 representing most important and 1 representing the least. So, yes, it is quite important to consumers.
The highest rated concerns were mold, carbon monoxide, bacteria, viruses and pollen. With the CleanEffects™ efficiency and high CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) we are able to filter out four of the five leading concerns, with carbon monoxide being the only exception. Of course, there are specific monitors available on the market specifically to address carbon monoxide concerns. We also targeted people with pets and with children who suffer from asthma and allergies. With 60 million people in the U.S. suffering from asthma and allergies, our survey discovered that a significant percentage of productivity is lost from employees missing work due to allergy and asthma distress. Making sure that the home environment is healthier is not only beneficial to business but is a necessity for those who are severely impacted by these health issues.
Léa: How does the CleanEffects™ help consumers to create healthier environments in their homes?
Jay: Connected to the home’s HVAC system, CleanEffects™ filters the air continuously, running every time the heating and cooling system turns on. In a typical home, that means the air is filtered about 5 to 7 times in a 24 hours period, during which 100% of the home’s air passes through CleanEffects™. Each time the air passes through the patented IFD™ technology filter, the system takes out more indoor pollutants. As people come and go from their homes, they also bring in additional pollutants, so it’s important that our filter works continuously to keep our customers’ home clean and healthy. The CleanEffects™ filter may be cleaned with a vacuum or a blower, usually twice a year, to keep the filter in peak condition.
Léa: What are Trane’s objectives in 2019 to best meet rising consumer demand for healthier products?
Jay: We are constantly developing and bringing to market new and better products to improve the health, well-being and comfort of consumers. One of our newest product categories is ventilation. Trane not only wants to clean the air, but also ensure that fresh air is introduced into the home. According to the EPA. indoor air has been found to be as much as 5 times more contaminated than outdoor air. We are also doing work around the accuracy and consumer interest of indoor air sensors that could detect and inform consumers about changing indoor air quality and conditions inside their home. It is an exciting time to be focusing on Indoor Air Quality as consumer awareness has increased exponentially around the topic.
Léa: For people looking to purchase this product the CleanEffects™, where can they find it?
Jay: We sell though company owned and independent distributors who sell to installing trained dealers and contractors. For more information, go to www.trane.com/residential
Léa: Thank you.
About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand is committed to meeting the world’s growing critical need for clean and comfortable air, safe and fresh food, energy efficiency and sustainable business practices. They’re passionate about building a better future – a world of sustainable progress and enduring results.
About Allergy Standards
Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) mantra is design thinking and an innovation for healthier indoor air for the allergy aware consumer. As an independent, international certification company, it creates meaningful scientific standards for testing a wide range of products and services to determine their impact on improving indoor air quality. ASL’s intellectual property portfolio includes unique testing protocols and suitability specifications for products to be CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®. ASL’s mission is to improve lives by empowering people create the healthiest possible indoor environment through science, education and innovation. Our vision is a world where all ER visits caused by exposure to avoidable indoor allergens are eliminated.
Trane, Ingersoll Rand, HVAC, CleanEffects™, air filter, air cleaner, sustainability, health, allergen, allergy, asthma, asthma & allergy friendly, healthier home, certified, indoor air quality, indoor environment, healthier home
Click here to view the CERTIFIED Clean Effects
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