ionair unit

Covid-19 has intensified the need for solutions which improve the Internal Air Quality (IAQ) of buildings.

ionair® is an air purification suite of products available from SSE that work on the principle of bipolar ionisation. They can be fitted to most air handling units and be operated and monitored remotely.

ionair logo

Bipolar ionisation technology

Bipolar ionisation is arguably the most effective internal air purification technology, with distinct advantages over competing options such as UV-C, electrostatic precipitation or HEPA filters.

It is created when an alternating voltage source is applied to a special tube with two electrodes. As a result, an ionisation field is produced around the tube. Negatively and positively charged ions attract dust particles, allergens, volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), particulate matter (PM), bacteria and several airborne viruses. Via a process called “agglomeration”, the particles are either trapped by the building’s filters or fall to the floor. The oxygen ions deactivate microorganisms by breaking down the cell membrane through a redox reaction. Odours and VOCs are neutralised as the oxygen ions react with the pollutants by trading electrons, breaking down any harmful compounds.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been working with ionair®, a Swiss manufacturer of bipolar ionisation equipment. ionair® has been trading since 1993 and has delivered over 1,000 bipolar ionisation systems worldwide, including in iconic locations such as Zurich Airport.

Under an exclusive agreement, we are now able to deliver the full range of ionair®’s Air Quality System (AQS) solutions across the UK & Ireland. Also, we can combine our offering with the complete suite of SSE’s smart buildings solutions, including:

  1. BMS Optimisation or Upgrades
  2. Replacement of existing filters
  3. Comprehensive Air Quality Monitoring via our Sensors-as-a-Service proposition
  4. Upgrade of AHU motors from AC to high-efficiency EC variants
  5. Subscription to SSE’s Mayflower Smart Cities Platform

Features & Benefits

Poor IAQ is strongly associated with low productivity, absenteeism, allergies and general illness.

Chronic exposure to poor air quality is linked to respiratory diseases, cancer and dementia. ionair®’s AQS directly addresses the presence of harmful pollutants, significantly decreasing their concentration and potentially their infectivity in terms of bacteria and viruses.

Depending on the type of application, ionair® AQS has been shown to reduce:

ionair infographic

Although work relating to SARS-CoV-2 is on-going, work carried out by the Karolinska Institute and the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control in 2014 have shown the technology was able to achieve the following:

  • Reduced the infectivity of airborne viruses such as Canine Calicivirus and Rhesus Rotavirus by more than 97%
  • Protected all guinea pigs under test from contracting Influenza A/P Panama virus

ionair installation

The ionair®; AQS is easily retrofitted into existing air handling units and the air quality is dynamically monitored via the VeritasNET online platform. Very low maintenance is required, while system diagnostics can be performed remotely.

What’s the proposition

The ionair® AQS can achieve:
  • A significant reduction in odours and airborne pathogens
  • Consistent energy savings from better managing the air handling unit operation
  • A healthier internal environment which improves well-being, productivity and comfort
  • Low maintenance cost, often significantly less than options such as carbon filters or UV-C
  • The installation can take place without disrupting the day to day operation of the building, via fully qualified and SSE approved electricians and control engineers.

We are also able to offer a finance lease, for customers who wish to spread the cost over five years or longer (terms and conditions apply).

Alongside the ionair® product, SSE can offer total building solutions which address:
  • Internal Air Quality Management
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Low and Zero Carbon generation of electricity and heat
  • Demand Side Response services

Applicable buildings

The ionair® AQS solution is fully modular and can be deployed in almost every mechanically ventilated building. Typical examples include:
  • Airports
  • Hospitals
  • Shopping Centres
  • Rail and Metro stations
  • Industrial Facilities
  • Leisure Centres
  • Sports Facilities
  • Hotels
  • Offices
  • Care Homes
  • Casinos
  • Schools
  • Restaurants

If IAQ is important to you and your building occupants, contact Chris Leech on tel:07443 174508, or email

There are ongoing laboratory tests on the effect of bipolar ionisation specifically on SARS-CoV-2. Although there are strong indications that bipolar ionisation may reduce the infectivity of this virus, there is currently no peer reviewed evidence which unequivocally confirms that bipolar ionisation (or any other air purification technology) reduces the likelihood or severity of a Covid infection. We will update our customers when we are able to verify further studies.