Project Development Engineer
Eurovent Certita Certification
Air cleaning devices: a
growing market polluted by confusing communication
to an industry study published in March 2016 by the Freedonia Group, global demand for consumer air
treatment systems is projected to increase to over $10 billion in 2019.
growing public awareness about indoor air pollution coming from furniture,
construction materials and sometimes poor quality ventilation has conducted the
consumers to care more and more about the effect that these pollutants can have
on their health. In some countries, such
as Japan, where air cleaning systems are used to capture tobacco smoke when
smoking indoor, the air cleaning devices have even become part of “standard”
domestic appliances. Besides, the rising diagnosis of asthma and allergic
rhinitis, as well as peak pollution incidents in urban areas are contributing
to increase the air cleaning devices market demand. This phenomenon has become
worldwide and air cleaning devices are appearing everywhere on the market.
growing market the manufacturers are all claiming that their product is
“efficient against all air pollutants” and will “ensure a purified air in the
house where children will be safer and parents happier”. Still, few manufacturers
quantify their product performance and when they provide figures these are
difficult to compare (different units, no information about operating
conditions…). The consumer is therefore forced to base his choice on marketing criteria
without any clear commitment from the manufacturer.
A need for a harmonized
To enable and
encourage manufacturers to communicate about quantified performances on a levelled
ground, the first step is to provide them a standard to refer to. Indeed, there
is no international product standard available for air cleaners except for
electrical safety aspects. Several testing methods are
coexisting (ANSI/AHAM AC-1:2006, JEM 1467:2013, GB/T 18801:2015…) and used by some manufacturers to
evaluate their products. However, these methods are not recognized on a global
scale and the valorisation is limited to the local market.
testing standards exist the NF-B44-200:2016 and prEN 16846-1:2015, respectively derived from experimental
testing standards XP-B44-200:2011and
XP-B44-013:2009. These are candidates as testing standards on the international stage. The
specificity of NF-B44-200:2016 is the consideration of 11 indoor air pollutantsdivided into 4
categories (Particulate Matters, Volatile Organic Compounds, Micro-organisms
and Allergens). Besides, the NF-B44-200:2016 comprises a measurement of
reaction intermediates (ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen
dioxide) to verify that no dangerous products are emitted by the device.
The NF-Air Cleaners mark
Certita Certification has developed a new NF mark certification for Air
Cleaners under a mandate from AFNOR Certification. A dedicated working group
gathered four times between May and November 2015 to establish the
certification requirements and the draft document was approved by AFNOR
Certification in January 2016. The NF-Air Cleaners certification scheme entered into force on 2016, March 1st.
mark aims at certifying models of air cleaning devices (i.e. device basically
built of a fan and a set of components possessing the ability to capture and/or
partially or totally destroy air pollutants6)
for residential (domestic) and tertiary (stores, offices, classrooms, waiting
rooms…) sector applications. This definition covers all types of technology:
mechanical filtration, electrostatic filtration, plasma, ionization, UV-A or
UV-C lamp, etc.
Cleaners certification scheme enables to verify the accuracy of the performance
ratings claimed by manufacturers in terms of effectiveness with respect to several
pollutants10, but also regarding the power
consumption and the sound power level of the device.
verification is performed through product performance testing conducted by
independent laboratories selected by Eurovent Certita Certification. As the
testing standard NF-B44-200:2016 was chosen as product performance testing
method reference, the test enables to verify not only the ratings but also that
no dangerous products are emitted. Testing standard XP-B44-013:20099 may be used as a supplement in some particular cases
identified in the reference document11.
efficiency is tested at maximum operating speed for one or several pollutants
category. It is understood that a manufacturer has to declare ratings for all
the pollutants that belong to the category. For example, if the manufacturer
wants to claim that his product can remove formaldehyde from the air then he
must declare ratings for the 4 remaining gases too10
and the air cleaner is tested for the whole gas mixture as foreseen in the
testing standard6. Eurovent Certita
Certification will proceed to careful examination of technical and sales
documentation (paper and/or website content) to verify the consistency between
the declaration and the communications to the public.
volume flow rate, the sound power level and the electrical power consumption
are tested at the maximum operating speed but also at minimum and intermediate
speeds whenever applicable11. This enables the
end-user to verify the device sound power level at low speed operation (“night
mode” for example).
requirements do not stop there. To pass the test, there shall be no generation
of reaction/emission by-products and the sound power level at maximum speed
shall not exceed 60 dB[A] (when maximum purified air flow rate ≤ 250 m³/h;
65 dB[A] otherwise11).
to product performance testing, the certification scheme comprises factory
audits to check that the quality management system in place ensures the
manufacturing process reliability and consistency. This guarantees that the
tested products, sampled from the manufacturing facility or directly from the
market, are representative of the whole production.
manufacturer has passed the tests and audits and that he complies with the
specified requirements in terms of clarity and transparency of published ratings,
then he is granted the right to use the NF-Air Cleaners labelling on the
certified air cleaner model(s) and the documentation for a given period
mentioned on the certification diploma. Once an air cleaner model is certified,
a surveillance procedure is initiated, comprising annual product performance
testing and annual factory audits to verify that the requirements continue to
be fulfilled throughout the years. This surveillance procedure is mandatory to
renew the authorization to use the NF-Air Cleaners labelling.
Cleaners certification mark labelling.
No room for ambiguity in
the NF-Air Cleaners mark
Cleaners mark aims at guaranteeing clarity, transparency and comparability of the
information related to the product use. Thus, to avoid any ambiguity in
relation to the room size where the device use can be recommended, the NF-Air
Cleaners reference document11 establishes a
consistency principle between the purified air volume flow rate delivered by
the device and the surface area of the room through a minimum ratio criteria. For further details about this consistency principle please
refer to the reference document11 which is
example, when a manufacturer claims that the air cleaner can be used to remove
VOCs in a room of 50 m², the related purified air volume flow rate
measured by the laboratory shall be higher than or equal to 250 m³/h. If
this is not the case, the manufacturer shall no longer communicate about 50 m²and update his documentation with the surface area that
corresponds to the measured purified air volume flow rate and complies with the
minimum ratio defined in the NF-Air Cleaners reference document11.
measure to eliminate any risk of misunderstanding consists in specifying
clearly in which measure units the manufacturer has to communicate data. For
instance sound pressure levels shall be replaced by sound power levels and the
values shall be displayed in dB[A]. Besides whenever the manufacturer displays
a performance value the corresponding operation speed must appear.
Foreseen evolutions of the
NF-Air Cleaners mark
In the near
future, the NF-Air Cleaners mark will most certainly evolve to cover industrial
applications and duct mounted installations. A dedicated committee gathering
manufacturers, laboratories as well as consumers’ associations is in charge of
these future developments which will be managed by Eurovent Certita
As a matter
of fact, the first update of the reference document is being reviewed by the
NF-Air Cleaners mark committee. This revision aims notably at implementing the
minor changes in the testing standard. Indeed, the NF-B44-200:20166, which replaces the XP-B44-200:20118 standard referred to in the original NF-Air Cleaners
document11, changes the composition of the
tested mixture of gaseous pollutants with the introduction of formaldehyde and
the decrease of the gases concentration towards more realistic values. The proposal
of revision also provides some clarifications regarding product sampling rules
and tests to be conducted in the surveillance procedure.
revision of the reference document is expected to be published in February
A European certification
As for the
Euro-HP certification scheme, which enables participants to the NF-Heat pumps
mark to be eligible to the Eurovent Certified Performance (ECP) mark (see
dedicated article in REHVA Journal of March 2016), it is foreseen to offer a
European-Air Cleaners (Euro-ACL) mark for companies participating to the NF-Air
certification will rely upon the completion of the NF-Air Cleaners process and the
verification that the general requirements of the ECP mark, as detailed in
related Certification Manual, are fulfilled.
manufacturer will therefore be able to benefit from the ECP mark notoriety while
capitalizing on existing efforts.
documents will be submitted for approval to the Certification Programmes and
Policy Commission, independent body in charge of guaranteeing the consistency
between ECP programmes. The Euro-ACL mark is expected to enter into force in
How to get further information?
willing to get further information about the NF-Air Cleaners certification can
visit the dedicated webpage where the applicable reference document is
available in English12.
specific questions or to apply for the certification scheme please contact email@example.com
specifying “NF-Air Cleaners” in the e-mail object. There is no deadline as this
is a voluntary registration.
 World Consumer Air Treatment
Systems, Industry study 3370, The Freedonia Group Inc., March 2016.
 IEC 60335-2-65:2002 Household and
similar electrical appliances – Safety – Part 2-65: Particular requirements for
air-cleaning appliances, International Electrotechnical Commission, 2002.
ANSI/AHAM AC-1:2006 Method for measuring
performance of portable household electric room air cleaners, Association of
Home Appliance Manufacturers, 2006.
 JEM 1467:2013 Air Cleaners of
Household and Similar Use, Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association, 2013.
 GB/T 18801:2015 Air Cleaner, Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China,
NF-B44-200:2016 Independent air
purification devices for tertiary sector and residential applications - Test methods
- Intrinsic performances, AFNOR, 2016.
 prEN 16846-1:2015: Photocatalysis - Batch
mode test methods - Part 1: measurement of efficiency of photocatalytic devices
used for the elimination of VOC and odour in indoor air in active mode, AFNOR,
 XP-B44-200:2011 (OBSOLETE) Independent
air purification devices for tertiary sector and residential applications-Test
methods - Intrinsic performances, AFNOR, 2011.
 XP-B44-013:2009 Photocatalysis
-Test and analysis method for determining the efficiency of photocatalytic
systems for eliminating volatile organic compounds/odours in recirculating
interior air -Confined chamber test, AFNOR, 2009
Particulate matter (PM) in the 0.3 μm to 0.5 μm
size range, PM in the 1.0 μm to 2.0 μm
size range, PM in the
3.0 μm to 5.0 μm size range, Acetone, Acetaldehyde, Heptane, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Staphylococcus epidermidis
(bacteria), Aspergillus Niger (fungi) and Fel D1 (cat allergen)
 NF-536 Certification rules for
NF-Air Cleaners, Eurovent Certita Certification, 2016.
 New challenges for heat pump
Certita Certification,REHVA Journal Volume 53 p.31-35, March
 Certification Manual of the
Eurovent Certified Performance Mark 13th
Certita Certification, November 2016.