Ms. Kathleen Owen

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Ms. Owen, ASHRAE Fellow, is an expert in air filter/cleaner filtration efficiency and test method development. She is currently the principal investigator (PI) on the ASHRAE projects conducting Interlaboratory Studies (aka Round Robins) on the ASHRAE 52.2 and 145.2 methods for testing particle and gas-phase air cleaner efficiencies.  Previously, she worked on the ASHRAE and US EPA projects that developed ASHRAE air cleaner efficiency test methods 52.2 (for particles), 145.2 (gases), and 185.1 (UV-bioaerosol). She also developed chamber test methods for gases and bioaerosols based, in large part, on the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) CADR test method.  She was the first chair of ASHRAE committee SSPC 145 and is the current chair of ASHRAE 52.2.  She is also the research subcommittee chair for TC2.3 Gaseous Contaminants and is a member of SSPC 185, TC2.4, TC2.9, and TC2.3, and of the US TAG to ISO 142. During her 33 years at RTI International, she ran ASHRAE 1360-RP and worked on many ASHRAE and EPA projects on air cleaning and air quality including the recent EPA EIP on air cleanup in VI situations.  She ran the RTI commercial air cleaner test lab for 20 years. Her BS in chemical engineering is from North Carolina State University, and her MS in Air Pollution Control Engineering is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Improving IAQ with Effective Air Filtration by In-Room Air Cleaners

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a major goal in all types of indoor environment. In our quest for Sustainability, we must not lose the goal of safe air for breathing and for equipment.  When building shells are tightened to reduce cooling or heating load or to prevent wildfire smoke from entering, we must find ways to maintain good quality air.  Certainly, a certain amount of outdoor air must be brought in to dilute some contaminants such as CO2, but many air cleaning can mitigate many issues. When running a whole building system is too expensive or too intermittent or a building does not have an HVAC, In-Room Air Cleaners can help keep the air breathable. This talk introduces the general concepts including what contaminants can be removed and how; how to size air cleaners for specific spaces; how to compare costs for IRAC vs HVAC-mounted devices; and some cautions on things to avoid. A new IRAC chapter is coming in the new ASHRAE handbook (2023); this talk presents much of that material to help filtration experts prepare to use IRAC as part of their IAQ solutions.