Air Filtration Protects Precious and Priceless Objects in Museums, Archives, Art Galleries, Libraries and Historical Sites

In preservation environments, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a primary concern. The pollution levels in this indoor air can be up to five times higher than outdoor levels, and in some cases 100 times higher. Controlling airborne pollutants and gaseous contaminants is fundamental to protecting priceless collections of artifacts, national historical assets and documents, artwork, and literature.

Damage to these objects can be caused by: 

  • uncontrolled temperature
  • relative humidity
  • dust and dirt
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • gaseous pollutants, such as ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde
  • everyday chemicals and solvents

Temperature and humidity, if not controlled, speed up the chemical reactions that cause deterioration of sensitive objects. Dust and dirt contamination causes artifacts to discolor. Gaseous pollutants may cause significant and irreversible deterioration of artifacts, metals, historic records, photographs, and marble through chemical reactions. Particles given off by paints, varnishes, cleaning chemicals, and solvents from everyday museum operations can penetrate items on exhibit.

National Air Filtration Association® (NAFA) recommends that nitrogen dioxide levels not exceed 2.6 ppb, ozone levels reach no higher than 2.0 ppb, sulfur dioxide levels remain below 1ppb, and formaldehyde levels stay at or below 4ppb. Recommended prefilters should be ASHRAE MERV 8 or higher, with fine particulate filters being ASHRAE MERV 15 or higher. AAF Flanders also offers HEPA and Gas Phase filters for enhanced protection, as well as software applications to design a specialized solution for individual spaces within your museum. Multiple-stage filtration systems are recommended for sites that house historical artifacts, arts, and antiquities.


Typical Gases Found in Museums and Historic Storage Facilities

Optimize Your Filtration and Improve Your Environment

A thorough audit of your air filtration system is the first step that AAF Flanders recommends to provide you with professional guidance and an analysis for cost savings and liability reduction opportunities. By conducting this audit, we document your current state and advise you on how your facility could perform better, helping you save money, save time, and reduce risk. After this evaluation, AAF Flanders can design custom solutions to provide carefully controlled environments for any museum or historic preservation setting. 

Contact your AAF Flanders representative to schedule an audit and to find out how the insights from intelligent data tools, including TCO Diagnostic® and Sensor360®, can improve operational outcomes and save you time and money.