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 properly, speed up the rate of 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. Paints, varnishes, cleaning chemicals and solvents can penetrate the exhibitions from everyday museum operations.


National Air Filtration Association® (NAFA) recommends Nitrogen Dioxide to not exeed 2.6 ppb, Ozone 2.0 ppb, Sulfur Dioxide 1ppb, and Formaldehyde 4ppb. Recommended prefilters should be ASHRAE MERV 8 or higher and fine particulate filters being ASHRAE MERV 15 or higher. AAF offers HEPA and Gas Phase filters, as well as software applications to best design a specialized solution. Duel, or two stage filtration systems is one of the more recommended set ups for historical sites air filtration needs.


Typical Gases Found in Museums and Historic Storage Facilities

Optimize Your Filtration and Improve Your Environment

The solution to these issues begins with a thorough air filter audit of your HVAC systems by AAF Flanders. Our collaborative and consultative solutions approach is undertaken with the objective to understand your complete air filtration needs, applications, and goals for total air quality. By conducting this audit, we will be able to understand exactly how you compare to the best practices of facilities that are similar to you. This customized air filtration audit will cost you nothing and could give you significant benefits by helping you save money, reduce risk, and save time. 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.