Auto Service World
News   March 12, 2003   by Auto Service World

Cleaner Cabin Air Possible With New System

A system that will shut off the flow of exterior air to the passenger compartment if its too polluted has been introduced.
The First Technology Air Quality Module (AQM) measures the quality of air that enters a vehicle via the heating and cooling (HVAC) system and issues a signal indicating pollution levels. The controls for the heating and cooling system can then automatically go into re-circulate mode, rather than bringing more dirty air into the vehicle.
A vehicle’s heating and cooling system receives outside air, but currently most don’t do much to filter the noxious gases from the air entering the vehicle, says the company, adding that it is well documented that exhaust fumes directly affect driver and occupant health and alertness.
The system has the capability of detecting gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. It can even detect the smell of a skunk before the human nose can react to it. Once the AQM notices a change for the worse, it automatically provides a pollution level signal to the car’s HVAC controls.
The HVAC system will close the re-circ vent to block this air from entering the vehicle. As air quality improves, the AQM will recognize this and the vent can be reopened to prevent stuffiness. Automatic detection and operation mean that the driver gains protection from pollution without being distracted.

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