How do you keep your facility clean, ensure proper indoor air quality, and keep the HVAC system running smoothly? The answer is simple: Air filters! Like all major appliances, your HVAC system should be well maintained to ensure its maximum efficiency, and the HVAC air filters play a significant role. They remove impurities such as dust, pet dander or even bacteria from the air flowing through the system, improving the air quality within your facility and protecting your HVAC system from damage.
Different types of air filters:
Air filters come in different shapes and materials, each with different price points and capabilities.
Flat-panel: These types of filters are the most affordable ones and have fibers — mostly fiberglass — that are stretched over a framework. They're easy to install and disposable. However, they don't offer the highest quality, allowing many particles to get through.
Pleated: These types of filters are disposable and use dense screens of plastic fibers or cotton to remove particles from the air. Unlike flat-panel filters, their price point is slightly higher, but they have pleats, which provide more surface area for filtration, catching more debris.
Electrostatic: These types of air filters are electrostatically charged, allowing them to trap more (and smaller) particles such as smoke, pollen, or bacteria within their screens. They can be disposable or washable and flat or pleated.
Washable: These types of filters come in both flat-panel and pleated options. They are comparatively more eco-friendly, but an electrostatically charged filter will lose its electrostatic charge over time. So washable filters last around a few years.
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA): HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air that are 0.3 microns or larger. These are most commonly used in commercial settings that require extremely clean air, such as hospitals and laboratories or in facilities where people suffer from allergies or have a compromised immune system.
What do MERV & CADR mean?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which is a rating given to a filter for its ability to remove particles from the air. Weaker filters have lower ratings while stronger ones have higher ratings.
CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate. Another rating method that also measures air purifier efficiency.
How to choose the best air filter?
Firstly, determine the specific needs of the occupants in your facility. This would directly impact the CADR or MERV ratings you will choose for your air filters. Filters with a higher CADR rating are the best choice for those who suffer from allergies, have pets, deal with excessive dust or want to capture airborne bacteria. Similarly, if you're looking to reduce the number of particles and allergens in indoor air, go with more restrictive filters with a higher MERV rating.
However, some HVAC systems are not strong enough to push air through more restrictive filters that block the smallest particles. This can reduce airflow and cause your facility to be heated and cooled less efficiently. Overworking an HVAC system can also lead to hardware damage — and an expensive repair. Consult your HVAC system's manual to determine your model's strength, or call an HVAC technician.
Then, factor in your budget. In general, disposable fiberglass filters are the most affordable upfront, while washable filters save you more money over their lifetime.
Finally, consider the dimensions of your ventilation openings and the spaces your HVAC system is servicing, which will determine what filter size and thickness you'll need.
Here are some facts people often ignore. Read to find out.
1 - Not All HVAC Air Filters Are Designed To Protect You
It is a common misconception that HVAC air filters clean the air you breathe indoors; however, the truth is that not all of them are created equal. Standard air filters with a low MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating are only designed to protect the system by filtering out large dust and debris particles. Special air filters with a high MERV rating (7 or more) are required to filter other smaller particles like common allergens and improve indoor air quality.
2 - An Overused Filter Can Cost You
It is always advisable to change your HVAC air filters timely, or they can significantly increase your electricity bill and decrease your system's lifespan. The reason for this is simple, a system with a compromised air filter has to work harder to pull air through congested filters. Talk to a professional HVAC technician to minimize the wear & tear on your system and avoid costly repairs and a shorter lifespan.
Buy Air Filters At ProServices Supply
Check out our extensive range of AAF Flanders durable Air Filters. Get in touch with one of our HVAC experts at (877) 776-8228 to seek help in finding the right type of refrigerant for your system.