There are several things to consider when choosing the right commercial air filter for your business. In general, choosing an air filter may be simplified by first identifying the overall goal you are attempting to achieve, which is generally one of two possibilities. For example, is the filter’s purpose of preserving the air circulation equipment or offering a better environment for the building’s occupants? This article will discuss commercial air filtration and COVID-19, the different types of commercial filters, the goal for your filters, ASHRAE recommendations for commercial building filtration, and the advantages of MERV 13 rated filters for commercial buildings.  

Commercial Air Filtration and COVID-19

The economy has gone through numerous cycles of business closures, re-openings, and COVID-19 mandates due to changing infection rates, depending on where you live and work. The situation is considerably more complicated for businesses and commercial property managers, who must balance the requirements of diverse tenants. Some tenants may consider closing their doors or switching to virtual offices, while others maintain physical premises. For those that maintain a physical office, the concern for clean air to help protect employees is high on the list of priorities.  

Air cleaners and HVAC filters, when used correctly, can significantly help decrease airborne pollutants such as viruses in a building. However, air cleaners and filtration alone will not protect people against COVID-19. High-quality commercial air filtration must be part of a plan to decrease the possibility for COVID-19 airborne transmission indoors in conjunction with other best practices suggested by the CDC and other public health organizations, such as social distancing and mask-wearing.

Commercial building HVAC systems typically filter air before it is dispersed throughout the building. So consider upgrading commercial HVAC filters as appropriate for your unique HVAC system. Because of the complexity and variety of HVAC systems in commercial buildings, expert interpretation of technical guidelines published by ASHRAE and CDC is necessary. To reduce filter air bypass, the EPA, ASHRAE, and CDC recommend upgrading air filters to the highest efficiency feasible that is compatible with the system and verifying the filter fit.

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What Are the Different Types of Filters?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has issued Standard 52.2, which determines a filter’s effectiveness based on its capacity to remove particles by specifying particular particle size ranges. The results of the tests are the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, of the filter. The size of the particles that are eliminated is measured in microns. A human hair is around 100 microns in diameter to give you an idea.

This standard makes it easy to determine which types of filters will be most effective for specific applications. The effectiveness of the filter to remove small sub-micro size particles increases as the MERV level increases. These particles can negatively impact human health because they can enter the lungs and cause lasting damage. Filters with a higher MERV rating generate cleaner air, but depending on the design, they may need a larger fan in the system to drive the air through them.

Keeping Equipment Clean and Functioning Optimally

When determining which commercial air filter to use in your building, the first step should be to determine the MERV rating of the current filters. From there, you can decide whether it is worthwhile to upgrade to filters with a higher MERV rating.

Filters with a rating of MERV 6, for example, will remove 49.9% of particles sized 3 to 10 microns. On the other hand, using a MERV 8 filter may increase filtration to 84.9 percent of particles being eliminated. That’s a 70% increase in filtration rate, which keeps equipment cleaner and, as a result, more efficient. Furthermore, the price difference between the two filters is negligible. In fact, in most instances, the extra expense involved with acquiring a more effective filter is more than compensated by the energy savings achieved after the equipment is working more efficiently, owing to cleaner fans and reduced dirt collection on coils.

keeping hvac equipment clean

Cleaner Air for Building Occupants

Filters having a MERV value of 13 or above are typically the best choice if the goal is to produce cleaner air for building occupants. A MERV 13 filter will remove 90 percent of particles ranging from 1 to 10 microns in size but less than 75 percent of particles ranging from.3 to 1-micron in size. When we go one step further to a MERV 14 rated filter, 90 percent of the 1 to 10-micron particles are still eliminated. Still, the number of.3 to 1-micron particles removed increases to 75 to 85 percent, which can significantly impact the health of those who live in the building. That is why MERV 14 filters are the minimum level of care in medical institutions, a location where tiny airborne particles can be hazardous to patients, visitors, and workers.  It is also worth mentioning that a building must have at least MERV 13 filters to obtain points toward LEED certification from the US Green Building Council.

ASHRAE Recommendations for Commercial Building Air Filtration?

ASHRAE recommends MERV-13 air filtration as a minimum for commercial buildings. Therefore, MERV-13 air filtration may be a recommendation for some and a requirement for others. However, the actual real-world efficiency of MERV-13 air filters varies since several utilize an electrostatic charge to increase efficacy. Unfortunately, this electrostatic charge dissipates quickly and can reduce filtration efficiency to that of a MERV-8 filter in the long term, which is insufficient to minimize risk or protection against the COVID-19 virus.

If you want to safeguard your clients and renters rather than merely checking a box to satisfy an ordinance, choosing the fight commercial air filter is essential. Filti’s high efficient filters (MERV 13 and MERV 16 filters) filter out airborne particulate matter that the average filters cannot—made from patent-pending nanofiber technology, which does not have an electrostatic charge and maintains their high-efficiency rating.

business office hvac filters

What Are the Advantages of MERV 13 Air Filtration?

The removal of COVID-19 infected respiratory droplets isn’t the only advantage of having high-quality air filtration. Even when the virus threat has gone, there is still plenty to be gained from clean air inside commercial office buildings.

For starters, increased energy efficiency and product life result in lower total costs and a good return on investment. Second, improved performance and longevity save an average of three weeks of work per million square feet of property each year. This valuable time, often known as reallocated labor, may be transferred to focus on other building requirements, improving the tenant experience. Furthermore, clean air can boost student and worker productivity and cognitive function.

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Promoting a Healthy Environment

When choosing the right commercial air filter for your business, it is essential to understand that clean air is vital for health, and efficient ventilation is a critical component in COVID-19 prevention. Maintaining a clean indoor air quality promotes safety and good health at all times, regardless of the presence of Covid-19 or any other airborne pollutant, such as allergens, chemicals, or dust. The benefits of keeping a clean air environment are numerous, ranging from a boost in productivity, fewer sick days among employees to greater levels of focus and increased performance among students.  At Filti, our mission is to provide clean air filtration products for a safer indoor environment.  For more information on our filters or to place your order, contact us!  

 

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