Which Air Filter Is Right For My Needs?

Every time a building survey is performed for a prospective client, one common element is noticeable.  Most of these buildings are using the wrong air filters for their application.  In most buildings where the owner changes the filter or they use a fly by night service contractor, they are using an inexpensive throw away filters.  The problem is that these filters are inadequate to properly filter the air.

There are two main reasons people use the cheaper throw away filters are:

  • COST.  These filters are cheaper to purchase compared to the more efficient pleated filters.
  • INEXPERIENCE OF THE CURRENT PROVIDER.  In some cases, the owner or HVAC service company are not aware of which filtration to use and the problems caused by using a low quality filter.

Remember that the filter is your only line of defense to clean the air that you breathe.  A throw away filter only catches approximately 10% of the dirt and bacteria that floats by it. Just think – you’re breathing the other 90% of these contaminants!  Also, these filters protect the evaporator coil and blowers on your equipment and the duct-work in your building.  As the coils get blocked with the particles flowing through the filter, the unit will not be able to dissipate the heat so the unit will run longer and thus use more energy.

Air filters receive a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating which is a rating of the filtering efficiency of an air filter that has been evaluated using the ASHRAE Standard 52.2 Test Procedure.  The higher the rating the more effective the filter is in capturing particles.

The second biggest problem regarding air filtration is the lack of a proper change frequency.  In many facilities, the filters are not replaced frequently enough.  If your building is extremely dirty or dusty, two filter changes a year might not be enough.  The cost of a filter is much lower than the lost production from employees who are out sick or the cost of a repair for a mechanical breakdown.

By using the proper air filtration at the right frequency you can:

  • Improve the quality of the air you breathe.
  • Increase the efficiency of your system by keeping the evaporator coil, blowers and duct-work cleaner
  • Lower janitorial costs by reducing the amount of dust in the building.

Proper air filtration can also help improve the aesthetics of your facility.  When we walk around many buildings, we notice black soot all over the registers and ceilings.  By properly filtering the air with a quality pleated filter and changing them with the appropriate frequency, you can reduce the dirt in the air.

For more information or for a no-obligation survey of your facility to determine if you are using the proper air filtration, give us a call at (978) 858-3911.

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