How to Choose An Air Filter for your HVAC System

How to Choose An Air Filter for your HVAC System

Choosing the right air filter for your HVAC system is crucial for maintaining good air quality, reducing energy consumption, and prolonging the life of your system in commercial, healthcare, and industrial applications. There are many different HVAC applications and a wide variety of filter types and efficiencies available to the consumer today. Carolina IAQ, with over 50 years of air filter application experience, would be a great choice to get help from.

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The following questions should help direct you towards choosing the best filter for your application:

  • What type of area is the air being supplied to?
  • What type of filter is in the unit now?
  • How is it performing?
  • What type of filter rack does the existing unit have to secure the filters?
  • How many and what size filters are in the existing unit?
  • What is the total airflow in CFMs of the existing unit?
  • Is there a particular size of particle that your application requires being removed?

The filters that came in the unit may not be suitable for your application. The first question to ask is if there is a code that dictates which filter efficiency is required for the application. Several governing bodies specify specific filter efficiencies needed for a given application. It is always a good idea to find out if there is a specific code that applies to the application you are working on.

In addition to considering the above factors, take note of the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), a rating system that indicates the efficiency of an air filter at trapping airborne particles. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with higher numbers indicating better filtration. It is essential to select a suitable MERV rating for your specific HVAC system and application. Using the wrong filter type can lead to reduced efficiency and potential damage to the system.

Remember that seeking expert advice, such as from Carolina IAQ, can ensure that you make the best decision for your specific needs. Once you have selected the right air filter for your HVAC system, replace it regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendations or when it appears dirty. Regular filter replacement will help maintain your system's efficiency and improve the air quality in your commercial, healthcare, or industrial space.

There are several legal codes and standards that specify the requirements for HVAC and industrial air filters. These codes and standards are often set by national and international organizations to ensure air quality, energy efficiency, and the overall health and safety of occupants in various types of buildings. Here's a chart summarizing some of the key organizations and their relevant standards:

Organization Standard/Codes Description Source
ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) ASHRAE Standard 62.1 & 62.2 Ventilation standards for acceptable indoor air quality in commercial and residential buildings, respectively. ASHRAE Standards
ASHRAE ASHRAE Standard 52.2 Method of testing general ventilation air-cleaning devices for the removal efficiency by particle size. ASHRAE Standards
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) ISO 16890 A global standard for testing and classification of air filters for ventilation applications. ISO Standards
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Standards for outdoor air quality that may influence indoor air quality requirements. EPA NAAQS
EU (European Union) EN 13779 & EN 16798 European standards for ventilation and air conditioning in non-residential buildings. CEN/TC 156
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) OSHA Standards Guidelines and standards for maintaining safe and healthy working conditions in various industries. OSHA Standards

Please note that this chart provides an overview of some key organizations and their relevant standards related to HVAC and industrial air filters. Depending on your location and specific application, you may need to consult with local and regional regulations, building codes, or industry-specific guidelines to ensure compliance.

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