Upgrading or changing your HVAC equipment can be a challenging process to navigate. In this article, air filtration experts from Camfil explain the most important factors to consider when changing your building’s HVAC air filters and other HVAC equipment.
It’s one of the most obvious factors to consider when upgrading your HVAC system or air filters. It is common to make the mistake of basing the decision primarily on the initial purchase price.There are other factors to consider when determining the overall lifetime cost of an upgrade. These factors include:
- Energy costs (the energy consumed by the piece of equipment or air filter)
- Possible issues created from the added footprint and weight if equipment upgrades are considered.
- Labor and maintenance costs associated with new equipment or air filters
- Replacement and disposal costs of new air filters
- Initial purchase point
- Shipping and storage costs
When evaluating equipment upgrades, the time or ROI is important. For air filters, the filter with the lowest initial price point may be far more expensive than other filters, because inexpensive filters are often poorly constructed with cheaper material.
Another important factor to consider when upgrading equipment in your HVAC system is the building’s operating conditions. One of the conditions is the required pressure within the building. If imperfections in the building envelope cause significant air leakage, then airflow or filtration adjustments may be needed to account for air entering the building through uncontrolled openings. . In some buildings, such as food and beverage processing or healthcare facilities, the pressure within the building may need to be closely monitored and adjustments made as needed. Systems can be designed for air to flow through buildings in a cascading effect; flowing from the highest positive pressure zones towards more negative zones with lower pressure.
Airleaks in the HVAC system’s ducts or filter bypass (which is when air passes around the edges of a filter instead of through the filter media) will create conditions that need to be corrected. As such, it is essential to make sure a building’s HVAC system undergoes regular inspection and maintenance. It is also important all filters are installed per the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that the filters are properly fitted. One of the most common errors is installing pleated filters incorrectly. Pleats should be installed running vertically when possible as this orientation maximizes performance criteria such as strength, low resistance, and moisture resistance.
Different industries have different air filtration requirements or recommendations from professional organizations that should guide air filter choices. An office building will have vastly different requirements than a hospital or industrial facility. Consulting with an air filtration professional will help determine what requirements and recommendations may apply to a building.
Many air quality professionalshave recommended a minimum filtration efficiency of MERV-13 (MERV 14 or higher is better) to protect against COVID-19 because they are capable of capturing a higher percentage of infected particles.
Upgrading equipment and finding the right air filter can be a difficult balance to strike as there are many factors to consider. Consult an air filtration professional to ensure that you make the right choice to meet your building’s needs.
About Camfil Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and on the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.
The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 31 manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 35+ countries, and about 5,200 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil USA can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at www.camfil.us/
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