Different Types of Industrial Air Filters

The air filtration industry has undergone significant changes within the last decade, as manufacturers have created products to reduce installation and operation costs while improving indoor air quality (IAQ). Besides these technological improvements, organizations within the industry are adopting rules and standards to promote better IAQ. As managers and business owners continue to focus on the effects of indoor air quality on customers and workers, manufacturers are offering efficient components such as industrial air filters.

MERV Values

When ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) introduced its standards for IAQ, it heralded a crucial change in the filtration industry. ASHRAE has promoted the adoption of MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value, to standardize the definition of efficiency. MERV is a measure of the filter’s capability to remove particulates from the air, and the following types of filters are widely seen in commercial air conditioning systems.

Fiberglass Filters

These are throwaway filters, and they are the most commonly used type. Layers of fiberglass are laid over one another to form the filter, and these are typically backed by a metal grate that prevents the fiberglass from collapsing and failing.

Pleated Polyester Filters

These are similar to those mentioned above, but they typically have a higher MERV value and a greater airflow resistance.

HEPA Filters

The high-efficiency particulate arrestance filter works by filtering air at the finest possible scale. The Department of Energy and related contractors use HEPA filters meeting standard STD-3020-97, which filter 99.97% of all airborne particles .3 microns and larger.

Washable Filters

These air filters are not as widely used as others are, and they rely on dust buildup to improve the filter’s efficiency. Washable filters are typically used in industrial settings involving a significant amount of coarse dust.

Filters are relatively simple; after all, they’re only porous membranes that permit the free flow of air. Therefore, little change has come to resolve problems associated with declining air pressure and its effects on a building’s energy efficiency. However, a commercial HVAC contractor can work with the customer to find the right type of air filter for a specific application.