Indoor Air Quality 101
Conventional wisdom tells us to employ MERV 13+ filters to remove particulates from the air for both fresh outside air and recirculated air. Anything below MERV 13 is basically just protecting your equipment, whereas MERV 13 and above filters smaller particulates in the 0.3-2.5 micron range that can get in your lungs and potentially your bloodstream.
Ensuring high ventilation rates to dilute CO2 and other gases that cause negative effects on humans should be a priority in commercial and industrial buildings, but that is not always the case. It is a common practice to close outdoor dampers to save energy on conditioning the air, though this limits the dilution of CO2.
In addition to high MERV and good ventilation, sometimes odors exist due to cooking, manufacturing processes, or proximity to roadways and other pollutants. If odors or other molecules are a concern, some form of carbon filtration should be incorporated to abate this concern.
Strong IAQ and TCO practices
Running higher ventilation rates through higher MERV filters can increase operating costs, but how much output is lost because of poor IAQ on a building inhabitant’s productivity, health and attendance? In addition to that offsetting costs, it’s important to follow accepted TCO practices -
- Look for filters with low initial pressure drops (DP) and strong dust holding capacity (DHC) at a chosen MERV level.
- Change filters out before they hit their final pressure, the energy savings far offsets the cost of the filter
- Look at the whole filter system and not just one filter in the system at a time, planning for set IAQ and TCO goals
There are ways to balance both TCO and IAQ for any installation. To find out more about managing your total cost of ownership, contact with the sales manager for your region.