Your heating and cooling system doesn’t just keep you warm or cool depending on the season. It also controls your indoor air quality. For your commercial HVAC system to produce good air quality, it needs an effective, efficient air filter. Your commercial air filter captures dust, mold, pollen, and other pollutants, allergens, and contaminants from entering your building’s airflow. That’s why it’s so important you choose a filter that’s an appropriate fit for your HVAC system and your building.
One thing you’ll want to consider when choosing a filter for your HVAC system is its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This rating measures how effective the air filter is. Effectiveness is measured in how many dust particles, allergens, and contaminants pass through the filter. If the filter has a Merv rating of 1, it’s not very effective; it may catch large dust particles but let pollen and mold pass into the building’s airflow. If it has a MERV rating of 10 or greater, however, it is extremely effective and captures many small dust particles as well as mold, pollen, and other contaminants.
Some air filter types you may consider include:
Disposable Electrostatic Filters
These filters are made of multiple layers of polyester blend materials framed by polyester mesh. They usually have a MERV rating of 10 or greater, and they are very effective at catching dust, allergens, and contaminants. When air passes through them, the positively charged outer material passes its charge to the particulate matter (pollen, dust, mold, etc.), which then passes through the negatively-charged inner material. The electrostatic filter generates its own static charge through this process.
However, these filters can be expensive and you need to change them monthly so your HVAC system maintains effective air filtration. If you want to use disposable electrostatic filters, you’ll have to have a lot of disposable filters handy to change them out.
Washable Electrostatic Filters
These filters are made of washable materials framed by aluminum and cased in aluminum mesh. They use the same static charge process as their disposable counterparts but these can be washed and reused, and they often last for several years. When you purchase this kind of air filter, pay close attention to the MERV rating. Some are high-efficiency but others are not. Also, when you wash this type of filter, make sure it dries completely before you place it back in the air exchange so it doesn’t develop mold or bacteria that might be released into your building.
Metal Mesh Filters
This type of air filter uses several layers of expanded or vented metal bonded to a pad to catch dust, allergens, and contaminants. It needs a spray-on tackifier to increase its efficiency and effectiveness. While not as high-efficiency as the electrostatic filters, it’s still a very usable choice.