Commercial heating and cooling carry with it its own unique challenges. For commercial HVAC systems to keep air quality high and temps regulated, it is important to have proper air filtration in place. The commercial air filters you use will capture dust, mold, pollen, and other debris that can bring down air quality and affect the health of those inside commercial structures. Understanding what type of air filter you need is crucial to efficient HVAC operation. This quick guide will give you the information you need to choose filters wisely.
The Importance of MERVE
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This rating system is used to see how effective the air filter is in your system. This can be established by measuring how many dust particles, allergens, or contaminants actually move through the filter. For instance, a MERV rating of 1 means that the filter is not very effective. It will only catch very large particles. A filter with a MERV rating of 1 may allow particles such as pollen and mold to pass through your building’s system.
You want to look for a MERV rating of 10 or more when you are choosing air filters for your commercial systems.
Types of Filters
The filter you choose will depend heavily on your budget and the type of system you are running.
Disposable filters – Disposable filters are designed using multiple layers of polyester blended materials. They are framed in a polyester mesh. This type of filter usually comes with a MERV rating of 10 or more. These work well at catching most particles that would affect the air quality in your structure.
These filters work by creating an electrical charge with the particles as they pass through the first layer. The particles are then trapped by electrostatics into the other layer. This process ensures that the particles are effectively trapped in the filter and will not continue their journey into the airflow of the building.
Disposable filters can sometimes be a bit expensive, though. They will need to be changed monthly to ensure the system maintains quality air filtration.
Washable filters – You can also purchase washable electrostatic filters. These are more affordable and create less strain on the environment as they are reusable. Washable filters are also framed in an aluminum frame with an aluminum mesh. The difference is that the materials are washable. Washable filters can last for several years, making them a more affordable option.
If you opt for washable air filters, you should pay close attention to the MERV rating. There are high-efficiency washable filters. You can tell if yours are high efficiency by the MERV rating.
Also, let your commercial HVAC filters dry completely after washing before reinstalling.
Metal Mesh Filters – Metal mesh filters are made of several layers of vented metal. This metal is bonded to a pad that catches dust, allergens, and contaminants. These are often not high efficiency.