MERV 13 Filtration Is Not Enough
To Mitigate COVID-19

Implementing MERV 13 Filters?
How Will It Impact your HVAC System?

New ASHRAE, CDC, and OSHA guidelines recommend upgrading building ventilation filtration to MERV 13 to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and reduce exposures of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Below you will find six reasons why upgrading your to MERV 13 filtration may compromise overall HVAC ventilation performance, provide inadequate filtration, and how portable purification controls can bridge the gap to give adequate indoor air quality.

Top 6 Reasons MERV 13 Filters  
Can Hinder Overall Performance

Number 1 Icon.

Higher Resistance, Drop in Air Pressure

The additional resistance with higher-rated filters causes considerable pressure drops. The average increase ranged from 0.13 to 0.52 inches of water (i.w.c.) across the filter, and the HVAC air handler might not be rated for the associated pressure drops.

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Increase In Energy Consumption

Upgrades in a typical office building and addressing the associated additional pressure drop increases energy consumption $0.01 to $0.02 per s.f., an 11% to 18% increase total energy costs annually.

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Increase Cost in Filter Replacement

Assuming filters are replaced on a 90-day schedule, upgrading to MERV-13 filters in a 50,000 square foot facility with hundreds of filters throughout the system could cost between $8,000 to $10,000 more annually.

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Reduced Airflow, Less Air Exchanges

Dr. Joseph Allen from the Harvard School of Public Health recommends a target of 3-4 air exchanges per hour (ACH). Associated reductions in the airflow hinder the system's ability to achieve optimal ACH for viral mitigation.

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Delayed SARS-Cov-2 Reduction In Rooms

The air within a room is filtered when drawn through the intake handler and pushed through the ventilation ductwork. The ACH within a room and distance the air must travel for filtration is not optimal for viral mitigation without in-room filtration.

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Upgrading System To Account for Guidelines

HVAC system upgrades are extensive and costly to achieve the same efficiency and performance of an in-room portable air purifier to meet the minimum operational reopening guidelines for improving indoor air quality.

What HVAC Systems Are Designed To Do

Provide Heating & Cooling Icon.

Providing Heating
& Cooling

Distribute Fresh Air Inside Icon.

Distribute Fresh
Air Inside

Prevent Buildup Of Moisture & Humidity.

Prevent Buildup of Moisture & Humidity

MERV Filter Exhaust Spent Air From The Facility Icon.

Exhaust Spent Air From The Facility

Building Ventilation & Indoor Air Quality Icon.

Building Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality and Viral Mitigation

In our new post-pandemic age, officials push a new focus on increasing ventilation, subsequent indoor air quality (IAQ) for optimal viral mitigation. While upgrading filtration with an HVAC system helps capture particulate from the air, on its own, it is not enough to provide safe and clean air. The CDC recommends using portable air filtration, also known as air purification systems, to enhance air cleaning. Especially in higher risk areas such as a nurse’s office, conference room, breakroom, cafeterias, or areas frequently inhabited by people with a higher likelihood of having COVID-19 and/or an increased risk of getting COVID-19.

Benefits of Complimenting HVAC
MERV 13 Filtration With Portable Air Purifiers

Number 1 Icon.

Localized Filtration & Air Exchanges

Portable air purifiers a perfect solution for increasing airflow within indoor spaces. By placing air purification systems in each protected area, you can achieve localized filtration, increase air exchanges for a significantly improved reduction of airborne contaminants and improved indoor air quality (IAQ).

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Increase productivity, Health, & wellness

Improved ventilation improves indoor air quality and increases overall occupant health and wellness. In a study conducted by Underwriter Laboratories (UL), indoor environmental quality directly impacts an individual's health, leading to increased performance, productivity, and reduction in sick days.

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Affordable, Effective, & Low Maintenance

Air purifiers not only effectively reduce airborne contaminants but are also affordable and low maintenance. Most systems are plug-and-go and are low maintenance. Most air cleaner filters only need to be changed every 6-12 months and have an equivalent yearly energy cost compared to a light bulb.

What Portable Air Filtration Was Designed To Do

Increase MERV In HEPA Filtration Icon.

Improve Indoor Air Quality With HEPA Filtration

Increase Air Exchanges Rate (ACH) Icon.

Increase Air Exchanges rate (ACH)

Airborne Particulate Icon.

Reduce In-room Airborne Particulate

Provide Clean, Safe Air Effectively Icon.

Provide clean, safe air effectively

Understand How MERV Filters Are Rated?

A filter’s MERV rating is important indicator of its ability to remove particulate from the air. Understanding the MERV Rating associated with you filter helps arm you with the knowledge needed to implement controls to achieve improved air quality through adequate filtration. Read our blog post to learn more about the rating system.

MERV Filter Efficiency Chart.

Pressure Drops Associated with HVAC MERV 13 Filters

The California Energy Board arranged to have a laboratory testing study of MERV 13-rated air filters performed at PG&E’s Applied Technology Services facilities in San Ramon, CA. The testing was performed per the procedures specified by ASHRAE Standard 52.2. The testing compared MERV 13 Filters varying in ratings, brands, and sizes to determine the average pressure drop with implementing the higher resistance filtration.

Below you will find the study results, highlighting the pressure drops associated with implementing the higher-rated filter. 

MERV 13 Pressure Drop Measurements Chart.

Understanding the potential impact of implementing MERV 13 filtration into your existing commercial HVAC system is essential. Introducing higher resistance filters impacts airflow, directly affecting the balance and movement of the air throughout the HVAC ductwork. Knowing the potential pressure drops associated with MERV 13 filters arm you with the knowledge needed to implement controls, to account for the air resistance, and what you need to do to prepare the HVAC system for the change.  Improving indoor air quality is not achieved by implementing a higher resistance MERV filter alone. To achieve optimal indoor air quality through adequate in-room filtration is needed. Complement your existing viral mitigation and sanitization controls affordable and effectively with portable air purification systems. Our indoor air quality specialists are on standby to help you determine the right solution for your unique needs.

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We're Here For You.

Uncertain which solution is right for your business, school, or facility? We'll work with you to design the appropriate air quality and disinfection solution that's right for your business or school.