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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.