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A Plug on Filters

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Written by an Ahern Energy Solutions Engineer

When it comes to taking care of a facility, it is easy to overlook the importance of filter care, maintenance, and replacement. Filters are an important part of air-side HVAC because they maintain indoor air quality and reduce fouling of coils and ductwork. Unfortunately, filters increase energy consumption because they make system fans work harder to pull air through them. Some key facts about poor filter selection, maintenance, and replacement:1

  • A filter that is not changed on the correct interval can become plugged or clogged easily
  • A plugged filter can encourage biological growth and impact IAQ
  • A clogged filter will increase energy consumed by the fan, and may even pull unfiltered air into the system by bypassing the filter
  • Insufficient filtration can cause build-up on heating and cooling coils, reducing effective heat exchange area and increasing heating and cooling costs
  • Cheaper but less stringent filters may decrease fan energy costs could compromise occupant IAQ

Oftentimes, the initial cost of a filter accounts for up to only 20% of the lifetime cost of a filter – the other 80% comes from the energy required to move air across the same filter!2 To learn more about how you can get greater filter efficiency while maintaining or reducing your energy costs, please contact Ahern today.

1Air Filters: Change Them, Yes, but Know When and How, KeithAir.
2Energy Efficiency: A Guide to Reducing HVAC Energy Cost, Kimberly-Clark, December 2009.

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