January 19, 2017 6:28 pm

The High Price of Poor Filter Quality

Everyone is probably familiar with the saying “you get what you pay for” but unfortunately when it comes to choosing an air filter for their commercial building, many still go for the option with the least expensive purchase price tag.

Unfortunately that decision can prove to be a costly one in the long run.

The fact is that poorly manufactured air filters are susceptible to failure.  This can range from  a small tear in the filter media which allows dirty air to bypass the filter, to complete filter collapse where the filter becomes dislodged from its track and falls to the ground, or worse, gets drawn into the blower fan causing considerable damage to the fan motor.

Studies have shown that as little as a 0.4 inch gap in filter media can allow a bypass flow of 15-20% of a filter’s total air volume.  This results not only in a degradation of filter efficiency by as much as two MERV ratings, but also leads to more coil fouling, increased energy drain on the HVAC system, and a detrimental effect on indoor air quality.

Since HVAC operations typically account for 40% of a building’s energy consumption it only makes sense that building owners and operators would want to take every step possible to ensure that their HVAC system runs efficiency.  But, considering that even light fouling of coils can increase energy consumption by 11%,  choosing a poor quality filter that’s susceptible to failure just doesn’t seem to make a lot of economic sense.