Extend Product Life with Regular Filter Maintenance
The sources of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) in industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings have increased over the years. Luckily, so have methods to fight the ill-effects of those pollution sources, methods which have proven to safeguard the health of building occupants.
One of the most effective ways to reduce indoor air pollution is to use air cleaning systems that include filtration. But the only way to generate optimum air quality – and boost system performance – is through filter maintenance.
IAQ & Contaminant Types
Indoor air quality broadly refers to the cleanliness level of air inside buildings. Business owners, building administrators, and management companies all have a responsibility to keep their indoor spaces as pollutant-free as possible. This is important not only for the welfare of their workers and occupants but for their guests and patrons, as well.
What is considered “good” IAQ? According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, good indoor air quality has the following qualities: (1)
1. Comfortable temperature and humidity
2. Proper indoor ventilation
3. Adequate supply of fresh outdoor air
4. Contaminant control
Most industries are diligent about providing a clean and unpolluted environment for those who enter their places of business. But pollution has a way of existing without ever being seen.
Common contaminants generally fall under one (or more) three main categories: biological, chemical, and particulate. (2) These pollutants are caused by a multitude of job-related activities that release fumes and vapors, particle discharge, and/or create humidity fluctuations. In addition, faulty equipment, the growth of molds and bacteria, and various day-to-day activities of people at work can further affect indoor air quality. (3)
To keep people healthy, pollution should be controlled at its source and indoor ventilation should create airflow in a way that redirects dirty air away from occupants’ breathing space. After source control and proper ventilation, the next step in creating a healthy IAQ is air filtration (purification). (4)
Air purifiers (aka, air cleaners, air filtration units) are designed to filter out dirt and contaminants from the air that passes through them, then return clean “purified” air back into the indoor space. Cleaning units usually consist of a filter (or multiple filters) and a fan that draws in, then recirculates the air. Typically made of paper, fiber (often fiberglass), or mesh, filters require regular replacement to maintain efficiency.
The purpose of an air filtration unit is to draw in contaminated air, remove the impurities, then release fresh, clean air back into the room. These systems can be provided through a building’s heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system (HVAC) or through portable or ambient units. Many air purifiers are made up of a multi-stage filtering system that can accommodate a variety of different filter options including prefilters, secondary, carbon, and primary HEPA filters.
But air filtration equipment will only work well if properly maintained and operated. This includes regular filter maintenance.
Benefits of Regular Filter Maintenance
The benefits of regularly changing your filters are manifold:
1. Functionality. Your unit can remain at peak performance only with clean filter pathways.
2. Cost savings. Energy usage (thus cost) is lower when air cleaners have unclogged filters.
3. Longevity. The life of your air purifier will last longer with routine filter maintenance.
The upshot? It is less expensive to regularly change your unit’s filter than it is to replace an air cleaner.
What Happens if Not Maintained
When an air filter is not changed regularly it becomes clogged with dirty particles, slowing down airflow. The reduced supply of clean air decreases the physical space the unit can cover, even though the unit is working harder and using more energy. And in some cases, an overly dirty filter can become an additional source of pollution because the very contaminants that were collected have nowhere to go and are blown out by the unit’s fan into the very space it was meant to keep clean.
To maximize the health benefits of pollutant-free air and to keep your cleaning unit working at its best, filters should be replaced regularly. But how often?
There are several variables that effect filter life and how often replacement is necessary. A filter change schedule will depend on your unit, number of filters in your unit, pollutants being collected, and pollution concentration levels.
At Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc. our Clean Air specialists guide and advise our customers on the frequency and specifics of filter maintenance based on their air cleaning product and application need. Contact us today for a free estimate and analysis and ask about our filter maintenance program.