Air filtration systems are a critical component of maintaining clean and healthy indoor environments, and choosing the right type of filter is essential. In this blog, we will explore different air filters, their effectiveness in capturing airborne pollutants and which are most suitable for various business environments.
Ventilation Bag Filters
Ventilation bag filters are a common type of air filter used in commercial and industrial settings. These filters are made from materials such as fibreglass, polyester, and polypropylene. They are designed to capture airborne particles like dust, dirt, and other pollutants that can be harmful to human health and equipment.
There are different ventilation filters, and the design and material used will impact their levels of strength and efficiency. For example, high-loft bag filters are low to medium-grade and offer excellent energy efficiency. Therefore, these are well-suited to industrial or commercial environments with low to medium-grade use. Meanwhile, fine-grade, pleated panel filters provide a much higher level of performance and are, therefore, a better option for more sensitive environments.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are a type of air filtration system used in hospitals, cleanrooms, and other settings where clean air is essential. These filters are designed to capture 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger.
HEPA filters are made from a dense mat of randomly arranged fibres, which trap particles as they pass through. They can capture a wide range of particles, including pollen, dust, and mould spores. HEPA filters are also effective at capturing bacteria and viruses. Widely considered the most effective type of filter available, HEPA filters are the gold standard for air filtration.
Various hospital studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of HEPA filters. For example, research at Addenbrookes Hospital showed a substantial reduction in the concentration of microorganisms in the air when a large HEPA filter device with added UVC was used. Elsewhere, a study using a controlled chamber in Japan was one of the first to deliberately test the effect of a HEPA filter against artificial aerosolisation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In this very controlled setting, the filter was found to be very effective at reducing RNA concentrations in the air.
Carbon filters are designed to remove molecular contaminants, gases, chemicals, and odours from the air. These filters are made from activated carbon, which is highly porous and can absorb these airborne molecules. Carbon filters are very effective at removing common indoor pollutants like cigarette smoke and cooking odours. They will also remove pungent fumes and vapour from vent pipes from storage silos and effluent tanks.
The ability of carbon filters to improve indoor air quality makes them ideal for use in shared environments, such as airports, hospitals, hotels and offices. They are useful in food manufacturing environments, where they can combat the odours created before the air is discharged. Research has also found carbon filters beneficial in chemical and petrochemical industries. For example, a study looking at the effectiveness of activated carbon on volatile organic compounds (VOC), a common air pollutant emitted from these industries, found these filters to be capable of removing VOCs and enhancing indoor air quality.
UV Light Filters
UV light filters use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses in the air. Previous reports suggest that using UV light as a method of air purification is effective; for example, by mounting UV light filters on the ceiling to clean the air before it is cycled back below. However, other health professionals have concerns that the air will not be exposed to the UV light long enough to make an impact on viruses or bacteria. Therefore, while UV light filters can be used as an additional method of air quality protection, it is safer to use a HEPA filter in indoor areas where there are concerns about the spread of viruses.
The Right Air Filtration
Choosing the right air filter for your business depends on your specific needs and requirements. For example, the size of your facility, the type of pollutants you need to remove, and your budget are all factors that need to be considered.
If you are unsure which type of air filter is right for your business, please get in contact with our experienced team. We can evaluate your needs and recommend a solution that meets your specific requirements.