HEPA Filtration: The Ultimate in Indoor Air Quality for Commercial Settings
The indoor air quality of your commercial facility is challenged every day by the people, processes and materials that pass through it. Manufacturing or production processes can generate a substantial number of particulates that linger in the air. Newly arrived stock or raw materials could produce particles, fumes or other contaminants. Individual customers, employees and other visitors to your commercial space can spread disease, viruses and germs. To get the best level of protection possible against these ongoing threats to indoor air quality, you should consider installing a HEPA filtration system that effectively and thoroughly cleans your indoor air.
HEPA filtration is an extremely effective method of cleaning, purifying and filtering indoor air. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, and is applied to high-quality filters and filtration systems that capture and remove airborne particles, microorganisms and other pollutants. HEPA filtration is almost 100 percent effective at removing airborne contaminants of 0.3 microns or larger, including dust, pollen, fibers, bacteria, viruses, fungi, mold spores and other tiny contaminants that can get into the air and cause disease and discomfort. HEPA filtration systems can also remove many airborne contaminants that are smaller than 0.3 microns.
Along with physical filtration, some types of HEPA filters are available with carbon or activated charcoal inserts that can filter out fumes and odors. You can expect the air filters in your facility’s heating and cooling systems to provide a reasonable level of indoor air filtration. However, to get the best level of air cleaning possible, a HEPA filtration system is your best option. HVAC filters are rated according to MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), which is an indicator of filter efficiency.
Most commonly available HVAC filters have MERV ratings ranging from 1, which is not very effective, to 16, which provides a relatively high level of filtration. In contrast, HEPA filters clean the air at MERV levels from 17 to 20. HEPA filters are ideal for environments in which air quality is critical, such as hospitals and health-care facilities, food production plants, and businesses that manufacture sensitive electronics or other delicate components.
HEPA filtration systems are separate units that are installed within the airflow of your existing heating and cooling system. As the air from the air conditioner, furnace or heat pump flows through its normal cycle, it also enters the HEPA unit, where the high-quality filter removes particulates and contaminants. The cleaned air exits the HEPA unit and continues along the normal pathway within the HVAC system. HEPA filters can effectively remove:
Airborne contaminants, such as biological and inorganic material that enters the facility through doors, windows and HVAC systems. This includes particulates and other matter produced by materials and activities within the facility, such as cutting, sawing, grinding or other types of processing.
Endogenous contaminants, which are carried in and transferred to the facility’s air by visitors, staff members, clothing, supplies and packaging. In a HEPA filtration system, particles and contaminants are captured in three different ways:
- Interception, in which particles adhere to the filter material after coming close to it.
- Impaction, in which particles moved by the airflow physically contact and stick to the filter material.
- Diffusion, in which very small particles (of 0.1 micron or smaller) collide with other tiny particles such as air molecules and are deflected into the filter to be trapped by interception or impaction. Keep in mind that HEPA filters are very thick and dense, which could affect the airflow within your HVAC system. Make sure your heating and cooling systems can handle the stresses caused by HEPA filters before installing one. Remember also to regularly check and change the filters to maintain the highest level of air cleaning possible.
At Sobieski Mechanical Contractors, Inc., our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information about the benefits of using HEPA filtration in commercial facilities and to view projects we’ve worked on, please visit our website. We provide quality services to clients in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.