LEED Certification- Role of HVAC Air Filters in improvement of IAQ
Buildings which are intended to require LEED certification need to assess many things relating to energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and related materials and resource selection.
But we should know that choosing the right air filter also can be an essential part of a building’s environment approach.
There are about 11 LEED credits which are interconnected to HVAC system out of which IAQ is the main.
Air Filtration for enhancing Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency
HVAC air filtration system in a building offers many ways to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy efficiency.
Cautious selection of the right HVAC filter and filter media can actually save money in the long run.
Effective air filtration protects the occupants and HVAC equipment against particulate and gaseous pollutants drawn into a building by the HVAC system as well as generated within a building itself.
Air filters play a significant role in the energy consumption related to the HVAC system operations.
The higher the filter’s resistance to air passing through it, the more energy is consumed to operate the HVAC system.
The filter media has the biggest effect on providing clean air, protecting HVAC equipment and minimizing energy consumption.
Hence the right filter media strategy can play an important role for buildings to become more environmentally sustainable and meeting the requirements for LEED and other green building rating system criteria.
Selection of Right Filter System
The most important factor is to enhance the filtration efficiency, which means how well the filter will remove contaminants from air passing through the HVAC system.
The ASHRAE test standard measures the fractional particle size efficiency of an HVAC filter. This indicates the filter’s ability to remove airborne particles of various sizes between 0.3 and 10 microns.
A Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is allotted to the filter media depending on the PSE in three different particle size ranges:
E1 (very fine particles in the 0.3 to 1-micron range)
E2 (fine particles in the 1 to 3-micron range) and
E3 (coarse particles in the 3 to 10-micron range).
A MERV rating of 5 is least efficient, while a rating of 16 is most efficient.
To compare the filtration efficiencies of different air filters, ASHRAE 52.2 test report has provided the efficiency values.
The E1, E2 and E3 efficiencies denote the true measure of filter performance and give users a more complete picture of what the filter will actually do.
ANSI/ASHRAE 52.2 PARTICLE SIZE RANGES