Get the Most out of Your
Air Filtration System
IMPROVE IAQ WITH PROPER INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE
OF AIR FILTERS
The benefits of providing good, clean air in your facility pays dividends. Building occupants feel
more refreshed, healthier and productive. Air filtration systems contribute
to good IAQ and improve HVAC performance, but when they’re improperly
maintained, they can cause more problems than they solve.
Is your air filtration system contributing to IAQ issues?
Issues with Faulty
Improper installation and maintenance
are the two most common mistakes that
neutralize the usefulness of air filtration
systems. An improperly cared for air
filtration system can do more harm than
good in some instances.
“HVAC systems can even act as
sources of pollutants in some cases, such
as when ventilation air filters become
contaminated with dirt and/or moisture
and when microbial growth results from
stagnant water in drip pans from uncon-
trolled moisture inside of air ducts,”
states the EPA. “Properly installed and
maintained filters can trap many of the
particles in this outdoor supply air.”
Don’t overlook possible problem areas
for your air filtration system after install-
ing new HVAC equipment, as mistakes
and sloppy implementation can have
“An understanding of the entire HVAC
system is helpful to ensure that the
air filters are properly installed,” notes
the National Air Filtration Association
(NAFA). “When changing model or
design, consult manufacturer’s instruc-
tions. Maintaining the system’s integrity
Making sure you have a properly sealed
system is key to preventing bypass and
maintaining system pressure, explains
NAFA. After installation, check the sys-
tem (e.g. filter frames, fastening devices,
gaskets, etc.) so there are no leaks and
gaps. These issues can undo newly
installed HVAC equipment responsible
for improving IAQ.
However, if your facility contends with
gaseous or chemical pollutants on a
more regular basis, you may need more
specialized filtration equipment, notes
Proper air filtration in your facility requires you to be proactive with
maintenance. Establishing a preventive
maintenance program is vital to ensure
your system is taking contaminants out
of the air.
NAFA suggests the following actions
to keep your air filters from failing:
■ Inspect filter frames, fastening
devices, gaskets and ductwork
■ Remove and replace damaged or
defective gasketing and duct
insulation to keep air from bypassing
■ Keep coils and blower free from
dirt and debris by regular cleaning
to improve airflow, increase system
efficiency and maintain overall
“In summary, good housekeeping will
keep the HVAC system in proper working
order and will provide the facility with
air that is not only heated and cooled,
but also cleaned with a reduction in con-
taminant levels,” notes NAFA.
Justin Feit email@example.com is
Associate Editor at BUILDINGS.
POOR MAINTENANCE AND
INSTALLATION of air filters will
cause major HVAC issues.
COMMONLY CONFLATED, AIR PURIFIERS AND AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS
ARE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT. While both
clean the air you breathe, they typically have different roles in terms of
Air filters make HVAC units more
efficient and improve IAQ by catching
pollutants in a mesh-like material so
they don’t move throughout the building. The highest quality filters also capture bacteria and other microbes. HEPA
filters pull at least 99.97% of particles
from the air and work well.
Air purifiers are designed to kill bacteria and other microbes, typically by
using UV lamps that destroy the microorganisms.
Air Purifier vs.