Air filters are devices designed and used to remove or reduce the presence of unwanted particles, such as dirt, gases, molds, and odors, from contained air, as well as generally improve air quality.
Generally, they are made up of some sort of fibrous material and a screen through which air passes. The size and density of filter fibers vary according to the requirements of the application they serve.
Applications they may serve exist in many different industries, such as automotive, healthcare, residential and commercial cleaning, and heating and cooling. Types of spaces and products that air filters clean include in-home and commercial heating systems, ventilation systems, air conditioning systems, humidifiers, engine components, cars, and direct air machines.
Particles that individual air filters remove fluctuate, but some include mold spores, animal dander, and dust and pollen. To attend to these needs, manufacturers have created a number of specialized filters, such as HEPA filters, ULPA filters, inline filters, air compressor filters, membrane filters, and HVAC filters. Read More…
HEPA (Highly Efficient Particulate Air) filters and ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filters are both used in the medical field, where they provide the high levels of filtration needed to protect delicate health. They are so effective, in fact, that they are frequently used to meet the strict requirements of many governmental and industrial standards. They remove such contaminants as allergens, irritants, viral and bacterial infections, and microbes.
Inline filters, which may be used in pharmaceutical and chemical applications in combination with HEPA and ULPA filters, attach to preexisting tubing or ductwork to remove unwanted liquids and contaminants from air streams. These filters, which are electronic, are supported by filter materials such as cotton, acrylic, electrostatic fabric, fiberglass, aluminum wire screen, paper, polyester, and any combination therein.
Air compressor filters, more commonly known as compressed air filters, as their name suggests, are used to remove contaminants from compressed air. Compressed air filters are important because so many processes create compressed air that is full of moisture, oil, rust, dust, and other problematic and potentially harmful substances.
Next, membrane filters, sometimes called sieve, screen, or microporous filters, are useful in the sanitation of wastewater, where they can remove macromolecules, colloids, and particles. They do this by engaging in microfiltration, a process in which contaminated liquid is passed through a pore-sized membrane.
HVAC stands for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC filters, therefore, attend to the needs of in-home and commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Various types of HVAC filters include panel filters, electrostatic filters, pleated filters, washable filters, green filters, and HEPA filters.
In addition to all of these, some specialty filters, such as exhaust filters and carbon air filters, are available for use with odor and gas removal.
Not all air filters are equal. Rather, they vary by efficiency, materials used, and the air velocity needed to make them work. Air filter efficiency is determined by the size, length, and density of the filter fibers and the velocity with which air moves through them.
Note that dense filters capture a greater number of particles, meaning they offer better filtration services. However, because of this density, they also require a higher level of power, or higher velocity, to force air through them.
Air filters are available in a myriad of materials. These include: fabrics, paper, plastics, metals like stainless steel, carbon, and foam. Plastic materials are often used to make electrostatic filters, because plastics increase the natural static charge of friction, attracting dust particles. Carbon air filters work a bit differently from most filters as well, by generating chemical reactions within itself to attract and remove pollutants from air streams.
Many air filters require power generation to create the air velocity required to push air through them. However, some do not. The best example of this is the electrostatic filter, which offers a near-permanent filtration screen solution and does not require a power source in order to be highly effective.
In the modern world, air filters are becoming increasingly essential. As the effects of different substances and particles in the air on human health make themselves more and more known, the need for air filters becomes more obvious.
They are helpful in the home, where they remove possible allergens such as dust, mold, mildew, and pet dander, and provide particular relief to those suffering from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. They are also important in the automotive industry, where exhaust and inline filters are installed in engines to promote engine health and air circulation and to extend a vehicle’s overall working life. They also protect other machines, such as air conditioners, nail guns, refrigerators, and other domestic and industrial appliances, from damage or shortened lifespans.
To ensure both the highest level of air filtration and maximum efficiency, interested parties should make sure, first, that the density of the media they’ll be filtering matches the capabilities of the filter fiber material and density, and possibly its adhesion. Users who regularly clean and service their air filters should expect them to perform well beyond their replacement date.