02/08/2011 // Riverdale, NJ, USA // Camfil Farr // Lynne Laake
(Air Filter News) – The prestigious hospital — ranked in the top three in the United States — had a problem. Air quality was not optimized, which meant that particles could spread infection, a particularly dangerous scenario in a healthcare setting. The facility, which has 11 specialty areas, ranked among the country’s top ten, needed to change that — and quickly.
Air quality experts from Camfil Farr, the nation’s leading provider of clean air solutions, quickly discovered what was causing the problem. In many air handling units, the hospital was using air filters designed with coarse fiber synthetic media. That wasn’t a surprise: This media is electrostatically charged, giving the air filters a high initial efficiency. But the technique has a flaw. Coarse fiber filters degrade quickly, which means that indoor air quality suffers early in the life of the filters. Not only does that increase the risk of dangerous particles passing through the filter — and potentially spreading infection — but it means the hospital air filters need to be changed out often, raising replacement and disposal costs. Add to that the increased costs that result when more energy is required to push air through the degraded filters, and what initially looked like low-priced air filters suddenly become an expensive — and inefficient — investment.
Fortunately, the solution was easy to see, too; replacing the outdated, wasteful, and ultimately expensive coarse fiber design with an innovative, sustainable alternative: air filters using fine fiber media. Not only does that cutting-edge design mean the air filters will last longer requiring less frequent change-outs, but the filters retain their efficiency throughout their service life, dangerous air particles are consistently removed from the environment, and less energy is needed to push the air through the filters. Indeed, hospitals and healthcare facilities that have embraced Camfil Farr clean air solutions have seen their HVAC energy costs drop by 15 to 30 percent.
To prove how air quality — and costs — could be optimized, the Camfil Farr team suggested that the hospital test its existing air filters side by side, under identical conditions, with Camfil Farr’s sustainable air filters. Two air handling units of equal airflow and close location were selected, with 24 filters used by each unit. The test pitted the fine fiber media Camfil Farr filters against charged synthetic media Flanders Precisionaire air filters. The result: while the Flanders filter demonstrated a low initial pressure drop — as coarse fiber air filters typically do — after eight weeks, the Flanders product was operating at just 54 percent, compared to the 86 percent efficiency of the Camfil Farr air filter. Significantly, Flanders air filters that had been operating for two years in an adjacent air handling unit measured an efficiency level of just 26 percent.
The numbers were eye-opening, as they demonstrated that the traditionally designed air filter’s performance, which dropped dramatically soon after the installation, never improved and, in fact, got far worse — so much so, that the risk of infection, and the increased energy demands, were troubling for the hospital.
By switching to the Camfil Farr air filter the hospital was able not only to reduce the infection risk, but save energy costs and keep waste to a minimum — no small benefit as the country’s landfills continue to grow. It also enabled the hospital to meet a crucial goal: to provide the best possible care and comfort to its patients while making the most efficient use of its resources. That’s no small feat — but with Camfil Farr’s innovative air filter, it was a readily achievable one.
*The world leader in air filtration systems and clean air solutions — for health care and other industries — Camfil Farr provides the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections; all while lowering total cost of ownership. We’ve helped hospitals, office buildings, hotels, and other facilities go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information, visit our newsroom at http://breakingnews.green-air-filters.com, read aboutCamfil air filters and the Clean Air Solutions Company at http://green-air-filters.com, or call us at (toll free) 888.599.6620.
Url: HVAC Air Filters