Atlanta’s HVAC experts, Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning, talk commercial air filter options, MERV ratings, and more…

Air filters in commercial HVAC systems fulfill two important goals by cleaning the air that goes through the office heating and cooling system. The first is that the filter helps protect the HVAC equipment from dust and particle buildup that could reduce efficiency and cause breakdowns. The second purpose is to provide clean air for building occupants.

Exactly how much this air is filtered depends on the use of the commercial space, and how well the filter works can depend the skill of the HVAC technician changing it. Keep reading to learn more…

Finding the Right Filter for Your System

Commercial air filters come in different designs, sizes and levels of effectiveness.  It’s important to make sure that your HVAC filter replacement is the same as the one you took out. Obviously, you need the correct size and design, but there are important reasons why the MERV rating needs to be the same as well.

MERV Matters

Air filters are measured based on their effectiveness through the MERV system, which ranges from one (least effective) to sixteen (most effective). While you would naturally assume that you would want the most effective air filter, this isn’t the case. High MERV rating filters are really only necessary in environments where air quality is extremely important, such as labs or hospitals. It takes extra energy for the HVAC system to operate with these filters in place, or the HVAC system must be designed or retro-commissioned for such filters.  A MERV rating of 6 or more is acceptable, while filters in the range of 9-12 are considered generally good filters for commercial spaces.

You should always ask an HVAC technician what kind of filter would work best in your commercial space depending on its uses. If you’re looking to improve your air quality by bumping up the MERV level of your commercial air filter, make sure you run this idea by a knowledgeable HVAC contractor. Filters can affect how hard the system’s blowers need to operate in order to avoid a pressure drop. In some cases, the blowers may need to be replaced with stronger ones in order for your commercial system to continue operating efficiently.

The Role of the HVAC Technician

Your HVAC technician plays a major role in how effective an air filter actually is. Commercial air filters are often sealed by gaskets and brackets. If not properly installed within these mechanisms, air in the HVAC system can bypass the filter, causing the effectiveness of the air filter to drop by up to two levels, according to the National Air Filtration Association. Furthermore, some HVAC technicians may not know how to properly install these filters. Having a technician with NATE certification can help ensure that your commercial space’s filter is correct and properly installed.

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is the standardized professional certification for heating and air technicians. Besides passing intense content exams, technicians must be involved in continuing education to maintain their certification.

When you’re entrusting the air handling system of a commercial space to an HVAC technician, its worth it to find one affiliated with NATE.

Whether you’re looking to improve your commercial space’s air filtration, or if you need quality maintenance, Gagne is here to service the Alpharetta and Atlanta region, including Duluth, Norcross and Sandy Springs. Contact our NATE certified team today, or learn more about commercial HVAC systems by visiting our blog.

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