Performance and Cost of Particle Air Filtration Technologies

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Journal Article

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This paper predicts the reductions in the indoor mass concentrations of particles attainable from use of filters in building supply airstreams and also from use of stand-alone fan-filter units. Filters with a wide efficiency range are considered. Predicted concentration reductions are provided for indoor-generated particles containing dust mite and cat allergen, for environmental tobacco smoke particles, and for outdoor- air fine mode particles. Additionally, this paper uses a simple model and available data to estimate the energy and total costs of the filtration options. Predicted reductions in cat and dust-mite allergen concentrations range from 20% to 80%. To obtain substantial, e.g., 50%, reductions in indoor concentrations of these allergens, the rate of airflow through the filter must be at least a few indoor volumes per hour. Increasing filter efficiencies above approximately ASHRAE Dust Spot 65% does not significantly reduce predicted indoor concentrations of these allergens. For environmental tobacco smoke particles and outdoor fine mode particles, calculations indicate that relatively large, e.g., 80%, decreases in indoor concentrations are attainable with practical filter efficiencies and flow rates. Increasing the filter efficiency above ASHRAE 85% results in only modest predicted incremental decreases in indoor concentration. Energy costs and total costs can be similar for filtration using filters with a wide range of efficiency ratings. Total estimated filtration costs of approximately $0.70 to $1.80 per person per month are insignificant relative to salaries, rent, or health insurance costs.


Indoor Air



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