USGBC

Camfil Joins
US Green Building Council

Camfil, developer of “completely green” air filters that give users five distinct environmental and cost advantages, has joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) at the Product Manufacturer Level.

USGBC-logo

USGBC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of industry leaders committed to making “green” buildings universally available within a generation.

Camfil has a strong history of participation in organizations such as ASHRAE and the Institute of Environmental Sciences & Technology. Camfil offers its expertise to applicable factions of the USGBC, concentrating on improving indoor air quality and saving energy.

One area of concentration will be the Indoor Air Quality Procedure as defined in ASHRAE Standard 62.1. Another, longer-term goal of Camfil’s participation is to educate industry professionals regarding the ECI (Energy Cost Index) and Life Cycle Costing as effective and immediate ways to reduce energy use, while maintaining highest rated efficiency throughout the life of the filter.

Camfil is the only filter manufacturer to guarantee the energy-saving performance of its filters. It is also unique in providing a fully-equipped mobile lab to test pre-filter and final filter combinations under local temperature, humidity and contaminant conditions.

Camfil’s commitment to environmentally-favored, energy-conserving filter technologies is long-standing, comprehensive, and company-wide.

* LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system that promotes sustainable green building and development practices worldwide. It is a registered trademark of the USGBC.

** ASHRAE is an international organization of heating, refrigeration and air-conditioning engineers. ASHRAE offers various Standards that are used for new construction and building modifications.

 

Energy Cost Index Ratings

Schools & Universities

How can you be sure that you have selected the best air filter for your application?

Industry test reports and material in manufacturers’ literature or packaging may be a good start, but will they provide a true indication of a filter’s value over its entire service life, in your system? After all, that’s what matters. (In fact, it’s the only thing that does matter!)

Unfortunately the testing method used today is an accelerated test – performed in a matter of hours, and not very indicative of how the filter may perform over a matter of months or years in your AHU.

Some manufacturers use filter enhancements to trick the test into indicating an efficiency level that in actual application can degrade very quickly. Their literature may even portray the filters’ performance based only upon this accelerated test data, a marketing decision that is misleading – or worse.

Enter the Energy Cost Index or ECI.  This filter rating system examines the filter’s efficiency over its service lifetime, as well as the energy required to move air through that specific filter.

ECI compares filters of similar construction, under the same conditions of operation and provides an indicator of TRUE performance. Specifically, the formula is dollars per percent of filter efficiency.
The lower the value, the better the filter.

A filter with an ECI of five stars is a stellar performer. It maintains its efficiency over its life and uses less energy to move air through the filter. It is in the top 20% of all filters evaluated. A four-star filter has a lower ECI value, and the pattern continues down to one star, the poorest performers.

The Camfil filters described on this website are all 5-star performers, designed to deliver the greatest value in energy savings, air quality, waste reduction and environmental impact.

Mobile Media Tester

MMTresultsThe Mobile Media Tester takes particle count and efficiency measurements in order to analyze and compare fine fiber vs. coarse charged fiber bag filter products.

Coarse fiber (synthetic) media is cheaper than fine fiber (microfiber glass) media. In some cases the cost differential may be as high as 20%, sometimes passed on in more competitive pricing to the user.

But should cost be ‘the factor’ when the #1 priority of most users is indoor air quality? Shouldn’t the prime consideration be the life cycle cost of the product, with an emphasis on achieving the best
possible air quality at reasonable cost?

The chart below shows the results of media evaluation using a Mobile Media Tester.

mobile-media-testerIncluded in this analysis is a discharging step that simulates loading of media during normal HVAC
service. This discharging step is already in place in European filter testing standards and was recently
adapted as an option to current ASHRAE filter testing Standards.

Note that the fine fiber media products (shades of green) have an efficiency of around 70% in three different
product configurations. Note the coarse fiber medias charged (initial) efficiency (shades of orange) and the
same media in a discharged state (shades of blue).

The end user is expecting 70% removal efficiency in this critical respirable particle range, with historical
performance increasing over the life of the filter. How many end users would purchase this product
knowing that performance will actually decrease over the life of the product?

In-Situ Filter Testing

In-Situ-testingHow can filter users differentiate manufacturers’ claims and make intelligent decisions as to what products best meet their needs?

In the past, test reports were one answer. But today’s test lab methodologies may not offer a true barometer of a filter’s performance over time. The reason: these filters are not tested under the real world conditions of your AHUs.

Camfil has addressed these concerns with in-situ filter testing using industry-defined procedures.

The final report includes a particle size versus efficiency analysis, which details the filters’ ability to capture large particles, submicron sized respirable particles that may affect health or processes – and everything in-between.

Pressure drop data, relative to a filter’s actual life within a system, and its overall effect on system airflow and use of energy is also detailed.

There are many testing tools. But there is no match for the detail and scientific objectivity of in-situ filter testing.

Efficiency and pressure drop in a customer’s air handling units is determined using particle counters, airflow and pressure drop measuring devices, and proprietary data recording and reporting software.

SAVER

saverSAVER simplifies the collection of site survey data.  This specially-configured PDA was engineered to work with Life Cycle Costing Software, which calculates the precise Life Cycle Cost for a specific filter, (ours or a competitor’s) in any given AHU.

The LCC program adjusts to accommodate real-world outdoor air characteristics,  hours of operation and fan efficiency, also costs for filters, labor, disposal, and energy.  SAVER allows fast, precise collection of HVAC air filter site survey data and automatically hands it off to the LCC so calculations can begin. 

Mobile Filter Testing Lab

Camfield-Lab

Camfield-Lab

How do air filters perform under real conditions? Do filters perform as well as their literature claims? How do filters differ from each other, in terms of pressure drop at time of installation vs. weeks later, structural integrity, dust-loading uniformity and other factors? The mobile filter testing lab has proved to be an invaluable tool for testing various filters simultaneously under identical ambient conditions, (RH%, temp, air flow, etc). for extended periods of time.

The mobile filter testing lab has four separate ducts, each of which has a pre-and fine filter section, and a separately controlled fan. Measured values from all filter steps, orifices, temperature and relative humidity are logged continuously. Logged values can be retrieved on site, or via wireless modem.

The mobile filter testing lab can be sited anywhere there’s an electrical connection. Four combinations of filters can be tested at the same time. The mobile filter testing lab can provide article, stub and gas measurements. It is an excellent tool for generating objective and scientifically valid data regarding one of the most important recurring purchases companies make.

Case in Point

One of the nation’s largest independently-owned food retailers, with more than 300 stories, changed their existing filters based on pressure drop every two months. Several of the stores were persuaded to convert to the 30/30 air filter, and as a direct result,extended filter life to four months.

This caught the attention of management, which summoned the mobile filter testing lab to its San Antonio, Texas corporate office for evaluation. In an unusual double-blind study, the 30/30s were tested against two competitors.

After two months, the 30/30 demonstrated a 50% advantage on pressure drop compared to one competitor. The second competitor’s filter was disqualified when it suffered particle breakthrough and structural collapse.

Life Cycle Cost Analysis

An air filter life cycle cost analysis shows a user how to obtain the best value.

Although air filters are viewed by some as a commodity-type replacement item similar to rest room paper products or basic cleaning materials their application in HVAC systems makes them much more. Choosing the wrong filter can cost a facility hundreds of dollars a year for small buildings to tens of thousands of dollars a year for medium to large buildings.

The primary consideration for any facility should always be proper selection of air filters based upon the required air quality to protect building occupants or/and in manufacturing, protecting the process so product yield is not affected so company profits are unaffected. This involves the selection of air filters using their minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) recommended by cognizant authorities such as the American Society of Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Engineers (ASHRAE), local authorities or others directly recognized as experts for the processes involved. Once the MERV is established a life cycle cost analysis should be performed to ensure that the air filter products applied provide not only contaminant removal efficiency, but efficiencies of cost also.

Camfil has developed software that includes a database of over 25 years of experience to provide an accurate life cycle cost for using Camfil filters or competitive filters. Since over 80% of a filter’s true cost relates to moving air through the filter, or energy, a filter’s resistance to airflow over its life is critical and the prime consideration. Additional factors considered include local air quality, whether the filters maintain their efficiency, labor to service the filters, disposal costs and the initial cost per filter unit.

After a site survey or consult meeting the local Camfil distributor will run an LCC analysis in Camfil software. The user is provided graphic output comparing various filter selection options. Multiple options may be presented in one analysis. All related cost of ownership amounts are displayed including energy, filter cost, labor cost, waste cost, CO2 impact and landfill impact. Visual examples of each product analyzed are shown, so the user can confirm the products under consideration and ensure the latest manufacturer’s offerings are considered.

The Camfil software product database includes historical performance data relating to almost every air filtration product in North America.

For new construction or retrofit projects engineers can consult with Camfil Representatives and run analyses for different filter selection scenarios to ensure they are providing the best long term value for their customers.

Are you using the filtration that will give your facility the lowest total cost of ownership? Contact your local Camfil distributor to schedule your analysis today.