09 June 2023

Comparing Air Filter Performance

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Indoor air quality has become a growing concern in recent years as people spend more time indoors.

Properly specified and maintained Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems can play a crucial role in ensuring that people and processes are properly protected. Air filtration within HVAC systems is critical in ensuring the air we breathe is clean, but how can users verify the performance of their air filters?

Understanding ISO 16890 Testing

ISO 16890 is the globally recognised standard for evaluating air filters used in HVAC systems. In 2016 it replaced the previous EN779 standard and provides users with a useful tool for comparing the filtration performance & energy efficiency of air filtration solutions.

The results of air filter testing against ISO 16890 are expressed in relation to particulate sizes (1 micron, 2.5 micron & 10 micron). This allows users to assess the efficiency performance of filters against particulate size and make straightforward comparisons.

Reputable filter providers will have access to an ongoing program of independent filter testing and should be able to provide ISO 16890 guidance on request.

Beware of misleading claims!

Despite the best efforts of industry leaders and filtration experts to implement ISO 16890 in a way which increases transparency for users, there remain many misleading claims within the air filtration marketplace.

Caution should be exercised where filter providers claim that additional approvals are required to deliver “compliance”. Any claims that further approvals or trade-body memberships are required are false and should be dismissed.

Similarly, any reputable filter provider should be conversant in the terminology of ISO 16890. Many users of air filtration products are still most familiar with the terminology of previous filter standards and our role as industry experts is to be able to talk both “languages”, for the benefit of air filtration users.

For further advice on how filter test standards have evolved and for a clear & honest conversation about the points discussed above, contact Westbury today.

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