07 Apr A Universal Air Filter Housing – FINALLY!
It used to be if you wanted a side access HVAC air filter housing, you needed to know what style of filters you wanted to use, and then you were locked into that style as long as the equipment was in service. With new filter designs being created, and changes in building use more than ever the need for a universal air filter housing has been growing, and one has finally been developed that offers true versatility for multiple filter types, styles, and applications – so the filtration of an HVAC sytem can adapt with changing building uses or requirements.
Even with this universal air filter housing being available most manufacturers still are making side-access filter racks that only accomodate 2″ deep filters, which deosn’t allow the end-user to easily or inexpensively add a high efficency or carbon filter. In order to make that change with traditional housings entire sections must be ripped out and replaced – which may not be possible without first removing walls, making the change unreasonably expensive. But it doens’t have to be that way, for only 25″ of in-line space and some forethought when designing the HVAC system adding a universal air filter housing will best serve the owner of the equipment and building occupants for years to come.
Fighting against the use of universal filter housings are the equipment manufacturers and passivly the engineers themselves. The OEM (equipment manufacturers) don’t want to have to purchase housings seperate of their equipment and want to continue to make the same things they always have in order to keep their costs down. Engineers are more passive in the process where they fight against specifiying anything unusual, and when they do they are VERY quick to sign off anything the installing contractor or OEM produces as a “like-kind” or “equal substitution” – after all a filter rack is a filter rack right? Just like a car is a car – there is not difference between a ’92 corolla and a Volt? Of course there are great engineers that hold a specification that you as the building owner put together with them, and there are some OEMs that realize they are in the HVAC equipment business, not the air filtration business – but they are becoming more and more scarce as the internet commodidizes everything.
A true Universal Air Filter Housing should be able to do these tasks interchangeably:
- (3) 2″ deep filters (i.e. MERV-8 pre, Carbon/gas-phase, MERV-8 dusting)
- (1) 2″ and (1) 4″ Box fitler (i.e. MERV-8 pre and 4″ deep High efficiency, or MERV-8 pre and 4″ thin-bed carbon filter for odor & molecular control)
- (1) 6″ box filter for either high-efficiency or high-dust holding prefiltration
- Any of the combinations above plus any filter with a 1″ nominal header. The 1″ headered filters are what allow for the most flexibility as you can get very effective thin-bed Carbon, and up to MERV-16 high-efficiency in a variety of styles from Bags, mini-pleats, V-beds, and more.
There are two additional major benefits of using a universal filter housing. First, throughout the design phase of a project the efficiency and style of the filter can be fluid so you don’t need to make a final decision on just how much filtration you want to give a space until it is built-out, with traditional methods if you decide in the 11th hour that you want to go from MERV-8 to MERV-13, or add a carbon section it can change the HVAC equipment and footprint significantly – causing a lot of work to be redone.
Secondly, these universal housings are typically desgined around 2 cross-section filter sizes 12×24 and 24×24, which just happen to be the two most common cross sections made. Unfortunately it is also not uncommon for new HVAC equipment to have 3, 4 or even 5 different filter cross-section sizes in one unit. This puts a lot more stress on the people in charge of operating the equipment and further limits the choices you have as an owner of the equipment as to what type and level of filtration you can have in your building. By standardizing you keep you roptions (and costs) down.
If you’d like a more detailed brochure on the only true universal air filter housing, the patented Camfil Multi Track 25, simply click here to get the brocure