Performance and Cost of Particle Air Filtration Technologies
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.