Using Commercial Filters to Reduce Airborne Viruses

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With the right commercial filters in place, you can greatly reduce the spread of airborne virus particles. Virus particles tend to be smaller than many other particles, and are easily transmitted by coughing, sneezing and even breathing. Droplets containing infectious matter can remain airborne for quite some time. When they finally land, they can still infect the unwary, often through casual touch. By keeping virus particles from circulating through the HVAC system, you can diminish the spread of common cold, flu and other viruses throughout your buildings and keep the air clean, safe and healthy for all.

Higher MERV Rated Commercial Filters Slow Spread of Viruses

According to a paper published by the National Air Filtration Association, taking into account the particle size of the viruses and the droplet sizes used to transmit the viruses, commercial filters with a higher MERV rating can slow the spread of common viruses such as influenza from within confined spaces.

The paper presents three hypothetical scenarios. In the first scenario, an office building consisting of 500 square meters with 25% outdoor air circulation, 25 employees work in the building. One employee comes to work with the influenza virus. If there is no filter in place on the HVAC system, 25% of the employees are likely to become infected with the flu virus.

That number begins to drop when commercial filters are installed. Filters with a MERV rating of 4 reduce the percent to 22%, but MERV 16 rated filters drop the number by more than half, with slightly more than 10% of the office workers contracting the flu. HEPA filters seem to be the best in this hypothetical scenario; when HEPA filters are in place, the least number of people get sick.

Spend a Little More to Save on Lost Productivity, Sick Days

When considering the costs of commercial filters compared to the benefits, consider that if HEPA filters cut the number of employees from catching the flu in half (10% instead of 22%), HEPA filters might easily recoup their cost in saved productivity, sick pay and/or the work lost by their absence.

The same results are hypothetically consistent whether the building is a school, an office or a hospital: the higher the MERV rating on the commercial filter, the better able it is to stop viruses from continuing to circulate in the system and infect more people.

Can you stop everyone from getting sick? No, but at least you can reduce the spread of the virus. That’s a huge plus for most work environments. If installing a good quality HEPA or other commercial filter can keep people healthy this winter, it pays to learn more about commercial filters options for your building.

Twin City Filter stocks a large selection of commercial filters, and we can also order custom filters for commercial buildings. We ship same day to customers coast to coast, and offer next day delivery in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. Twin City Filter may be reached at (612) 721-4000.

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