Low energy air filters in HVAC deliver quick wins

Installing low energy air filters in HVAC systems to deliver quick wins for energy consumption and carbon emissions 

 Did you know that in the average commercial building, 50% of the energy bill is for the HVAC system and 30% of that is directly related to the air filter?  Choosing the right air filter can be a big part of your company’s energy saving plan.  In order to optimise filter lifetime and reduce energy cost during the filters lifetime, it is important to understand how far configuration or design influences average pressure drop.  Camfil has been a pioneer in designing low average pressure drop filters in all filter classes for the HVAC system for 50 years.

Camfil is the global leader in air filtration and clean air solutions.   They can demonstrate through a number of high profile installations, how air filters directly influence energy consumption within air handling units that heat, cool and clean the air of approximately 60,000 air conditioned buildings in the UK.  Low energy air filters deliver a tangible reduction in both energy consumption and carbon emissions.  Products also have superior maintenance cycles and further reduce running costs.

Property, estates, FM Service Providers and building and energy managers should be aware of the substantial financial and energy saving opportunities (25-50%) that exist by simply replacing existing air filters with their Low Energy Air Filters.  

The Hi-FloM7F7 Bag Filter is an HVAC Low Energy Air Filter which delivers optimum performance, specifically designed to deliver the required level of clean air in HVAC systems while consuming the minimum amount of energy.  Providing clean air demands energy.  Clean Air also saves lives and money.  We need air filters, but we also need to ensure they are sustainable and energy efficient.

Air Filters consume about 30% of the energy used in such systems. A badly selected filter can cost over £500 per year.  The Federation of European Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Associations have estimated that within the EU alone there is a potential annual saving of 5TWh available by switching to Low Energy Air Filters. This would equate up to £500 million energy saving in the UK.

Camfil have produced a video to highlight the benefits of specifying low energy air filters over lower cost filtration products.

Camfil has developed software to determine precise Life Cycle Cost (LCC) costs for a particular filter, in any given system, with its unique conditions and requirements.   In terms of installation, these low energy air filters in 90% of cases can be retro fitted in the existing framework which means that payback is usually 1-3 months. In other cases, new framework may need to be installed with the low energy air filters and the payback is extended but always within a 12 month revenue period. In our experience these upgrades are resourced within the revenue budget with no need for capital expenditure.

Placement of low energy air filters in air conditioning systems enhance the system efficiency by maintaining the heat transfer efficiency of the heating and cooling coils over an extended period.  Low Energy Air filters, such as the HiFloM7F7 Bag filter are designed to optimise all the available surface area, thereby creating a lower pressure drop across the filter.  This has a direct impact on the fan motor in terms of energy consumption. Over the life of the filter the pressure drop increases due to the loading of particulate on the filter and consumes more energy. Because the average pressure drop of the low energy air filter described above is much lower than any other product on the market, it consumes much less energy.    Estimate of possible savings can be as high as £300 per filter 10p per KW/hour to optimize each F7 grade filter. Return on investment is typically 1 – 2 months.

Low Energy Air Filters in Action:

An air filter trial was recently carried out for Imperial College, London by ABS consulting and Camfil.  The Filter Trial project was carried out on Air Handling Units (AHUs) in the Sir Alexander Fleming & Biochemistry buildings at the London Campus.   The results demonstrated substantial scope for energy saving of some 293 tonnes CO2 per annum.   The Filter Trial improved air quality, reduced waste, energy consumption and CO2 emissions for Imperial College – Delivering savings of over £50,000.   Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research and consistently rated amongst the world's best universities.  The project was part of the University’s CONCOM programme.  CONCOM is Imperial College's programme for continuous optimisation of plant and services, a programme which cuts costs, cuts waste and improves efficiency within the building environments at the university campus.

The project scope was to set up trials for replacing existing filters with energy efficient air filters in several Air Handling Units (AHU’s) across the campus.  Existing filters were replaced with Camfil’s energy efficient filters, with a higher surface area and the filter positioning arrangement was changed.  The trials were a success and realised a 7% savings.  ABS Consulting and Imperial College are now rolling out this process across the campus, expecting savings of about £50,000 a year or about 250 tonnes of co2.

Many other organisations are benefitting from this initiative.  Low Energy Air Filters were installed at London City University resulting in annual savings of £18,219.00 and reduced labour cost (maintenance) of £ 6,930.00 per year and 77 tonnes of  CO2 .

  • Land Securities - saved £250k and 650 tonnes of CO2 by installing Low Energy Air Filters
  • Pfizer  Global Research and Development Campus in Kent  improved air quality and saved over £2 million.
  • House of Fraser - accumulated savings of £170,000 per year and 800 tCO2e per annum
  • Kings College -  by optimising AC plant Camfil identified substantial savings on their HVAC plant over several buildings including 28 AHU’s, saving £55,000 over 5 years with capital payback within 12 months.
  • BBC – supply, fit and disposal of all filters Indoor Air Quality monitoring,  Energy Savings and AC compliance protocol.   Energy savings of £3000 per Air Handling Unit.

Low energy air filters in HVAC deliver quick wins


(19) 3847-8810 sac@camfil.com

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