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HVAC Pressure Drop: FAQ for Building Operators

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What Is Pressure Drop and How Is it Affected by Air Filters?

Somewhere in your system there are fans are blowing air through the ducts. Anything in the pathway of this air is going to cause resistance. Pressure drop is the impact of this resistance on the flow of air through your system.

Sources of pressure drop include many normal things you expect to find in any HVAC system: gauges, filters, coils, even turns in the ducts cause resistance. When filters or coils become dirty, pressure drop increases. Some filters are specifically designed to reduce pressure drop, but it cannot be eliminated completely—it’s impossible to filter the air without causing some resistance.

How Does Pressure Drop Affect Operating Costs?

Pressure drop can significantly affect your energy use—and costs. The more resistance air encounters moving through your HVAC system, the more energy you need to consume to keep that air moving. That means clogged or inefficient air filters, or other obstructions in your HVAC system can result in hidden costs. It may be hard for building operators to connect the dots, because budgets for things like air filters are often tracked separately from operating expenses like energy.

How Can You Reduce or Manage Pressure Drop?

Optimizing your HVAC filters can reduce pressure drop and generate substantial savings. This optimization includes two main components:

  • Using the best air filters for your facility: In many cases, the potential savings from reduced energy use will exceed the extra cost of purchasing a premium filter to reduce pressure drop.
  • Keeping your filters clean and well-maintained: Changing filters on the recommended schedule and ensuring that no dust or debris is building up will help minimize pressure drop.

However, it’s important not to oversimplify the equation here. To determine the most cost-effective option, you have to consider multiple factors: filtration efficiency, pressure drop, and filter price.

Learn More About Pressure Drop and Air Filter Optimization

The air filtration experts at Joe W. Fly can help you find the best solution for pressure drop or other HVAC issues. Our experienced technicians regularly do system assessments and recommend options to maximize efficiency and air quality in all kinds of buildings throughout Texas: hospitals, schools, offices, manufacturing and commercial facilities.

Check out our infographic “The Surprising Annual Savings of Using Better Air Filters” to learn more about potential savings associated with reducing pressure drop, or contact us for more information. We’d be happy to come out to your building and help identify the best air filters for your needs and budget. We even offer just-in-time delivery and installation services so you don’t have to waste time, space and money storing bulk quantities of air filters on-site.

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