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The change in air filter standard from a manufacturer's perspective

4/10/2017

​Dinair has nearly 40 years of experience in the field of air filtering. The company develops and manufactures ventilation air filters with the purpose of protecting people, ventilation systems and the environment. The filters are manufactured in Kausala, Finland. Dinair's goal has always been to be a frontrunner, and VTT Expert Services has provided assistance in achieving that goal. Their cooperation goes back to the beginning of the 1990s. 

They have also cooperated in standardisation, where a new era will begin: the new filter testing standard (EN ISO 16890:2016) will replace the old European standard EN 779:2012 over the next 18 months. The standard is a global one and also enables the replacement of the MERV standard in the Americas and Asia. 

Possibility for better indoor air

The new standard is a progressive step towards good indoor air quality, as the outdoor air quality can be taken into consideration in filter selection. The PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 values of the filter allow the user to use outdoor air concentrations to calculate what the indoor air concentrations would be if internal sources and building shell leakage are disregarded.

Standard change causes work on many fronts

"From the perspective of a filter manufacturer, adopting the new standard is a major project. Product tests, certifications, etc., must be carried out in accordance with the new standard. Our customers want to know what an old-standard product is under the new standard. There is no comprehensive calculation formula for this; in practice, the products need to be tested in accordance with the new standard in order to determine the filtration performance with certainty. VTT Expert Services programmed a conversion application for us, giving us a good idea where the old test results would be in the new standard", describes Lassi Saastamoinen, Sales and Marketing Manager at Dinair.

"In late 2014, we had discussions with Dinair on how we could help them with the classification changes of the new standard. Based on these discussions, we started developing an application that could be used so as to determine the classifications of EN 779:2012 standard filters would have under the new EN ISO 16890 standard", says Tero Jalkanen, Product Manager at VTT Expert Services Oy.

"At the beginning of 2015, we completed a conversion application that could be used to evaluate EN 779:2012 standard filters that would be classified as ePM1 and ePM2.5 under the new EN ISO 16890 standard. The determination was limited to only two classes under the new EN ISO 16890 standards, because only one testing aerosol (DEHS) is used in EN 779:2012 testing, while two testing aerosols (DEHS and KCI) are used in testing under the new EN ISO 16890 standard, of which the DEHS aerosol is intended for a particle size range of 0.3–1 µm and KCl for a particle size range of 1–10 µm."

Saastamoinen continues: "Another change visible to the customers is that there will no longer be filters of classes G, M or F. For this reason, Dinair will change product names during the transition period. During this change, we will naturally help our customers with product selection."

Energy saving raises discussion

Energy saving is a discussion topic that goes hand in hand with filtration. Tero Jalkanen  points out that, in mechanical filtration (using fibre fabric), saving energy has almost always signified reduced filtration performance.

The new measurement standard does not include energy calculations (neither did the old one), but the Eurovent Association has published energy calculation instructions 4/21:2016 based on the new standard, using the ISO 16890 test as the basis for an energy estimate.

Lassi Saastamoinen is also along the same lines: "These energy calculations are always merely indicative and only work in product comparison. They do not give the customers a final idea of the real energy consumption (kWh) of the filters they use. It is greatly affected by the fan and automation system as well as the operating hours. Filters also behave differently, which also affects energy consumption."

In Finland, a common recommendation under the old SFS-EN 779:2012 standard for choosing a filter in regular applications was the F7 filter. The filter manufacturer's recommendation for the filter class under the new standard is one of the classes between ePM1 50–65%. In urban environments or in the vicinity of heavy traffic, the recommendation under the new standard could be ePM1 >60%.

The positives and negatives brought about by the new standard

+ Comparison with outdoor air is now possible

+ Better discharging

+ At least indicative energy consumption values calculable based on the new standard

+ Worldwide

+ / - Certification and classification must be reworked

- Inconvenience of changing product names

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