Sustainable HVAC filtration

Created Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Considerations for choosing a sustainable HVAC filter

Imagine the most sustainable air filter. What comes to mind? Is it crafted from responsibly sourced materials? Perhaps its components are biobased and renewable? Or do you envision a filter that biodegrades after its use? While these features can enhance sustainability, they address only part of the truth. The largest climate footprint of air filters stems from their use and energy consumption.

Often people ask, but how does an air filter consume energy when it has no electrical current running through it? The energy related to the air filter is the affect the air filter has on the HVAC systems fan, when its pulling/pushing air through the filter. The higher the resistance or pressure drop caused by the more energy the HVAC system consumes.

Paula Nowojska
Product Manager Comfort EMEA

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The emission of CO2 during the use of a filter is related to two aspects: said energy consumption of a filter and a source of electrical energy. For example energy from coal or gas will cause higher carbon footprint of your filter. But what if you are already using a filter with lowest energy consumption, and the energy source is wind or water? What else we can do to make a filter sustainable?

Filtration efficiency

Often filters with higher particle removal efficiency also have a higher energy consumption. So it may be tempting to chose a filter with low filtration efficiency class to save some kWhs. Remember that this only sounds good, because sacrificing on filtration efficiency in the name of lower energy consumption will bring unwanted effects. For the first the comfort and wellbeing of people spending time in poorly filtrated room will be affected. Moreover, if the air passing through your HVAC system is still full of particles, the dust can accumulate on the heating or cooling coil or on the fan which will cause more losses of energy for these processes. More dust in the HVAC system also means more maintenance that costs not only money but also energy spent on the cleaning of the ducts and other HVAC elements. Choosing the right filtration efficiency is easier when you understand the required standards


Every air filter has its own due date, meaning that it has to be replaced after it has reached its end of life. This will of course generate waste. So how about extending the filter’s life by keeping it longer in the HVAC system? This may be a good idea, but only if the filter is capable to hold large amounts of dust at relatively low pressure drop. If not, a dirty filter will cause higher energy consumption and reduced filtration efficiency. Sustainable filters must be designed in a way to maintain low energy consumption throughout its entire operation.

With air filters sustainability is a complex topic. The filter that looks sustainable on the outside does not always provide the highest reduction of its climate impact. What is the most important is to always look at the entire lifetime of the filter, so address the energy consumption first, to later look at other characteristics that will further reduce the filter’s footprint.

Do you want to know how to select the most sustainable filter for your property? Contact us today and we will assist you further.

Written by: Paula Nowojska, Product Manager Comfort EMEA
Created Tuesday, June 25, 2024