Air Filtration

One of the methods by which air quality can be ensured is through filtering the air that comes into a particular closed location, be that a room, a building, an automobile, etc. Air filters can be simple or they can be highly advanced, and they are of different kinds based on the material they are made of, and their primary functions. Air filtration is particularly important in internal combustion engines, where the presence of particulate matter–i.e., dust–can be detrimental to the effective operation of the engine. Air filters are crucial elements of the ventilation systems of buildings, aircraft, etc., and they also serve as essential components of many filter based air purifiers.

Air filters in general are made of fibers that can stop dust and prevent it from entering the airflow of a ventilation system. The fibers can be different materials. In internal combustion air filters in particular, there are paper filters (their paper material is not to be confused with the common paper that we use in our everyday lives), foam filters, cotton filters, and oil bath air cleaners. Each of these types have their advantages and disadvantages, and even experienced technicians may often have their own prejudices in favor of one or the other type (paper filters, for instance, are often said to be less effective, which can be considered untrue if the filter is the proper size).

The United States Department of Energy has approved a standard, known as the HEPA, which is the most effective air filter technology to date. Filters that meet HEPA standards are guaranteed to filter out 99.97% of dust. There are commercial, industrial and residential air filters on the market that are advertised as “HEPA-like” or very close to the HEPA standard, but these do not meet the standard.
Whether it’s internal combustion engines or buildings, the use of air filters is very useful and goes a long way in the effort to control dust and reduce the amount of particulate matter in the air that may be harmful to our health, or to the functioning of equipment.