In this blog post Healthcare Segment Leader, Jason Turner, shares his insight into the ways adequate air filtration can result in energy savings, labour diversion, and environmental waste reduction for Canadian hospitals.
In the 2019-2020 year, there were over 3 million acute inpatient hospitalizations and millions more outpatients, visitors and medical personnel entering and exiting hospitals in Canada1. There is undoubtedly a critical need to protect the health and safety of those passing through the Canadian healthcare system, and as a result hospital facilities should take care to follow all protective measures and guidelines. In Canada, hospitals follow the directives of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) for matters concerning air filtration. These guidelines have become even more significant in light of the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Why Should the Canadian Healthcare System Follow CSA Guidelines?
Canadian healthcare facilities generally follow the CSA Standard Z317.2:19 for special requirements for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. As directly listed on the CSA’s Group product page for this Standard, the document is “intended for use by architects, engineers, planners, consultants, and health care facility staff to ensure the efficient planning, design, construction, and maintenance of HVAC systems” and “applies to new buildings, additions to existing buildings, and alterations to existing buildings”2.
Within the contents of the document, the CSA specifies the use of air filters with various minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings depending on the area of patient care and, where two stage filtration exists, mandates both stages are utilized to offer further security to patients and staff. These recommendations ensure that these barriers of defence are as effective as possible in preventing hospital facility visitors from inhaling infectious airborne particles, as well as ensuring that equipment is functioning as it should.
For more on CSA guidelines: The Canadian Healthcare System: How is the Country Handling the COVID-19 Pandemic?
What Are the Benefits of Following CSA Air Filtration Guidelines for Canadian Hospitals?
Aside from the apparent benefit of improved indoor air quality (IAQ), there are several other advantages to installing air filters that meet CSA guidelines. Consider a real-world example: Our air filtration experts worked with stakeholders from a Western Canada hospital this past year to deliver premium air filter products for a new care centre. Upon consultation with the hospital management group, 360 of Camfil’s 30/30® Dual 9 filters were installed in 10 air handling units. Thanks to these filters, the care centre was able to reap the rewards of reduced energy consumption, labour hours savings, and a minimized environmental impact.
Reduced Energy Consumption
Following filter installation, energy monitoring was performed by an outside energy consultant and confirmed by building operators via the building management system and Magnehelic® gauges. After one year of testing, the 30/30 Dual 9’s pressure drop increased from .25″ w.g. to .28″ w.g. The energy consultant validated the annual savings for the prefilters alone in this facility to 168,000 kWh.
Diversion of Labour to Other Critical Areas
As an added benefit of the filters’ low pressure drop, prefilter change-outs were able to be reduced. This allowed 60 labour hours annually to be diverted to other critical areas in the hospital, thus saving government funds. Coil cleaning intervals were also able to be deferred as the prefilters offered greater protection for the final filters.
Minimized Impact on the Environment
Due to less frequent change-outs, the hospital facility was able to reduce waste by 12 cubic yards. The CO2 footprint from decreased prefilter deliveries and manufacturing was also able to be minimized as a result.
What Air Filter Products Are Best for Canadian Hospitals?
Depending on hospital facility priorities, one air filtration solution or a combination of air filtration solutions may be more suitable than another. Healthcare Segment Leader, Jason Turner, breaks down the factors to consider when choosing air filters: “The healthcare industry must be prepared to adjust to the changing landscape in order to provide the level of care people have come to expect. Part of that adjustment is understanding the performance attributes of a technical air filter. MERV-A rated products provide sustainable filtration for hospitals that will not drop in overall efficiency over time. In accordance to CSA Z317.2-19 hospitals must now use a filter that is MERV-A rated through ASHRAE 52.2, this is to protect staff and patients for each healthcare site. Choosing the right filters that meet CSA will help mitigate exposure to harmful pathogens and particulate, but also can help reduce waste costs, labour costs, and energy costs.”
For those most concerned with waste management and following the two-stage filtration guideline from the CSA, the Hi-Flo ES multi-pocket style high efficiency bag filter from our Hi-Flo general ventilation filter line with a prefilter is the optimal configuration. The Hi-Flo ES is the longest lasting pocket style filter available in the industry and has a depth optimized for the highest dust holding capacity. It comes in ratings of MERV 11/11A, 13/13A, 14/A and MERV 15/15A to fit air filtration rating guidelines for the various patient care areas.
For hospitals looking for extended filter life and energy savings, the 30/30 Dual 9 from our Panel Filter line can be combined as a prefilter with the Durafil ES2 V-bank style filter. The Durafil ES2 comes from our line of Compact Filters and boasts a reputation as the filter with the lowest Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) on the market. When combined with the Dual 9, the life of the filter is further extended and energy consumption is decreased.
There are a variety of factors that determine which air filtration solutions will best protect your hospital facility. Be sure to contact an experienced commercial building air filtration consultant to find the air filtration solutions that are right for your building.
About Camfil Canada Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and on the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.
The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 33 manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 30 countries, and about 4,800 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil Canada can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at www.camfil.com/en-ca/.
Camfil Canada Inc.
F: Follow Camfil Canada on Facebook
L: Follow Camfil Canada on LinkedIn
T: Follow Camfil Canada on Twitter