HVAC Strategies

2018 HPC National Conference Session

High MERV Filters in Central Air Handlers: Opportunities & Challenges

Tuesday, April 24
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Franklin 4 (4th Floor)

High MERV filters installed in air handlers with sufficient run-time can provide significant filtration, removing fine particles from the home's air. However, this filtration may come with significant costs, both in fan and building energy costs and HVAC system performance. This session will provide an overview of particles and human health, and filter performance. Explore lessons learned to date from the ROCIS Air Handler/High MERV filter Inquiry (http://ROCIS.org) Air handler systems have been tested to determine the watt-draw, optimal blower speeds, air flow, and total external static pressure to determine whether or not they could be used with a high MERV filter to affordably reduce household particle levels. Retrofit options will be described, as well as the performance (air flow, blower energy cost and particle reduction (0.5+ microns)) achieved. The challenge of replacing PSC motors with ECMs and filter replacement and cost will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Linda Wigington

Linda M. Wigington & Associates

Linda Wigington is the founder of and has been associated with the Affordable Comfort Conference from its inception in 1986 until 2013. These regional and national events have been instrumental in building the capacity to deliver a whole house approach which addresses the integration of health, safety, durability, and energy performance. Recently, Linda has served as the team leader for the Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS) initiative which is funded by The Heinz Endowments (http://ROCIS.org). The goal is to empower champions who work within housing, energy efficiency, environmental advocacy, healthy schools, sustainability, and health-related sectors with the outcome of enhanced collaboration and initiatives to protect indoor spaces and their occupants from outdoor pollution. The ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project began in fall of 2015.


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Rhett Major

The Energy Doctor

Rhett Major, DBA as The Energy Doctor, has been helping people in Western PA to save Energy, provide a healthy living environment, and be more comfortable in their homes and businesses for nearly three decades. He currently works as a teacher, auditor, mentor, QCI, and as a Training Coordinator for Diagnostic Energy Auditors of Western PA (DEAWP), while maintaining a small Diagnostic and Inspection business in SW PA.
Rhett is a RESNET Certified Home Energy Rater, USGBC LEED for Homes Green Rater, and PHI Passive House Consultant. He holds numerous Building Performance Institute Certifications, including BPI Building Analyst, BPI Shell Specialist, BPI Multi-family Analyst, BPI Heating Professional, and Quality Control Inspector. Rhett has been the technical lead for the ROCIS Air Handler/Hi MERV Filter Inquiry.


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Iain Walker

Staff Scientist
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Dr. Iain Walker is a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). He has more than 25 years of experience as a building scientist, conducting research on energy use, ventilation & IAQ, moisture, performance simulation, and commissioning/diagnostic issues in residential buildings. His current work focuses on IAQ, retrofits, Zero/Low Energy Homes and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in residential buildings through field and laboratory evaluations, modeling and simulation activities, and standards setting.


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High MERV Filters in Central Air Handlers: Opportunities & Challenges

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