COVID-19 lockdowns impacted people in all spheres. Workers lost their jobs. Students lost valuable time in classrooms.
But, people also missed out on their spiritual lives. Across the country, many people could not attend church during COVID. Thankfully, many places have been able to open their doors again.
However, the need for safety and caution hasn’t gone away. Lifeway Research reported in 2021 that the average US pastor and churchgoer demographics have grown older. Many church attendees are still at-risk of sickness.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your congregation with HVAC filters. You may not consider your church’s HVAC system a health asset, but it does a lot to keep people safe. HVAC systems filter pathogens and viruses out of the air circulation and prevent outbreaks.
So, how can you choose the best HVAC filters for church? If that’s what you’re wondering, keep reading! We’ll provide a detailed answer to this question in the guide below.
Understand the Types of HVAC Filters
As mentioned before, HVAC systems filter pathogens, viruses, and other particles out of a building’s air circulation. You may wonder, though, how they accomplish this.
The answer to this question is with air filters. Air filters catch these particles in their mesh while allowing air to circulate through the system.
However, not all air filters are created equal. Some are more efficient than others, which is why experts designed minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV). Your air filter’s MERV rating tells you how well these filters work in filtering particles out of your air.
MERV ratings usually come in the following ranges:
- MERV 1-4
- MERV 5-8
- MERV 9-10
- MERV 11-13
MERV 1-4 usually consists of spun fiberglass filters. These filters are cheap and disposable, capturing most particles that are 50 microns or larger. These are the most affordable but least effective options on the market.
MERV 5-8 use disposable, pleated media filters to catch most debris sized five microns or more. These are the medium range of air filters on the market.
MERV 9-10 are the first classification that you can clean in a washer. These filters may last for eight years and dry quickly, preventing mold growth. While these are more effective in catching particles than previous filters, they also grow less efficient over time.
Finally, there are MERV 11-13 filters. These are usually the most efficient filters you’ll find. They can remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.
A Cautionary Note About MERV Ratings
Many people think it’s best to use the highest MERV-rated filters possible for their HVAC system. However, this isn’t always true.
Higher-level MERV filters allow less space for air to pass through. So, they can make your HVAC system work harder, increasing its wear and tear.
Consider Your Church Size When Buying Air Filters
The first thing to consider when purchasing air filters is the size of your church. How much air will your filters need to cleanse?
First, measure your church floor’s area in square feet (L x W). Then, multiply this figure by the church’s height.
Some churches may calculate this figure in cubic feet. If so, divide the above number by 35 to find the church’s volume in cubic meters.
Once you know your church’s size, you can find an HVAC system with enough power to manage it. If you have a small church in the country, a small filter with a MERV-6 filter may work.
But, if you have a megachurch that seats a thousand people, your HVAC system needs to be bigger. Likewise, you’ll need an HVAC filter that efficiently clears your air of unwanted particles.
Determine the CADR Necessary for Cleaning Your Church
Another factor that contributes to your air filters and purifiers is your CADR. CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate. This metric explains how effectively an HVAC unit’s air purifier will improve its indoor air quality.
People often underestimate how poor their indoor air quality is. Fortunately, a purifier with a robust CADR can cleanse a church’s air and provide better quality.
Experts determine a CADR rating based on three common pollutants:
A good CADR rating is usually twice the power on the highest fan speed. Manufacturers determine this rating based on your filter’s efficiency and airflow.
The highest CADR ratings for smoke and pollen are 450, while the highest rating for dust is 400. Higher rates indicate better efficiency.
Consider Noise Level of HVAC System
Some churches want a quiet, reverent place where worshipers can participate in the liturgy. Others prefer a loud, exciting space where people feel they can let loose and praise God.
Either way, churches don’t want these experiences to be interrupted by a loud HVAC system. Check the noise level of your HVAC system before purchasing air filters online. Manufacturers measure noise levels in dB.
A system over 55 dB will likely cause disturbances in worship. So, look for systems with lower noise levels.
Consider CDC Guidelines for Church Gatherings
As mentioned before, many people attending church are older. As a result, many congregants may fall into the at-risk category.
So, keep CDC guidelines in mind when you gather for church. When possible, try to keep distance between worshipers. Also, consider whether you want congregants to wear masks.
Many places now leave masks up to individual preference. However, many churches also provide face coverings for those who feel more comfortable wearing them.
If your church provides masks, consider getting a set that includes air filters. Masks with filters can help people with allergies or asthma manage their face coverings more easily. It also provides increased protection from pathogens alongside the air ventilation in the church.
Find Your Best AC Filter Online
As you can see, several factors determine the best HVAC filters and systems for your church. Remember, keep the size of your church in mind when you shop for filters. A church’s size plays a significant role in choosing the best air filters.
Then, check out our supply! We have several air filters for various HVAC systems. We offer many highly-rated MERV filters, so find what you need today!