Hospital Filtration Survey Results in Improved Air Quality

  • 595 Bed Hospital System
  • 3 Separate Campuses
  • One of the Nation’s Top Cardiovascular Hospitals


A long-time AAF customer had been utilizing our products at two of its three hospital campuses for several years. The third campus came on board with AAF in 2009. Final filters used in the hospitals consisted of DriPak® filtersVariCel® filters, and VariCel® M-Pak filters, as well as limited HEPA filters employed in a new surgical suite.

Expressing the need to improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in critical areas, the hospital relied on AAF's years of quality service to demonstrate the advantages of upgrading its final filters. With the understanding that hospital related infections can cause significant economic consequences to any healthcare facility, AAF was prepared to offer practical solutions for the hospital system.

The hospital system had a variety of air handling units (AHUs) ranging from two to 30 years of service. An AAF sales representative performed an Air Filtration System Survey revealing the need for improvements, particularly in the older AHUs.

To help the hospital system make the best decision for its needs, AAF presented a good, better, and best solution for consideration:

Continue using MERV 14 VariCel M-Pak filters and upgrade where applicable. Upgrade filter racks where needed and inspect/replace gasketing and latches, to ensure bypass is kept to a minimum. This solution offered the least cost with slightly better IAQ levels than before.

Upgrade all final filters and filter racks to MERV 15 VariCel® VXL filters. When compared to the VariCel M-Pak filters, this option demonstrated an energy cost savings and improved the efficiency rating of all final filters one level. Additionally, this option provided a longer filter life cycle and improved airflow.

Upgrade final filters to AAF's MEGAcel® I filter with ePTFE Technology. Traditional HEPA filters provide a much higher airflow resistance and would not typically be used without a costly upgrade to the AHUs. The MEGAcel I filter, however, provided the hospital with an option that was untraditional—HEPA filtration with the lowest possible resistance! This option gave the hospital optimal IAQ levels and energy savings as an added benefit.

AAF worked with the hospital system to provide options that would not just satisfy its IAQ needs, but also satisfy its budgetary requirements. Ultimately, the hospital system decided to upgrade all three campuses to AAF's MEGAcel I filters for the critical areas of the hospitals (ER, Surgery, ECU, etc.). MEGAcel I filters meet the demanding airflow and efficiency requirements of critical  applications in which airborne contaminants must be carefully controlled.

Once the MEGAcel I filters were installed, a particle count test was conducted in the AHU system. This test measured the amount of particulates in the system upstream and downstream from the newly installed MEGAcel I filters, compared to the MERV 14 filter particle count results. The results verified the dramatic improvement to the hospital’s air quality.

The hospital system also decided to upgrade patient care and non-critical areas to AAF's VariCel VXL filters. PerfectPleat®HC M8 filters were utilized as prefilters. The hospital system now has substantial validation that it is providing the best air quality achievable for its patients and staff.

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