What’s a pocket filter?

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Pocket filters are used in HVAC systems to reduce dust and other particles in the air. They must reduce particle counts by at least 90% to be sold legally. Two materials are used: fiberglass and synthetic fiber. Bag filters are similar but have pockets added to the metal casing. Fiberglass lasts longer but can collect bacteria, while synthetic fiber is resistant to bacterial growth. Most pocket filters carry an electrical charge to attract particles more efficiently.

A pocket filter is an air filter with pockets that is used with filtering equipment for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Primarily used to reduce dust in the air, a pocket filter can also absorb many other types of particles and must be able to reduce particle counts by at least 90% to be legally sold. There are two types of material used for pocket filters: fiberglass and synthetic fiber. An electrical charge applied to filter materials helps collect particles, and some are done to ward off bacterial growth.

Dust and particles are everywhere, and while they can never be completely eradicated, most people don’t have enough particles to cause irritation or serious problems. In hospitals, the existence of particles can be a problem, because they can cause breathing problems or make breathing difficult for some sensitive people. Paint booths and indoor areas where painters work can cause irritation from particles created by the paint. For any sensitive person and for businesses where particles are rampant, air filters are used to help people breathe.

There are many types of air filters and one of them is the bag filter. This filter isn’t made to fit in a pocket; instead, it has several pockets added to the filter’s metal casing. The number of pockets varies by manufacturer and filter size, but there are generally anywhere from three to 12 pockets. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require bag filters to be capable of reducing particles by 90% to 95%, but many high-quality filters reduce even more.

Two materials are used to make the bag filter pieces: fiberglass or synthetic fiber. Fiberglass was first used, and while synthetic fiber is considered an advance, fiberglass lasts about four times longer than synthetic. It also has better efficiency over time, but can be prone to the growth and collection of bacteria. The synthetic material doesn’t have the same long-lasting efficiency or longevity as glass, but it is resistant to bacterial growth, making it ideal for hospitals and scientific institutions that can’t risk bacterial problems.

Most pocket filters carry an electrical charge. This charge is applied to the material so that it can attract dust and other particles more efficiently. The problem with charging synthetic material is that it will lose its efficiency more quickly than if no charge were applied to the pocket filter.

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