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American Air Filter International
American Air Filter International




Lowering total clean air costs for LEED Gold-certified convention center

See how AAF supports green building practices.

The Filtration Situation

Filter changeouts were high — and so was the total cost of ownership (TCO) — for this five-year-old, LEED Gold-certified convention center.

The facilities management personnel for this convention center made substantial efforts to minimize the building’s carbon footprint as part of the center’s green building practice. They also were striving to provide good indoor air quality (IAQ) for the many people going in and out of the building each day.

The convention center had been constructed using low-emitting Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) materials, and they have a green cleaning program in order to help maintain the building’s IAQ. Green building practice is achieved by efficiently using energy, water and other resources while reducing impact on human health and the environment.

Unfortunately, the filters they were using did not have a high dust-holding capacity and were being overwhelmed by the large amount of traffic in the building. Facility managers had to frequently change out air filters, and there were coil cleaning maintenance issues as well. Since approximately 50% of a building’s energy consumption goes to the heating, cooling and moving of air, the filter inefficiency and frequent changeouts added up to a high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This also ran counter to the green building practices established for this building.

The AAF Solution

An AAF representative met with facility maintenance personnel and audited the original plans of the five-year-old center. Reviewing the originally recommended air filtration specifications was the first step toward optimizing the filtration system and filter-related spending.

Based on the original specifications, AAF recommended that facility personnel test AAF’s PerfectPleat SC M8 and VariCel to see how they performed.

The PerfectPleat SC M8 filter contains no metal and is fully incinerable, making it a good choice for this convention center’s green building practices. This filter has an initial MERV 8 rating, but the efficiency increases significantly when dust loading begins. Support straps on the air-entering side are used in combination with uniquely designed pleat stabilizers on the air-leaving side to provide additional strength. The support straps and pleat stabilizers provide integrity against turbulent airflow, making this filter extremely durable.


The VariCel filter is well-suited to protect a convention center’s IAQ since it is manufactured with two layers of glass fibers: coarser fibers on the air-entering side and finer fibers on the air leaving side. This dual-density design allows dirt particles to be collected throughout the entire depth of the filter, using the full cleaning potential of the media. Maximum dust-holding capacity extends the life of the filter to help minimize operating costs. Galvanized steel headers and cell sides prevent corrosion and help resist damage during shipping and handling. The filters’ long service life supports the green building practices of this convention center.

The Results

The facility’s management personnel at this convention center have been very happy with the performance of the filters suggested by AAF, ordering 288 of the PerfectPleat SC M8 filters and more than 1,000 of the VariCel MERV 13. These filters are lasting twice as long as the previously used filters, fitting in well with this convention center’s green building practices and lowering the center’s TCO. This filter combination is also ensuring high IAQ for the center’s many visitors.

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