High efficiency particle air filters are increasingly being recommended for use in heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). ISO Standard 16890-2016 provides a methodology for approximating mass-based particle removal efficiencies for PM1
, and PM10
using size-resolved removal efficiency measurements for 0.3 µm to 10 µm particles. Two historical volume distribution functions for ambient aerosol distributions are assumed to represent ambient air in urban and rural areas globally. The goals of this work are to: (i) review the ambient aerosol distributions used in ISO 16890, (ii) evaluate the sensitivity of the mass-based removal efficiency calculation procedures described in ISO 16890 to various assumptions that are related to indoor and outdoor aerosol distributions, and (iii) recommend several modifications to the standard that can yield more realistic estimates of mass-based removal efficiencies for HVAC filters, and thus provide a more realistic representation of a greater number of building scenarios. The results demonstrate that knowing the PM mass removal efficiency estimated using ISO 16890 is not sufficient to predict the PM mass removal efficiency in all of the environments in which the filter might be used. The main reason for this insufficiency is that the assumptions for aerosol number and volume distributions can substantially impact the results, albeit with some exceptions.
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