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Indoor Air Quality Laboratory Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 7/16/2020
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Air Filter Selection and Routine Replacement Plays a Key Role in Optimizing Indoor Air Quality
Introduction EMSL Analytical offers air quality testing services, sampling supplies, test kits, monitoring instruments and inspection tools to identify airborne pollutants.

Cinnaminson, NJ, July 16th, 2020

The air people breathe in their homes, schools and businesses plays an important role in their comfort and well-being. In properties with forced air heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, picking the correct air filter and regularly replacing it can make all the difference.

Air filters trap particulates, including allergens, asthma triggers, respiratory irritants and other contaminants. If not regularly replaced, they can become overloaded with dust and particulate matter which can make the HVAC system run less efficiently, increasing energy costs and perhaps decreasing the life of the system. A dirty filter may also negatively impact indoor air quality (IAQ) if it is no longer properly removing airborne matter. In a high humidity environment, a dirty filter could even support the growth of mold, releasing spores and odors into the air.

The type of air filter also plays a role in how frequently it needs to be changed. Filters are given a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). These are rated from 1 to 16. MERV ratings above 12 are typically used in special circumstances outside of a residential setting. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective it is at filtering airborne particles, but these denser filters may need to be changed more frequently. Also, if higher MERV filters cause too much resistance, a pressure drop in the HVAC system could lead to problems.

“Usually, a home’s air filter should be changed at least every 90 days,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In some instances, air filters may need to be changed much more frequently, even monthly. This depends on how frequently the HVAC system is used; how large is the home; do family members suffer from allergies, asthma, COPD or other respiratory conditions; are there pets in the home; and is the home in an area prone to outside air pollution, high pollen counts or dusty conditions? For commercial or institutional properties, similar questions arise. Additional factors may include building occupancy rates, what activities take place in the building, and other concerns such as infection control.”

With laboratories across North America, EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides IAQ testing services, sampling supplies, test kits, air monitoring instruments and building inspection tools. EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about air filters and IAQ in homes that can be seen at:

To learn more about indoor air quality or other environmental testing services and monitoring equipment, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email To access indoor environmental quality test kits, visit


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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