Maximize Air Filtration Efficiency with Pressure Sensors

AC Vents for Blog Post

The Importance of Air Filters in HVAC Systems

To optimize the performance of HVAC systems, air filters are essential and should operate at peak efficiency. They play a vital role in ensuring circulated air is free from dust and harmful pathogens. However, as these filters block particles from entering the air, they become obstructed over time and affect the airflow of the entire HVAC system.

Currently, two common approaches exist for replacing air filters in HVAC systems:

  1. Adhere to a predetermined schedule for replacing or cleaning the filters. While this method eliminates the need for constant monitoring, it may result in unnecessary expenses for the business if filters are replaced before they have reached the end of their useful life.
  2. Have a technician physically inspect each filter. Inspection can be both costly and inefficient. Furthermore, visual inspections are subjective and may lead to filters being replaced before they truly need replacement, similar to a time-based replacement schedule.

While prematurely replacing air filters can lead to additional expenses, failing to replace or clean air filters when necessary can have significant repercussions. Repercussions include a decrease in airflow, which can adversely affect the environment of an office or factory, as well as the use of more energy to restore the airflow to necessary levels. Additionally, it can result in extra wear and tear on the entire HVAC system, leading to long-term maintenance and performance issues.

Implementing a notification system for the maintenance crew to clean or replace air filters at the appropriate time can save costs in the short term and ensure the long-term efficiency of your HVAC system. Accurate measurement of airflow before and after filtration is crucial in determining the efficacy of a specific air filter.

Rooftop HVAC System

Figure 1 – Industrial Grade HVAC System

The Role of Differential Pressure Sensors in Air Filtration

Differential pressure sensors can effectively measure the variation in air pressure before and after an air filter. These sensors are equipped with two ports, where the upstream side measures the airflow before the filter while the downstream side measures it afterward. This is depicted in Figure 2.

Air Filter Sketch

Figure 2 – Air Filter with Differential Pressure Sensing System

The differential pressure sensor gauges the air pressure of upstream and downstream airflows and alerts those monitoring the HVAC system when the differential air pressure reaches a predetermined threshold. This notification indicates that the filter requires cleaning or replacement, allowing the system to operate at peak performance and avoiding premature or unwarranted filter replacements.

Despite being reliable electromechanical systems, differential pressure sensors are not immune to the influence of external factors. For instance, noise and vibrations produced by fans and blowers can significantly impact the sensor’s accuracy. To ensure optimal performance, it is crucial to implement effective filtering techniques that prevent these disturbances from reaching the sensing element.

When deploying sensors in a complex system, it is important to consider the various pressure requirements of different parts of the ‘air network.’ A single differential pressure sensor that supports these diverse pressure requirements can streamline system design and ensure consistent measurements throughout the HVAC system.

Superior Sensor’s Technology Advantages in Air Filtration

Superior Sensors’ proprietary NimbleSenseTM architecture is the industry’s first System-in-a-Sensor integrated platform. Incorporating a highly differentiated advanced pressure sensing system that integrates optional building blocks enables us to combine the highest accuracy and reliability with application-exclusive features. With unique technology deployed in our HV Series of differential pressure sensors, Superior’s products offer many advantages for air filter implementations.

Lowest Noise Floor

External noise from blowers, fans, and other sources can negatively impact the accuracy and performance of differential pressure sensing systems. Utilizing our integrated advanced digital filtering technology, Superior’s pressure sensors eliminate the noise created by these factors before it reaches the sensor subsystem. By eliminating the noise before it becomes an error signal, we can offer the industry’s lower noise floor.

Highest Levels of Accuracy

Sensor accuracy is essential in measuring the effectiveness of air filters, especially for sensitive environments such as healthcare and precision manufacturing. Superior’s HV Series of differential pressure sensors has the industry’s leading accuracy, typically within 0.05% of the selected range, total error band (TEB), typically within 0.15% of FSS, and long-term stability, typically within 0.15% of FSS per year.

Position Insensitivity

Highly beneficial in eliminating concerns with sensor orientation and ideal for handheld pressure sensor measuring devices, Superior’s unique dual-die implementation with the HV210 maintains consistent and highly accurate readings regardless of the differential pressure sensing device’s physical orientation or movement. Rated with a positional sensitivity of 0.25 Pa, the HV210 is an industry leader in position insensitivity.

Multi-RangeTM Technology

Multi-Range technology allows one sensor to replace several different sensors. On the HV Series, Multi-Range can support up to 8 different pressure ranges in one device, with each pressure range factory-calibrated and optimized to ensure no degradation in total error band, accuracy, or stability regardless of the range selected. Figure 3 shows the difference between a typical differential pressure sensor and Superior Sensor’s HV Series.

Multi Range Comparison

Figure 3 – HV Series Multi-Range Technology Comparison

With Multi-Range, pressure ranges can be changed ‘on the fly’ so that one device in the field can serve multiple purposes. Multi-Range also enables manufacturers to quickly bring product variants to market and reduces inventory costs and product obsolescence since only one SKU needs to be stocked.


Utilizing differential pressure sensors to measure the effectiveness of air filters is highly advantageous for HVAC systems. This knowledge allows for timely replacement or cleaning of air filters, resulting in immediate financial benefits while ensuring optimal long-term performance of the HVAC system.

Superior Sensor’s unique differential pressure sensor technology, based on our proprietary NimbleSense architecture, provides many differentiating features, resulting in the most accurate air filter monitoring system. Please visit our HV Series product page or contact us.

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