K&N Engineering Industrial Air Filters are Good for Data Centers – and the Planet

A K&N industrial air filter in front of disposable filters

Increase Energy Efficiency and Save Money

It’s no secret that proper air filtration is critical for data centers. Dust buildup can cause fan failures, overheating, and - in worst cases - costly service interruptions. Dirty air filters can also reduce operational efficiency and increase energy consumption and costs. To keep air clean and flowing, frequent cleaning and changing of air filters are required.


Data centers often turn to single-use, disposable air filters because they are the status quo. Unfortunately, disposable air filters are commonly used and replaced pieces of equipment without a recycling solution. They are also less energy efficient, equating to increased energy usage and higher costs for data center operators in materials, labor and power. Increased energy outputs also contribute to a larger carbon footprint, which is an urgent concern in the data center industry, as the collective focus shifts to more sustainable practices. Currently, the data center industry contributes to roughly 2.4 percent of global energy consumption annually.


Disposable filters also end up in landfills across the globe, where the filter media, cardboard and metal components pile up and release greenhouse gasses and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. On average, a 100 MW data center uses enough disposable filters each year to cover three football fields, and North American data centers contribute an estimated 60,000 tons of filter waste to landfills every year.


In 2020, the K&N Engineering team recognized the need for sustainable air filtration alternatives for providers of mission-critical infrastructure, including data centers and other industrial applications. In response to this need, we created the first reusable, washable air filters designed for performance, savings, and sustainability.  K&N Engineering’s proprietary air filtration technology is as sustainable as it gets with zero waste for 15+ years and shipped in corrugate-free, reusable, returnable crates, which are manufactured from partially recycled materials.


K&N Engineering was born out of an unwavering commitment to zero waste and exceptional performance in every product developed and every service delivered. We are committed to a more sustainable strategy for data centers and industrial applications, and a more sustainable future for the planet.


Just one K&N Engineering air filter replaces several years worth of disposable filters. This comes at a time when total landfill capacity is reaching its peak. The Waste Business Journal predicts, as of 2021, that only 15 years of landfill capacity will remain, though estimates could be much lower in some regions.


Our air filters are not only created with sustainability in mind, but they are also designed for the highest level of quality in the data center and tested to ensure filtration efficiency for reduced energy consumption and outstanding performance with high airflow and low restriction. For a 100-MW facility, the increased efficiency could generate ~$1 million in energy cost savings per year.


Deploying non-reusable air filters requires labor to replace and dispose of filters each time they are changed. Our washable and reusable filters are easy to clean, requiring no cleaning solvents, pressure washers or hot water. They wash easily, dry quickly and need only minimal cleaning time every two years. K&N Engineering’s reusable filters reduce total cost of ownership and decrease labor costs associated with installing and replacing single-use air filters.


Ready to find out how to improve air filtration performance in your data center or mission-critical facility? Visit https://www.knfilters.com/industrial to learn more.