Demand for filters in the U.S. is expected to increase 4.3% a year to more than $11 billion in 2009, according to a study conducted by the Freedonia Group. Advances will be driven by ongoing sales in the aftermarket, which accounts for the vast majority of demand. Manufacturers' increasing interest in reclaiming production inputs from process water and investing in water recycling processes to reduce costs will also drive demand for filters. Increasing penetration of newer products, particularly motor vehicle cabin air filters and many varieties of home air and water filters and the development of a significant aftermarket within these segments will fuel advances. The incorporation of filter status monitoring features and the use of reminder services are likely to aid in improving consumer compliance with the filter manufacturers' recommended replacement schedule. However, gains will be slowed by the ongoing development of filters featuring longer lasting media or other technologies that extend their useful life, thus negatively impacting replacement sales.
In 2004, fluid filters (e.g., fluid power, municipal water and waste, consumer water and industrial fluid filters) accounted for the largest share of total shipments, with 37%. Growth going forward will be buoyed by strong gains in the consumer market and a rebound in manufacturing activity. Although conventional fluid filters compete with high-end membrane separation technologies in certain applications, filter sales will benefit from the fact that such systems often use conventional filters as a pretreatment step. Shipments of air purification filters are expected to post the strongest growth through 2009, driven by advances in manufacturing activity, changes in environmental regulations and gains in the consumer market.