Can You Add HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Wheeling house, HEPA filters are a powerful method to purify the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the peak standard for air filtration. These filters are frequently installed in hospitals, as they remove at minimum 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic pollutants from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Because of their powerful filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are thick and could lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s critical to contact a heating and cooling Expert like Comfort Masters Service Experts before installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over whether or not you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Purify Air?

HEPA furnace filters were originally made to defend scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from fine mesh that traps most pollutants. Today, these filters are typically used in medical settings, science labs and even houses.

If you tried to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d probably have trouble having adequate air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a deep filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the more efficient the filter is at catching tiny pollutants.

Here’s how typical household filters stack up:

  • Flat filters—MERV 5. Traps pollen and dust mites.
  • Pleated filters—MERV 8. Captures pollen, dust mites and mold.
  • Box filters—MERV 13. Captures pollen, dust mites, mold and some fumes.

Better ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical centers. A HEPA filter commonly ranks at MERV 17-20.

In most cases, the largest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like Comfort Masters Service Experts prior to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are commonly part of a separate whole-home air filtration system. This unit is placed inside your ductwork and works in partnership with your HVAC system.

To improve filtration power, some models of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably eliminate certain viruses in homes under specific airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can eliminate many pungent smells, such as cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your House

There are a few different solutions that operate with your HVAC equipment—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining contaminants and carbon filter for scents.

Air purification systems are often the full package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner includes the filter and might have carbon filtration add-ons.

Some of these systems are compatible with specific brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Comfort Masters Service Experts can help you determine what will work best for your family.

Here are a couple of things to look for when buying a filtration system for your residence:

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters particles, bioaerosols and scents
  • Delivers filtration for your complete house, not merely one space
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which might cause respiratory irritation
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to boost the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Comfort Masters Service Experts are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you find the best solution for your needs. Contact us at 847-250-6729 right away to schedule your appointment.

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