Can You Add HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?
If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. home, HEPA filters are a powerful approach to enhance the air your household breathes.
HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold standard for air filtration. These filters are frequently installed in hospitals, as they remove at minimum 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can capture microscopic particles from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.
Because of their strong filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are deep and might lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s crucial to talk to a heating and cooling pro like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing prior to installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s discuss if you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.
What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?
HEPA furnace filters were initially made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from fine mesh that catches the majority of pollutants. In modern times, these filters are frequently seen in medical settings, science labs and even homes.
If you tried to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have problems getting adequate air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered to work with such a thick filter.
What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?
Filters are ranked by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The bigger the number, the more effective the filter is at trapping microscopic particles.
Here’s how typical household filters rank:
- Flat filters—MERV 5. Filters pollen and dust mites.
- Pleated filters—MERV 8. Traps pollen, dust mites and mold.
- Box filters—MERV 13. Traps pollen, dust mites, mold and certain fumes.
Better ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter typically ranks at MERV 17-20.
Generally, the largest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend checking with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing first to prevent damage to your furnace.
HEPA filters in residential settings are often part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed in your ductwork and runs with your HVAC system.
To boost filtration power, some models of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to consistently eliminate certain viruses in homes under specific airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can wipe out the majority of pungent smells, including cooking odors or tobacco smoke.
What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence
There are a couple of different styles that function in partnership 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 particles as minuscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual particles and carbon filter for scents.
Air purification systems are typically the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is just the filter and may offer carbon filtration add-ons.
Some of these systems are designed to work with certain brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you figure out what will work best for your family.
Here are a few features to look for when buying a filtration system for your residence:
- Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
- Traps particles, bioaerosols and odors
- Gives filtration for your complete home, not just a lone room
- Doesn’t produce ozone, which might cause respiratory sensitivity
- Functions with smart thermostats
If you’re seeking to enhance the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work with you to help you choose the ideal solution for your needs. Contact us at 866-397-3787 now to book your appointment.
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