Can You Use HEPA Filters with Your HVAC System? 

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. residence, HEPA filters are a effective way to purify the air your household breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold standard for air filtration. These filters are frequently installed in medical settings, as they trap at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic substances from the air like mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their powerful filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are thick and could restrict airflow in some home comfort units. It’s critical to call a heating and cooling professional like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing before installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s go over whether you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were originally made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from intricate mesh that traps the majority of contaminants. In modern times, these filters are often used in medical settings, science labs and even homes.

If you made an attempt to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have issues having enough 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 Handle?

Filters are categorized by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The bigger the number, the more effective the filter is at trapping tiny particles.

Here’s how typical household filters stack up:

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

Greater ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are installed in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter commonly ranks at MERV 17-20.

In most cases, the highest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend asking a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing prior to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in homes are commonly used in an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed inside your ductwork and purifies alongside your HVAC system.

To increase filtration power, these systems sometimes come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably wipe out certain viruses in residences under specific airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can wipe out the majority of offensive smells, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a few different styles that operate 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 remaining particles and carbon filter for odors.

Air purification systems are often the total 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 upgrades.

Some of these systems are compatible with specific brands, while others work with all brands. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you figure out what will work best for your home.

Here are a couple of things to check for when considering a filtration system for your family:

    • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
    • Filters particles, bioaerosols and odors
    • Provides filtration for your whole house, not only a single space
    • Doesn’t make ozone, which may cause respiratory sensitivity

If you’re looking to increase the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work together to help you discover the ideal solution for your budget. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today to schedule your appointment.

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