Do HEPA Filters Function with Your HVAC System?

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

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

Because of their strong filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and could restrict airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s important to call a heating and cooling pro like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in advance of installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s review whether or not you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA filters were primarily produced to safeguard scientists against radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from intricate mesh that catches the majority of pollutants. Today, these filters are often used in medical facilities, science labs and even residences.

If you attempted to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have trouble getting enough air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a dense 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 greater the filter is at trapping tiny particles.

Here’s how standard household filters are categorized:

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

Greater ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the highest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise asking a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are often used in a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed in your ductwork and operates alongside your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, some models of these systems come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably eliminate select viruses in residences under particular airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of many strong odors, like cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are several different solutions that function in partnership with your HVAC unit—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system provides the greatest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants as small as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for large 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 upgrades.

Some of these systems are designed to work with specific brands, while others can be used with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you decide what will give you the best results for your home.

Here are a few components to check for when getting a filtration system for your home:

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Captures particles, bioaerosols and smells
  • Delivers filtration for your complete home, not just one space
  • Doesn’t create ozone, which could result in respiratory sensitivity
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to improve the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work together to help you find the best solution for your budget. Contact us at 303-647-5749 now to schedule your appointment.

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