Can You Use HEPA Filters with Your HVAC System? 

If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. house, HEPA filters are a easy method 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 baseline 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic pollutants from the air like mold, dust and pet dander.

On account of their powerful filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are deep and can restrict airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s essential to talk to a heating and cooling Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing prior to installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over whether or not you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were initially designed to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have very thin mesh that catches many pollutants. Today, these filters are typically used in medical settings, science labs and even homes.

If you attempted to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have trouble having adequate air from your vents. This is due to the fact 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 graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the more efficient the filter is at catching tiny particles.

Here’s how typical household filters are categorized:

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

Greater ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are installed in commercial and medical facilities. 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 checking with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing beforehand to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are typically installed in an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed within your ductwork and purifies in partnership with your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, these systems sometimes have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably wipe out select viruses in houses under particular airflow conditions. And activated carbon filters can get rid of many strong smells, such as cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a few different styles that function with your HVAC system—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual particles and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are usually the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner includes the filter and can come with carbon filtration upgrades.

Some of these systems are compatible with specific brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you decide what will provide you the best results for your family.

Here are several components to look for when getting a filtration system for your family:

    • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
    • Traps contaminants, bioaerosols and scents
    • Delivers filtration for your total house, not just one space
    • Doesn’t make ozone, which may result in respiratory inflammation

If you’re looking to enhance 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 family’s comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work together to help you choose the best solution for your family. Contact us at 866-397-3787 now to book your appointment.

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