Can You Install HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System? 

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. house, HEPA filters are a great approach to enhance the air your household breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the peak measure for air filtration. These filters are often installed in medical centers, as they remove at least 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic particles from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their outstanding filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are dense and could reduce airflow in some home comfort units. It’s crucial to call a heating and cooling pro like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing prior to installing one to avoid damaging 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 produced to defend scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use intricate mesh that captures the majority of substances. In modern times, these filters are often seen in medical centers, science labs and even homes.

If you made an attempt to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d probably have trouble receiving 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 Handle?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more effective the filter is at catching microscopic particles.

Here’s how common household filters stack up:

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

Higher ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter typically ranks at MERV 17-20.

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

HEPA filters in homes are often part of a separate whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed in your ductwork and filters in partnership with your HVAC system.

To increase filtration power, some types of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably destroy select viruses in houses under certain airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can eliminate the majority of strong scents, including cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

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

A HEPA filtration system provides the greatest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants as minuscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a multistep filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover pollutants 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 is only the filter and can offer carbon filtration options.

Some of these systems are designed to work with specific brands, while others can be used with all brands. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you determine what will work best in your situation.

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

    • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
    • Traps contaminants, bioaerosols and scents
    • Gives filtration for your whole residence, not just a single area
    • Doesn’t create ozone, which can create respiratory sensitivity

If you want 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 household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work with you to help you find the best solution for your needs. Contact us at 866-397-3787 now to schedule your appointment.

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