Do HEPA Filters Work with Your HVAC System?

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Fort Myers home, HEPA filters are a effective method to freshen the air your family breathes.

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

As a result of their strong filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and might lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s important to contact a heating and cooling Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning prior to installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s go over if you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA filters were initially produced 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 contaminants. In modern times, these filters are often installed in medical facilities, science labs and even residences.

If you tried to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d probably have problems receiving 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 Use?

Filters are categorized by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The bigger the number, the greater the filter is at capturing small substances.

Here’s how common household filters are categorized:

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

Better ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical centers. A HEPA filter commonly ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the biggest 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 first to avoid damaging 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 operates with your HVAC system.

To enhance filtration power, some types of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably wipe out certain viruses in homes under specific airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can get rid of many pungent scents, like 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 is most effective, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover pollutants 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 only the filter and can come with carbon filtration upgrades.

Some of these systems are designed to work with specific brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine what will work best for your family.

Here are a few features to be on the lookout for when buying a filtration system for your house:

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Removes contaminants, bioaerosols and smells
  • Delivers filtration for your total house, not merely a lone area
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which might result in respiratory sensitivity
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you want to boost the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you find the right solution for your budget. Contact us at 239-908-6991 today to book your appointment.

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