Do HEPA Filters Function with Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Naples home, HEPA filters are a powerful method to purify the air your family breathes.

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

Because of their outstanding filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are dense and can lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s critical to call a heating and cooling Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning before installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s discuss 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 initially produced to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from very thin mesh that traps most substances. Now, these filters are frequently installed in medical facilities, science labs and even houses.

If you made an attempt to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d probably have issues having ample air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered to work with such a dense filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more efficient the filter is at trapping microscopic substances.

Here’s how common household filters stack up:

  • Flat filters—MERV 5. Traps 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.

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

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

HEPA filters in residential settings are frequently part of a separate whole-home air filtration system. This system is installed inside your ductwork and filters in partnership with your HVAC system.

To improve filtration power, some models of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably wipe out some viruses in houses under certain airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of most offensive smells, like cooking odors or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a couple of different solutions that work with your HVAC system—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system provides the greatest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants down to .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual pollutants and carbon filter for odors.

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 might offer 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 several features to look for when considering a filtration system for your house:

  • Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Captures pollutants, bioaerosols and smells
  • Provides filtration for your whole house, not merely a single area
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which might create respiratory sensitivity
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you want 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 loved ones’ comfort matters to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you discover the right solution for your budget. Contact us at 239-908-6991 right away to book your appointment.

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