Can You Use HEPA Filters with Your HVAC System? 

If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. home, HEPA filters are a easy approach to freshen the air your family breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the top measure for air filtration. These filters are typically used in medical centers, as they filter at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic pollutants from the air including mold, dust and pet dander.

As a result of their powerful filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can reduce airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s important to contact a heating and cooling pro like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing before installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s review whether or not you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA furnace filters were primarily produced to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use very thin mesh that traps many substances. Today, these filters are frequently installed in medical centers, science labs and even homes.

If you attempted to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d probably have problems receiving ample air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a thick filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are classified by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the greater the filter is at catching tiny pollutants.

Here’s how typical household filters stack up:

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

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

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

HEPA filters in residential settings are often part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This equipment is installed in your ductwork and operates in partnership with your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, some types of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably wipe out select viruses in houses under particular airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of many pungent odors, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are several different styles that operate alongside your HVAC equipment—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants as minuscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover particles and carbon filter for odors.

Air purification systems are typically the total package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is only the filter and might come with carbon filtration add-ons.

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

Here are a couple of things to be on the lookout for when getting a filtration system for your home:

    • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
    • Removes pollutants, bioaerosols and smells
    • Gives filtration for your total residence, not merely a lone space
    • Doesn’t produce ozone, which may cause respiratory irritation

If you’re seeking to increase the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort matters to us, so we’ll work with you to help you choose the ideal solution for your family. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today to schedule your appointment.

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