Are HEPA Filters Compatible with Your HVAC System?

If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your Kingston house, HEPA filters are a easy method to enhance the air your household breathes.

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

On account of their strong filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are dense and might reduce airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s important to call a heating and cooling professional like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning before installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s discuss if you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA filters were originally made to protect scientists from radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use fine mesh that traps the majority of contaminants. In modern times, these filters are frequently seen in medical facilities, science labs and even houses.

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

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Handle?

Filters are categorized by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more efficient the filter is at capturing tiny pollutants.

Here’s how typical household filters rank:

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

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

Normally, 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 prior to avoid damaging your furnace.

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

To increase filtration power, some types of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably eliminate certain viruses in residences under specific airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can wipe out most pungent scents, like cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your House

There are a couple of different solutions that function 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 down to .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual particles and carbon filter for smells.

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

Some of these systems are designed to work with certain brands, while others can be used with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you decide what will provide you the best results for your home.

Here are a couple of things to check for when buying a filtration system for your home:

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Captures pollutants, bioaerosols and scents
  • Gives filtration for your total house, not just one space
  • Doesn’t create ozone, which can result in respiratory irritation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to improve the indoor air quality in your house, 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 our top priority, so we’ll work together to help you discover the ideal solution for your family. Contact us at 613-817-1591 today to get your appointment.

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