Are HEPA Filters Suited for Your HVAC System?

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Denver house, HEPA filters are a effective method to purify the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold standard for air filtration. These filters are frequently installed in medical centers, as they filter at minimum 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can capture microscopic particles from the air including mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their powerful filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are deep and might reduce airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s important to contact a heating and cooling Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning before installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s review whether or not you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Filter 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 very thin mesh that captures most contaminants. Now, these filters are often installed in medical settings, science labs and even homes.

If you attempted to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d potentially have problems having enough 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 Handle?

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

Here’s how typical household filters stack up:

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

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

In most cases, the biggest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise asking a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning prior to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are often used in a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This system is installed in your ductwork and filters alongside your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, some types of these systems come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably eliminate select viruses in residences under particular airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can wipe out most strong scents, such as cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are several different styles that work alongside 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 pollutants down to .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover particles and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are often the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is only the filter and may offer carbon filtration add-ons.

Some of these systems are created to work with specific brands, while others work with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine what will give you the best results in your situation.

Here are a few features to look for when getting a filtration system for your house:

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters contaminants, bioaerosols and scents
  • Provides filtration for your whole house, not merely a lone room
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which might cause respiratory sensitivity
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you want to increase the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you find the right solution for your family. Contact us at 303-647-5853 today to book your appointment.

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