Can You Install HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System? 

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. home, HEPA filters are a easy approach to enhance the air your loved ones breathe.

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

Due to their powerful filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s crucial to contact a heating and cooling Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing before installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s discuss whether you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were initially designed to defend scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have very thin mesh that catches the majority of contaminants. Today, these filters are typically seen in medical settings, science labs and even homes.

If you attempted to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d potentially have trouble getting adequate air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a deep filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?

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

Here’s how typical household filters rank:

    • 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 certain fumes.

Greater ratings, like MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical settings. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.

In most cases, the highest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest checking with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing first to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in homes are commonly part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is secured inside your ductwork and operates in partnership with your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, some models of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably eliminate certain viruses in homes under certain airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can wipe out many offensive scents, such as cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are several different styles that operate in partnership 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 as small as .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining particles and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are often 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 offer carbon filtration upgrades.

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

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

    • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
    • Traps pollutants, bioaerosols and odors
    • Gives filtration for your total home, not only one room
    • Doesn’t produce ozone, which might result in respiratory inflammation

If you’re looking to increase the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort is important to us, so we’ll work with you to help you discover the ideal solution for your home. Contact us at 866-397-3787 right away to book your appointment.

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